The headlines were taken by the third round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Norway where Reinis Nitiss won in only his third Supercar event and, with that victory, jumped into the lead of World RX. Ken Block had a great run to third place in his series debut and there were new winners in TouringCar, Tom Daniel Tanevik, and Super1600 where Janis Baumanis celebrated his 22nd birthday with his first event win.
Away from the World stage, the French championship (below) moved to Faleyras, the circuit returning to the championship after missing its 2013 event. With new management at the helm, the circuit was the stage for the fourth round of the French championship and a large crowd witnessed a home win for local hero JB Dubourg. The third victory of the year allowed Dubourg to increase his points lead over Fabien Pailler who placed second ahead of Christophe Jouet with Alexander Theuil fourth in one of his rare home appearances. Making it a perfect weekend for the DA Racing squad, Andrea Dubourg took another Super1600 victory, leading home class championship leader Cyril Raymond with Fabien Grosset-Janin third. Regular frontrunners Florent Bedineau and Kevin Jacquinet won Divisions Three and Four respectively while Enzo Libner was best of the Twingo Cup.
While France enjoyed another good event, 90 cars (13 of them Supercars) and appears to be well and truly back on track, the Dutch Rallycross Championship is not faring quite so well. Lone Supercar entry Jan van Loon drove his Fiesta with the Supernational cars in the heats but had his own final to be the winner. Luc Maris (Volvo 242) won the over two-litre Supernational category ahead of Steve Volders (Mk1 Escort), the small capacity class going to Marc Vandenbergh (Seat Ibiza). Marcel Snoeijers (Renault Megane) was best of the Super1600 field and won the final ahead of Peter van de Wege (Toyota Yaris).
The World RX event on Norway also saw the eagerly anticipated debut of the new Audi S1s from EKS. Beautifully presented, the new cars suffered a boost pressure problems that restricted their performance, but otherwise ran reliably in their first event, before which the team had managed no real testing. The event was also notable for the visit of F1 driver turned TV commentator David Coulthard.
With team principal Mattias Ekstrom other occupied in his day job with the DTM at the Norisring, EKS has entered Markus Winkelhock for the Finnish round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. The former FIA GT1 World champion, and one time F1 racer has tested the Audi S1 Supercar in Sweden ahead of his rallycross debut.
Current Finnish champion Joni-Pekka Rajala will start an International event for the first time, the Finn having struck a deal with Hedstroms Motorsport to drive one of its Skoda Fabias. The deal extends to cover the Swedish round of the World championship at Holjes. Rajala’s compatriot Pekka Mustakallio has also rented a ride for the two events in which he will drive Derek Tohill’s championship winning Fiesta TouringCar.
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