RallycrossRX Hungary Review

by Hal Ridge |

In only his third event as a full time rallycross driver, Timmy Hansen won at round three of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, held at Nyirad, Hungary, claiming his first ever victory in the sport. This is where we analyse the rest of the RallycrossRX field to see how drivers throughout the classes faired.

Hansen’s team mate Timur Timerzyanov missed out on victory in the final by a matter of feet, leading for almost the entire race, only to be pipped to the post by Hansen when the Russian took his joker on the last lap. Fast all weekend, Timerzyanov made his first visit to the podium of the season and heads the championship standings ahead of Hansen. Third in Hungary, and third in the championship is French driver Davy Jeanney, who made a great start in the final from the second row, and almost took the lead on the first lap. On top at the Intermediate classification, Jeanney scored 25 championship points in the event. However, an engine failure on Saturday morning forced his team to change the unit, and costing him a 15 point penalty, meaning he only has 10 points to take from Hungary to add to his tally. As he predicted two weeks ago, Knut Ove Borseth had a much better weekend in Hungary, taking home a best ever finish of fourth, just ahead of team mate Peter Hedstrom, who made it to the final despite a non-finish in heat two following a crash and a fire in heat three. Alexander Hvaal again ran into bad luck in Hungary, picking up a puncture in the final when it could so easily have been a one-two-three for Hansen Motorsport.

Mats Lysen continues to impress, doggedly consistent in a car lacking in recent development he only just missed out on a final place after finishing fourth in semi-final two. He would have made it, but for a puncture slowing him in the closing laps, allowing Hedstrom through. Anton Marklund drives like an experienced Supercar campaigner, despite only being in his third event in Supercar, and only his second full season in rallycross. He only just missed out on a final place, finishing behind Borseth in semi-final one, having been attached to the rear of the Fabia for much of the race. Petter Solberg continues to show bursts of amazing speed followed by small mistakes or mechanical problems. In a car that is still early the stages of creation, Solberg was involved in one of the best races of the weekend in heat one, with Hansen and Timerzyanov. A spin in heat two was followed by a problem getting away from the start line in heat three, before posting second fastest time in heat four. His chances of contesting the final were destroyed with a puncture in semi-final two.

Hungarian driver Zoltan Harsanyi drove his Mitsubishi Evo fastest than it ever wanted to go throughout the event, in a brilliant display. In a car that is a long way from the quality of his rivals or his own ability, the highlight of his weekend was beating Stig-Olov Walfridson in a straight fight in heat one. Attila Mozer was the second of the three Hungarian drivers that made it to the semi-finals in their home event. Driving the ex-Lindefjell Skoda Fabia, Mozer had a scare in heat three after being turned around by Jos Jansen on one of the fastest parts of the circuit.

Liam Doran was fastest in the first heat. He then jumped the start of heat two, forcing him to take the joker lap twice in penalty, setting sixth fastest time in the process. Heat three went less well for the Brit however, a huge crash on the first lap ripped the front right corner of the car, damaging the bodyshell too badly to continue.

Michael De Keersmaecker had an action filled weekend. Involved in first corner carnage in heat two, he made the re-start only to pick up a puncture with which he ran for the entire race, although he still took victory, being the only one left running. Eight place in heat three showed he is getting to grips with the 208, but a monstrous roll in heat four after hitting the barrier at the top of the hill ended his weekend in the back of an ambulance. After a check with the doctors he was declared ok, but wore a neck brace for the rest of the day as a precaution.

Zoltan Vass made it to the semi-finals after Doran withdrew, and like Harsanyi did better than could be expected give the machinery at his disposal. Andreas Bakkerud had a tough event. The young Norwegian carried power steering issues though practice and the first heat that LD Motorsports then solved. He was involved in ‘the’ first corner crash of heat two, hitting the wall hard and forcing his engineers to work long into the night to repair the car. With more problems discovered in free practice on Sunday, a legacy of his heat two crash, Bakkerud was too late arriving at the grid for heat three and missed his race. Fifth time in heat four was of little consolation, having only got a time in two heats.

Belgian driver Jos Jansen continued to entertain with his sideways style, finishing the event in sixteenth place and scoring a point for his troubles. Andy Scott, Stig-Olov Waldrison and Ronny Scheveneels propped up the order. Scott’s lowest point of the weekend, aside from De Keersmachers crash, was the first corner crash in heat two that badly damaged his brand new Peugeot 208, his Albatec mechanics working all night to fix the car. The same fate befell Walfridson, who made in through the first corner in heat two, only to have the race stopped and re-run. At the re-run, contact with the wall in the same place as Doran had a similar effect on his Clio as it had on the DS3, ripping the front right corner from the car and seriously damaging the bodyshell. Continuing his luckless season so far, Ronny Scheveneels crashed in the first heat. Without enough parts to repair the car he was forced out of the event.


Reinis Nitiss won the semi-final and final with the sort of ease of a driver who is far more experienced. Taking his first European victory at the wheel of a Set Promotion Clio, his ability is being allowed to shine through now he is in a front running car. Ildar Rakhmatulin had a much better weekend in Hungary, for the most part staying out of trouble, consistently in the top four during the heats and winning his semi-final. Only the blinding speed of team mate Nitiss stopped him taking victory.

Ulrik Linnemann had a big crash in heat two, picking up a puncture that sent him into the barrier. After another Saturday night of hard work for the Dane, he finished second to Nitiss in semi-final one before finishing third on the road in the final. He was later disqualified from the final however, following a technical irregularity. Third place was inherited by Kevin Eriksson, who would have taken the place in his own right had he not spent most of the final stuck behind Rasul Minnikhanov, who had early failed to finish the second heat after being one of a few drivers who the hit the wall that separates the circuit from the joker lap. Vadim Makarov was his usual fast self in his Volland-built Fabia, but was ruled out of contention in the final with a puncture. Eric Faren was removed from proceedings in a first corner crash in semi-final one, his Citroen C2 suffering significant damage in the process. Rene Munnich was fourteenth fastest in heat two following a number of spins. Three seventh fastest times followed in the remaining heats, impressive for a man who spends more of his time driving circuit based Touring Cars these days. Sergej Zagumennov is the lesser experienced of the two Volland Skoda drivers, but he is learning fast, three ninth fastest times in the heats not doing his progress in the class justice, having been caught up in battles all weekend that slowed the Russian driver. Local man Luigi, and crowd favourite used a Blue Engineering run Skoda Fabia for the weekend and was fifth fastest twice. However, failing to make it off the start line with a technical problem in heat two and a slow time in heat four didn’t help his Intermediate Classification. A clean race in semi final one earnt him fourth position, just one spot off the final. Gabor Bankuti was entertaininly sideways in his bright yellow Peuegot206 and finished eleventh, one place ahead of Set Promotion Twingo man Timur Shigaboutanov, who for the second event in a row just didn’t seem to be able to string four good laps together in the heats, never setting a time higher than eighth. Austrian Skoda driver Klaus Freudenthaler has a massively mixed weekend. An incredible fastest in the first heat, beating Eric Faren in a fight to the line at the wheel of a car far less developed than his rivals. He was again impressive in heat two, racing hard with Faren and Rakhmatulin. However, a crash in heat three damaged the cars suspension and he would not be seen again. Christian Petrakovitz had a frustrating weekend. Hit by a “Russian Renault” in the first heat, the Polo’s front suspension was badly damaged and the team did well to make it out for heat two, where he set sixth fastest time. Broken rear suspension in Sunday morning practice didn’t do him any favours, but nor did the technical problems that caused a DNF in heat three. Andreas Steffen was also in the wars, hitting the same wall as Munnich in heat one, the damage to much to fix in a short period ruling him out of heat two, while returning Czech driver Ondrej Smetana blew the engine up in his brand new Fiesta in first practice, which is a shame, because the youngster is always a joy to watch.


TouringCar was won by Swede Daniel Lundh in his Volvo C30. A brilliant start from the second row in the final was followed by a perfect drive throughout, taking victory by over four seconds, earning his first ever win at European level. Roman Castoral drove a down on power Opel through day one, but it was fixed for day two and he claimed second, thanks to the demise of pole sitter Derek Tohill in the fight for the first corner. Tohill had been on form all weekend, fastest in the first two heats and second fastest in heats three and four, he looked on for a good result, until being turned around in the pack in the first corner. He fought back to third, just one second behind Castoral by the end. Koen Pauwels finished fourth ahead of Robin Larsson, who beat Tohill to fastest times in the latter two heats. He pushed Lundh hard in the first laps of the final, but was slowed with a puncture after lap two. Torleif Lona spun out of heat one, and retired from the final on the first lap. David Nordgaard was very unlucky, fourth fastest in the first heat, he seventh in the second despite having local man Gyorgy Fodor try to get inside his car in the first corner, removing the passenger door and damaging the roll cage. The damage put him out of the event, the FIA declaring the car too unsafe to use without serious repair for day two. Fodor himself had a terrible weekend scattered with issues resulting in only one finish during the heats.


Like Supercar and TouringCar, the JRX category was also won by a Swede, William Nilsson taking the top step of the podium in his first event. He qualified on the second row for the final but made the best start, beating pole sitter Magda Andersson to the first corner. Anderson had been fastest in the first three heats, but crashed out of heat four, her team working hard to repair the car for the final. Having been beaten off the line she took the joker on the first lap. As Nilsson took his later one she snuck ahead, only for contact to be made between the pair, resulting in a collision with the barrier for Anderson and a DNF. Finnish newcomer Pasi Pukema finished second, while third was Kevin Hansen, who had a very frustrating weekend, his team unable to solve a niggling problem that resulted in only having half power from his two stroke powered car throughout.

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