Seven days in rallycross, July 4

by Hal Ridge |

Multiple European Rallycross event winner Tanner Foust (VW Polo) thrived in wet and slippery conditions to win his first FIA World Rallycross Championship event at round four of the series in Finland. The American driver won both his semi-final and final while others either fell off or did their best to contend with the muddy conditions. Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta) finished second while Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta) came home third after his fourth semi final victory in a row, to extend his championship lead. Several teams faced a hard week this week repairing cars from Finland ahead of the sixth round of the championship in Sweden this weekend. Read the report of the event here.

Lavare hosted the fifth round of the French Rallycross Championship, where Fabien Pailler (Peugeot 208) headed home rising Supercar star Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Citroen C4) to close the gap at the top of the standings to just two points. Christophe Jouet (Citroen DS3) finished third. Andrea Dubourg (Renault Clio) won the Super1600 division ahead of the Citroen Saxo of Philippe Maloigne and Jean-Louis Poirier’s Renault Clio, while championship leader Christophe Saunois (Toyota Corolla) continued his march towards the title in Division Three, winning ahead of Guy Moreton (Citroen DS3) and Henri Navail (Citroen DS3). Emmanuel Anne (Renault Clio) survived heavy rear end contact to claim victory in Division Four to seize the championship lead ahead of Tommy Terpereau (Honda Civic) and Nicolas Bezard (Audi A3). Thomas Petit (Renault Twingo) won the fourth round of the Twingo R1 Cup to lead the series, while Enzo Libner (Renault Twingo) could only finish fifth and dropped to second in the standings.

America star Ken Block has released an ‘access all areas’ video from his Hoonigan Racing Division head quarters, giving viewers unprecedented access to what goes on at Block’s base. See the video below.

Former British Junior rallycross champion Paige Bellerby will race a new SuperNational Lotus Exige at the fourth round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship at Pembrey later this month, joining younger sister Paige who races in the Junior Swift category to form the ‘Paige and Drew Bellerby Motorsport Team’.

Traditionally one of the biggest events on the rallycross calendar takes place this weekend in Holjes, the fifth round of the World Rallycross Championship. Forty Supercars will start the event as part of the 107 car entry, Mattias Ekstrom returning to the scene of his rallycross debut 12 months ago keen to score a similar result, this time in his new EKS built Audi S1.

“A year ago, I was given the opportunity to compete in Holjes as a guest driver. I made it to the finals and finished in second place, despite a poor start,” said Ekstrom. “The joy I felt surprised me and gave me all the energy I needed to take the plunge and create my own team. Holjes was the starting point for EKS. From that day on, I‘ve focused on my return. Now I’m back with my own team – a feeling hard to describe. It’s been one of the best journeys of my life.”

Other notable entries in the bumper field include 2013 European Championship runner-up Davy Jeanney, making his second start of the season, this time as team mate to Liam Doran, replacing Kryzstof Skorupski in the Monster Energy World RX Ream. The Kristoffersson Motorsport VW Polos driven by Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby will also be in action, as will double European Champion Ludvig Hunsbedt, who will race the Ford Focus car he previously used in the European Championship, now run by Stein Egil Jenssen. Andy Scott however will not race for the third event in a row after Jacques Villeneuve rolled his Peugeot 208 at Holjes in a test before the third round of the series in Norway, Albatec Racing running out of time to repair the car in time for the Swedish event.

EKS also announced this week that Ekstrom’s seat in the squad will be filled by Edward Sandstrom for the Belgian round of WorldRX next week, Ekstrom himself busy with DTM duties in Moscow. Sandstrom, who has an eclectic mix of sprint and endurance racing experience, is contesting Blancpain Endurance Series where he is currently third overall. The Swede tested the team’s Audi S1 at Holjes recently. “It’s my first RX experience, but I’ve always enjoyed to drive cars in different situations and on different surfaces – ice, tarmac, gravel,” said Sandstrom. “This fits quite well for RX, which is a very fast kind of motorsport with a lot of adrenaline and you have to be quick in your decisions. I really like that and I immediately felt quite well in the Audi S1. After the test in Höljes I’m really confident for Belgium. To be perfectly prepared, I’ll come back to Sweden for Round 5 of World RX and have a closer look on the whole procedures during a race weekend.”





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