Timur Timerzyanov entered the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship Presented by Monster Energy just needing a good run through the heats to seal his second crown in a row, and become the first driver to win in the new era of RallycrossRX.
Second at the Intermediate Classification was more than enough to secure championship victory, leaving the Russian free to fight for his first win of the season with no pressure, a strong win in semi-final two put him on the front row for the final, which he led until the race was stopped on lap four. However, he was the only one of the four remaining runners who had not taken the joker lap when the race was stopped and was given a time penalty by the stewards, dropping him to fourth in the results.
With Timerzyanov down the order, it was his team-mate Alexander Hvaal who took the victory, his second in as many events in just the space of a week. Andreas Bakkerud finished second after a difficult weekend, several niggling problems slowing his times. Bakkerud only made it into the semi-finals after Mats Ohman was unable to start with engine failure, but a strong second place behind Timerzyanov in semi-final two put him into contention in the final. Third was Liam Doran who made a good start in the final and ran close to his team-mate Bakkerud throughout the race.
Stig-Olov Walfridson followed a good event in Austria with genuine speed throughout the event in Germany which, sadly for many in the paddock was probably ‘Stecka’s’ last European event, the Swede having to take a back-seat through injury. A great start in semi-final two propelled him into the race lead initially, he would eventually line up third and on the back row of the final. His event would come to an end in the joker lap in the final, his Renault Clio coming to a halt before catching fire, the race being stopped to control the blaze.
Desperate to win an event in his first season of RallycrossRX Petter Solberg did everything right in the heat stages, setting fastest times in three of the four qualifiers to top the Intermediate Classification. The Norwegian won semi-final two to line up on pole for the final. The Estering is a track known for its bottle-neck first corner, and in the squeeze Solberg was the one to lose out, his Citroen DS3 spat into the wall in the opening stages of the final, and out of the event.
Tord Linnerud admitted that he was struggling to get to grips with the German circuit early in the event, crashing in free practice on Saturday morning. Once more in the groove the Norwegian was always mid-pack and almost made the final, finishing fourth in his semi-final.
Three championship contenders headed into the event in Germany, but things all went the way of Timerzyanov during the event. Davy Jeanney made an uncharacteristic mistake in heat one and forgot to take his joker lap. With a string of great times he dragged himself back to fifth at the Intermediate stage, but was unable to finish better than fourth in semi-final one.
Timmy Hansen was the third driver with a shot at the title in Germany, but he too had an unlucky first heat, a wrong setting on his launch control costing him time at the start. Second fastest in heat two was more to his usual form, before broken steering due to first corner contact ruled him out of heat three. On the back of the grid for semi-final one, contact with Anton Marklund on the first lap sent Hansen’s DS3 into the sand and onto its roof, rolling over twice and out of the event.
Marklund too was removed from the event in the indecent, his VW Polo suffering broken steering for the second time of the weekend. Again quick on a track he had already tested at, Marklund’s goal was to make the final once in his first Supercar season but it wasn’t to be. Fellow Swede Peter Hedstrom was also quick in Germany, a broken suspension link in heat three his biggest drama of the weekend, until out of semi-final two following damage picked up in the first corner.
Morten Bermingrud finished fifth in semi-final two, his best finish of the season having contested a number of events. Mats Ohman was as quick and committed as ever, his highlight a close fight to the line with Bakkerud in heat one. Easily inside the semi-final positions in eighth, Ohman was dined a chance of challenging for the final with an engine problem that put him out of the event, handing his place to first reserve Bakkerud.
Following his first outing for more than a year in Austria. Frode Hole was ready to fight for victory in Germany, but things didn’t go well from the start. An off in practice damaged his Volvo’s steering, while contact in heat three broke his rear suspension. He ended up 14th overall, ahead of Andy Scott who got caught in battles that ultimately hurt his race times. Per Eklund made a welcome return to the championship, but like Scott, got caught up in battles racing slower cars and could do no better than 17th overall.
Reinis Nitiss started the season as a relative unknown but left the final round in Germany with his sixth event win of the season having already wrapped up the title a week earlier in Austria. For the first time in a while, Nitiss could only manage third at the Intermediate Classification. Not needing the points, but wanting to win the event Nitiss finished second to Ulrik Linnemann in semi-final one. A good start in the final got Nitiss to second, again behind Linnemann. The Dane made a mistake on the loose section on the first lap, handing the lead to Nitiss from which he never looked back, Linnemann would end up third, and third in the championship standings. Timur Shigaboutinov avoided the major contact in the final to achieve his best ever result of second after a consistent weekend. Sergji Zagumennov was once again in the final and finished fourth, ahead of Eric Faren who was a magnet for contact in Germany and just missed out on third place in the championship standings. Ildar Rakhmatullin finished second in the championship, the Russian won semi-final two but got caught in first corner contact in the first and second laps of the final, he finished sixth.
Local man Andreas Steffan had a good run in Germany, and was very close to making the final, just beaten in his semi by Zagumennov by a mere two tenths of a second. Kasparas Navikas wound up fourth in semi-final two in his first start of the season. Janno Ligur made it to the semi final stages again, fifth was a good result for the young Estonian. Once his team have his Skoda Fabia better set-up he will certainly be one to watch next season, he beat Czech driver Ondrej Smetena in semi-final one.
Sven Seeligur contested his home event and finished fifth in semi-final two ahead of Rasul Minnikanov who was classified sixth. Clemens Myer made his first rallycross start since a big crash in Belgium last year. Happy to just be back in the Skoda, he wound up 14th and is hoping to return full-time next season. Davy Van Den Branden finished just behind the German driver in his first start this year, the Belgian was consistently inside the points scoring positions throughout the event. Siim Saluri rolled out of heat one in the first corner, his team produced small miracles to get his car back out for heat two, where he also encountered problems. Sixth fastest in heat three was a mark of the pace he really has and is another to keep an eye on for the future.
In his final TouringCar event, Robin Larsson dominated proceedings; took maximum points from the event and won the final with ease. 2013 Champion Derek Tohill ended up second at the Intermediate stage, and won semi-final two to share the front row of the grid with Larsson. Tohill’s race didn’t last long, the Irish driver incurred damaged from contact on lap one that eventually caused him to retire. Second in the final was Anders Braten who had jokered early and picked his rivals off as they too jokered. Ole Habjorg finished third after a race long battled with Lars Rosendahl. Daniel Lundh finished fifth, another good result for one of the star drivers in the championship.
Czech driver Roman Castoral had a torrid event, coming off worst in first corner contact in the early heats. Heat three would go worse for the Opel Astra man, fired off into the barriers he and his many spontaneous helpers, including many from rival teams, worked hard to repair the extensive damage. He finished fourth in semi-final two; a rare non-appearance in the final. Koen Pauwels finished fourth in semi-final one, unable to progress to the final stages and missing out on a chance to fight podium honours in the final. David Nordgaard suffered a damaging event, twice brought back into the paddock on a recovery truck, he was classified fifth in semi-final two. Finnish driver Janne Sinkkonen brought his recently acquired Ford Fiesta to Germany and finished fifth in semi-final one.
Kevin Hansen entered the final round of JRX one point behind season-long championship leader William Nilsson. Top at the Intermediate Classification, one place ahead of Nilsson drew the pair level. As he has in recent events, Hansen dominated the final and won the championship at the very last opportunity. Nilsson finished second with JRX newbie Oscar Solberg third. Son of Henning, Oscar enjoyed the experience and hopes to be back in rallycross next year. Magda Anderson finished fourth with another JRX newcomer Rasmus Berggren in fifth.
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