Hungary Day One Report

by Hal Ridge |

Day one of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Nyirad in Hungary ends with a Frenchman on top who doesn’t know if to smile or not.

Davy Jeanney was at his consistent best in the first two heats, a second fastest time in the first followed by fastest overall in the second. However, engine failure in free practice means that regardless of his result this weekend, the Citroen driver will have to carry the 15 point penalty for changing engines during an event.

Fellow Citroen driver Alexander Hvaal benefitted from others dramas, third fastest and then fourth fastest in the first two heats earning him second position on the leader board overnight. British driver Liam Doran sits in third, a commanding drive in the first heat earning him fastest time. Too eager to make it two fastest times in a row, Doran jumped the start of his race in heat two, forcing him to take the jokerlap on two occasions. Had he not, he almost certainly would have been fastest again.

Putting his troubles of the first two events behind him, Knut Ove Borseth set seventh and third fastest time to hold forth place going into day two, despite a few small problems in practice.

Timur Timerzyanov was fast today, but got caught up in battles that ultimately slowed him down in both races. Notably in battle with Timerzyanov was Petter Solberg who again showed blinding speed in bursts. Sixth fastest in the first heat after the best race of the day with Timerzyanov and Timmy Hansen, he was leading in heat two only to spin on the second lap. Finishing the race in last place he took tenths fastest and sits eighth overnight.

Timmy Hansen won his first heat race, but hit the wall in the second heat, with damage to bodywork and suspension he could only manage thirteenth fastest time.

A first corner pile-up in the second heat saw the end one proceedings for Andreas Bakkerud, Andy Scott and Peter Hedstrom. Also involved was Stig-Olov Walfridson and Scott’s team-mate Michael De Keersmaecker. The re-started race was run with just Walfridson and De Keersmaecker, but was soon down to one, the pair making contact at the top of the hill, Walfridson hitting the wall hard ripping off the front right corner from the car, a legacy of contact in the first, first corner incident. With Walfridson out all De Keersmaecker had to do was finish to win the race, however this was made all the harder by carrying a right rear puncture throughout.

The accident may have been the end of the road for Walfridson’s Hungarian weekend, the FIA are now inspecting the damage sustained to the Clio’s rollcage in the impact.

The end of the road is also looming for Belgian Ronny Scheveneels, who crashed his Peugeot 207 in the first heat, damaging suspension at every corner and throwing bodywork everywhere.  The accident also included damage to the cars in-take system, causing him to miss the second heat while Pailler Competition assed the damage. With possible damage to the engine, the team may be packing up tonight to go home.

Hero of the day should be reserved for local Mitsubishi Evo driver Zoltan Vass, who beat Walfridson hands down in the first heat, and dominated his race in the second, in what can only be described as a car lacking in development compared to his European compatriots.

Super1600 is headed by Renis Nitiss after two heats, the young driver once again showing his speed now he is driving a ‘proper’ car. Eric Faren sits in second overall, with second and fourth fastest times. Austrian driver Klaus Freudenthaler set an incredible fastest time in the first heat, beating Eric Faren head-to-head, who had made a poor start. Fifth fastest in heat two proved the result was no fluke.

Fastest in heat two was new Swedish sensation Kevin Eriksson, although you wouldn’t know it from his relaxed body language out of the car. Christian Petrakovitz got hit by “a Russian Twingo” as he put it in heat one, damaging his suspension causing him to pull off the circuit. Ulrik Linnemann picked up a puncture in heat two, which then caused him to hit the wall on the outside of the first turn, hard, giving the Danish driver another Saturday night of hard work. Luigi retired from the second heat with technical problems, but at least he started. German drivers Mandy August and Andreas Steffen both made contact with the wall at the bottom of the hill, causing enough damage to miss the second heats all together.

Czech driver Ondrej Smetena made his return to the RallycrossRX series this morning, but it was short lived, the engine in his new Ford Fiesta expiring with terminal effect in heat one.

Derek Tohill won both of his races in commanding fashion and was fastest in both of the first two heats, followed by the ever present Robin Larsson. Roman Castoral isn’t on the pace here, the body language of his Opel Astra suggesting he is carrying a problem. Local driver Gyorgy Fodor made heavy contact with David Nordgaaurds passenger door in the second heat, causing him to retire. Nordguaard finished the race, with no door, but looks to be out of the event, damage sustained to the rollcage may cause the FIA to not allow him to continue tomorrow.

The JRX makes it’s first appearance of the year here this weekend. Magda Andersson was fastest in the first two heats to sit at the heat of the results overnight. Kevin Hansen has carried an engine problem through the first two heats, the young Swede hoping the problem can be fixed for tomorrow.





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