Seven days, July 4

by Tim Whittington |


After the Barcelona non-event, X Games survived a wet day at the start of its Munich weekend, where the big story was Liam Doran’s sensational first day victory in MINI’s prototype RX car. Still running a 1600cc engine, the re-engineered WRC machine is less powerful but also lighter than its predominantly two-litre rivals, but Doran made the best use of the car on the small, twisty and wet course to become the first driver to gain two rallycross gold medals in X Games.

In the second day of action in Germany, Doran came close to winning again, but had to give best to Toomas Heikkinen. The pair clashed in the race and again afterwards, the on-track incident one of a high number of crashes and offs over the weekend.

While X Games starred, the French national championship moved to Lavare where Jerome Grosset-Janin survived a hiccup in practice to fight back and dominate the event. The Chanoine Renault driver then led the final to post his third victory of the year and extend his points lead over Christophe Wilt who placed second in his Citroen C4. Alain Heu (C4) completed the top three with Christophe Jouet having a strong run to fourth place in one of his sporadic rallycross outings. The Super1600 field had a new man at the front as Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Clio) took the win ahead of Fabien Chanoine (Dacia Sandero) and David Olivier (Twingo). In Division Three Christian Saunois (Toyota Corolla) got one up on Marc Morize (Peugeot 207) to take the win while in Division Four Jimmy Terpereau continued his strong run in the 2013 season with another win in his Audi A3. The new Twingo R1 cup was also on the bill in the Sarthe, Cyril Ramond taking the win ahead of Aurelien Crochard.

In Finland meanwhile Joni-Pekka Rajala went to Kouvola for the third round of the Finnish championship on the crest of a wave and repeated his party trick of Joensuu and winning both the Supernational and Supercar finals. Rajala beat home town favourite Atro Maatta (Focus) and Janne Kanerva (C4) to take the Supercar class in his Mitsubishi Lancer while the Supernational victory was achieved in his Escort and ahead of Vesa Hirvonen (Volvo S40) and Peter Helenius (Scirocco).

The Swedish championship moves north where Alvsbyn hosts round three. Ulf Eriksson (BMW E30) takes the Supernational victory ahead of Jimmy Holmkvist (S40) and Thomas Ohman (E30). Viktor Johansson (E30) tops the 2400 division and there is a Junior victory for Marcus Svard (Opel Astra) who beats series leader Tommy Johansson.

In America Sebastien Loeb obliterated the Pikes Peak course record in the Peugeot 208 T16, eclipsing Rhys Millen’s 2012 record by 90s to leave the best time up the mountain at 8m13.878s. Pat Doran narrowly avoided obliterating himself and recovered from a nasty practice off to finish sixth in the unlimited class with his RS200, Mark Rennison fourth in a similar car in his best run to date.

The FIA has launched tenders for single supplier agreements to cover tyres and fuel for its Rallycross championship.

The build up for sixth round of the 2013 FIA European Ralycross Championship continues at Holjes with the traditional Thursday press event. A star-studded attendance is led by Mattias Ekstrom who gives rallycross a ringing endorsement before giving his father, former racer Bengt a ride around the track in his VW Polo Supercar and then hopping into the passenger seat while Bengt took the wheel. “Nothing beats the feeling of a rallycross Supercar. I’ve driven DTM, NASCAR and LMP1 cars but nothing beats these car, they are the best!” said Mattias Ekstrom.




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