Bakkerud wins World Rallycross at Lydden to lead championship

by Hal Ridge |

As with round one of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Portugal, a Norwegian stood on the top step of the podium at the second round of the series this weekend at Lydden Hill. However, it was Andreas Bakkerud and not Petter Solberg who claimed victory in front of over 10,000 people.

Bakkerud started the final from the front row, promoted up the grid when team mate Reinis Nitiss had to withdraw before the start with technical troubles. As the lights went out, pole sitter Heikkinen remained on the main circuit while Bakkerud headed straight for the joker lap followed by BTCC champion Andrew Jordan and Tanner Foust. On the main circuit, second row starter Robin Larsson passed Heikkinen for the lead at the first corner in his first International Supercar appearance, in his new Audi A1. Solberg ran third, taking his joker on lap two and returning to the main circuit alongside Foust. The Norwegian attempted to make a move up the inside into the Devils Elbow, but out braked himself on the lose gravel, making contact with Foust and spinning into the gravel trap. Up front, Jordan passed Heikkinen on lap three, while Bakkerud pulled off a similar move on lap five. Larsson saved his joker until the end, returning just behind Bakkerud but maintaining second position, while Jordan too took his joker and hung onto third on his return to the sport. Solberg recovered to finish sixth.

Of the drivers not to make it through the semi finals, Anton Marklund continues his development in the Supercar division and finished fourth in semi final two ahead of Andy Scott who put the problems of Portugal behind him with a good home run, and European championship runner Jerome Grosset-Janin who claimed points for second in the five round series behind Larsson and ahead of Foust. Henning Solberg had a quiet but steady run to finish fifth in semi final one, while Fabien Pailler was promoted to the semi finals thanks to the demise of fellow Peugeot 208 runner Timmy Hansen, but retired on the first lap.

Hansen had qualified for the semi finals, but was forced out of the event at the start of heat four, similar engine problems that halted team mate Timerzyanov in morning warm-up bringing the Swede’s day to an end. Sharing a frustrating weekend with Peugeot-Hansen at Lydden Hill was the Monster Energy World RX Team, who again failed to score any points after a dismal second round at Lydden, blighted by driver error and punctures. When running right, both Doran and Skorupski were quick, and could be right on the pace in Hell next time out, where last year Doran and then team mate Bakkerud shared the front row for the final. Jacques Villeneuve’s replacement Davy Jeanney had technical troubles in heat three before suffering power steering problems in heat three, ending his chances of making the semi finals. Frode Holte debuted his new Hyundai i20 at Lydden, but a bust oil pipe caused a fire after the first heat, the last time the new car would be seen for the rest of the weekend.

American Mitchell De Jong led the RX Lites Cup final from start to finish while namesakes Kevin and Sebastien Eriksson battled over fourth position. Nelson Piquet Jr qualified for the final but retired on the first lap. Sergej Zagumennov claimed the spoils in the Super1600 category for the second event in a row, pipping Ulrik Linnemann in the final, while Daniel Lundh won in TouringCar to take the lead of the championship.




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