RallycrossRX Austria: Round Up Review

by Hal Ridge |

Alexander Hvaal has been out of luck on many occasions in 2013. On Sunday afternoon that changed, a strong drive in the final at Greinbach in Austria led him to collect his first ever Supercar victory, just ahead of team-mate and championship leader Timur Timerzyanov, who had an up and down event but once again managed to eek out his points lead at the head of the championship standings.

The Russian goes into the final round this weekend with the title in his sights. Second in the championship, and third in Austria Davy Jeanney had missed out on a place in the final, pushed wide on the last corner by Tord Linnerud in semi-final one. Linnerud was later disqualified for the move, putting Jeanney up into the final. Petter Solberg was again fast all weekend in Austria, the former WRC champion qualified at the Intermediate Classification in second, won his semi-final and lined up on the front row for the final. That is where the Norwegian’s event would end however, his Citroen DS3 suffering a starting problem leaving it stranded on the start line and lucky to be missed by Davy Jeanney behind. Solberg had shared the front row with Liam Doran, the British driver topped day one after the first two heats, the Intermediate Classification and won semi-final one. With a good start in the final, Doran looked on for his third victory of the season, only to be halted in his tracks on lap four by a problem with the exhaust on his car causing it to catch on fire.

Stig-Olov Walfridson returned to the series after missing France with shoulder problems. The Swede made the final for the first time in 2013 and came home forth, the five-cylinder Renault Clio performing better than it has all year. Timmy Hansen had a frustrating weekend, he was spun around by local driver Alois Holler in heat one, and had contact with team mate Timerzyanov in heat three. Hansen looked on for a place in the final until a mistake on the penultimate corner of semi-final two allowed Timerzyanov to exit the joker in third to claim the position in the final. Anton Marklund had his best weekend to date in his debut Supercar season. Second fastest in heat one was backed up by sixth in heat two. Third at the end of day one, Marklund maintained his pace and was third at the Intermediate Classification. The VW Polo driver’s event effectively finished on the first lap of the semi-final, a spin in traffic was followed by getting stuck in forth gear, he finished the race sixth behind Peter Hedstrom who had also spun with Marklund in the first lap melee.

Frode Holte made his return to rallycross after a year-long break. The Norwegian driver, who will race full time again in 2014, has lost none of his speed and will again be a force this weekend in Germany. Contact between Holte and  British driver Andy Scott in heat four slowed the pair, Holte gaining the advantage. The conflict repeated in the semi-final, this time Scott coming out on top in the duel, in his second semi-final appearance of the season. Andreas Bakkerud’s weekend didn’t start well, a spin and stall in heat one caused a none-finish, but worse was to come. A piece of steel fell off the Norwegians Citroen DS3 engine in warm-up on Sunday morning, his team worked hard to fix the problem, just getting him to get grid for heat three. The effort was in vain, Bakkerud coming off worse in the first corner, spinning on the grass and ending his hopes of making it to the semi-finals, he was classified thirteenth.

Jos Jansen has been getting faster all year, but several battles with local driver Holler didn’t do either man any favours in Austria, they finished the event fifteenth and fourteenth respectively.


Reinis Nitiss joined the highly experience Set Promotion team for 2013, driving a Renault Clio. Far less experienced than his rivals, Nitiss had previously shown speed in a self-run car but his performances this season have been staggering. His season was summed up in Austria by a dominant performance from which he took maximum points and the championship title with his fifth win, with one event still to go. Sweden winner Ulrik Linnemann made up for a terrible weekend last time out in France to claim second in Austria, in front of Ildar Rakhmatullin who headed to Austria second in the title race with the mathematical possibility of overhauling his young team mate. A good effort saw Rakhmatullin finish a strong third in the final, but is wasn’t enough to keep his title hopes alive in Germany this weekend. Sergj Zagummenov was involved in contact throughout the weekend, and not all by his own doing. His team kept his Skoda Fabia together and he finished fourth, not quite able to make a podium finish. Eric Faren sits in third in the title chase, fifth place in Austria maintains that position, the Swede will be gunning for his first win at European level this weekend to maintain third and end his season on a high.

Local man Christian Petrakovits made his first appearance since round three in Hungary, he made the final and finished sixth. His biggest problem of the weekend coming in heat two, where he ended up in the gravel trap on the outside of the first corner. Rene Munnich just missed out on a place in the final, the German driver had a troubled weekend and did well to be in with a shout in the latter stages of the event. Also just missing out on the final was Munnich’s team-mate and wife Mandie August who finished fourth in semi-final one, by far and away her best result of the season and a great comeback from a free practice crash and a spin in heat one on Saturday afternoon. Austrian driver Werner Panhauser finished fifth in semi-final one, while Ondrej Smetena started the event well, fourth at the end of day one the Czech driver could only finish fifth in semi-final one, a result of contact with Timur Shigaboutinov who was again managed to find himself involved in contact, and not always his own fault. Young Estonian Jarno Ligur brought his Skoda Fabia to Austria and looked quick at times. He finished sixth in semi-final two but could well be one to watch for the future. Sazabolcs Vegh made the trip over the border from Hungary and put up a strong fight in his self-run Citroen Saxo. Never far off the pace of the mid-pack he missed out on the semi-finals by one place, ending up thirteenth. Russian driver Rasul Minnikhanov retired from the event at the end of day one, his Renault Twingo developing an engine problem.


Irish driver Derek Tohill entered the event in Austria with a clear objective, to finish the business of winning the championship before the final event in Germany. Top at the Intermediate Classification, Tohill won his semi-final, and the final to win the title for the second time. The final wasn’t plain sailing however, Robin Larsson and Tohill having contact on lap one, putting Tohill behind the Swede. After a race long battle Tohill regained the lead as the excited the joker lap on the final corner. Larsson finished second, his first visit to the podium since round two in Portugal. Roman Castoral finished third, the experienced Czech once again almost in the title hunt right until the end, with a good finish in Germany he will claim second in the standings. Daniel Lundh came home fourth, but was almost out of the event in heat one, an engine problem followed by contact from Larsson forcing his Volvo C30 into a stack of tyres, throwing the car in the air and almost rolling over. Lundh’s team worked hard to get his car back for heat two, from where his event went more smoothly and resulted in another strong finish. Koen Pauwels finished fifth in and will be fighting for third position in the championship this weekend. David Nordgaard retired on the fourth tour with mechanical problems. Ole Habjorg had good pace in his Opel Corsa throughout the weekend but wasn’t able to produce the goods in semi-final two from which he retired. Gyorgy Fodor made his second appearance of the season, finishing his event fourth in semi-final one.

After crossing the finishline in Loheac with a misfire, Roger Enlund’s event in Austria was worse, after two laps of free practice his engine failed altogether and he would take no further part in the event.


The JRX category made its return to RallycrossRX in Austria having missed the French round two weeks previous. As with the last JRX event in Sweden, Kevin Hansen dominated, the only blot to his copybook being a spin in heat four. Hansen’s result brought the title chase down to one point behind leader William Nilsson, with just one event to go.






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