Continuing his much improved form of 2014, Anton Marklund heads the field after the first day of the sixth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Mettet, Belgium. The young Swede was fastest in heat one and then second fastest in heat two, with the similar car of Johan Kristoffersson having a much better weekend than he did in Holjes last week, he is second overnight after setting fastest time of all in heat two.
Third is Robin Larsson, who after two events in the doldrums appears to have put the issues of Norway and Finland behind him, he was fastest in the morning’s open practice session and followed that up with two strong heat times. Finnish driver Toomas Heikkinen ran team mate Marklund close in the last race of heat two, Marklund took his joker on the final lap around the outside of the last corner, the pair racing to the line, Marklund just winning out, Heikkinen is fourth overall at the end of the day ahead of Petter Solberg and Pontus Tidemand, the JWRC champion having another strong weekend after a good showing last time out in Sweden.
Team Peugeot-Hansen driver Timmy Hansen was tenth in heat one and fourth in heat two to be seventh overall, while team mate Timur Timerzyanov got pushed into a half spin in the first corner in heat two, setting 15th fastest time he is 12th overall, one place behind Emil Ohman who continues to impress on his debut rallycross season. Jacques Villeneuve had two consistent runs in the heats to be 14th, just outside the semi final positions, while team mate Andy Scott returns for the Belgian event as is 22nd, slowed by a battle with Lukas Walfridson in their heat two race which certainly rubbed the fresh look off Scott’s rebuilt 208.
Michael De Keersmaecher is top Belgian at the end of day one in Belgium, he twice won his heat races and is 15th. Belgian former WRC star Francois Duval races a Marklund Motorsport Polo this weekend, but retired from heat one following a squeeze at the first corner. He ran in the first heat two race, making the best start and running alone to set seventh fastest time and try to get himself back into the top 12 for tomorrow afternoons semi finals. OlsbergsMSE had a terrible day in comparison to their consistency shown over the year so far. Andreas Bakkerud suffered an engine failure in the first heat and retired from the race, the squad unable to replace the unit in time for heat two, while Reinis Nitiss’s heat two ended after contact with Henning Solberg. As Solberg exited the last corner joker lap section, Nitiss, on the regular line met the Saab making contact and putting both out of the race. Nitiss’ Fiesta lost it’s right rear corner in the process.
Rallycross debutant Edward Sandstrom impressed in Mattias Ekstrom’s EKS Audi S1 when he was running, setting competitive lap times. However, the Swede twice suffered from poor starts and is 28th overall as a result.
Super1600 Championship leader Sergej Zagumennov was fastest in heat two, but it was Janis Baumanis who was most consistent over the first two heats and heads the order, ahead of Zagumennov and Janno Ligur, having his best run to date. Ulrik Linnemann retired from heat one but was third fastest in heat two, he is 14th overall heading into day two. Citroen DS3 driver Fredrik Salsten was twice fastest in TouringCar to lead the field, ahead of Anders Braten and Belgian driver Filip Baelus.
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