Seven days in rallycross, July 24

by Hal Ridge |

As the FIA World Rallycross Championship Supercars continue their journey across the Atlantic, heading for the seventh round of the series at Trois-Rivieres in Canada, Tanner Foust (VW Polo) won the fourth round of the GRC in New York, breaking a winless streak in the American series that has lasted since 2012. Foust dominated the final ahead of VW Andretti Autosport team mate Scott Speed (VW Polo), but the former F1 driver was later disqualified for effecting repairs to his car after an earlier attempted at running the final had been red flagged. The disqualification promoted Nelson Piquet Jr (Ford Fiesta) into second, and the lead of the championship, while Ken Block (Ford Fiesta) ran second early in the race but was passed by Piquet and ended up third heading a quartet of Ford Fiestas in the shape of Joni Wiman, Steve Arpin and Austin Dyne. Both Sveere Isachsen (Subaru Impreza) and Patrik Sandell (Ford Fiesta) failed to make the re-started final due to damage sustained in the earlier starts.  Swede Kevin Eriksson claimed his first win in the GRC Lites category ahead of series leader Mitchell DeJong and Pedro Piquet, the 15 year old brother of Supercar driver Nelson making his rallycross debut. Also making a debut was fourth place finisher Oliver Eriksson, younger brother of Kevin and son of OMSE team boss Andreas.

Also in America, occasional rallycross driver David Higgins (Subaru Impreza) won his fourth consecutive Rally America Championship, beating X Games gold medalist Travis Pastana with two events still left to run.

Alois Holler won the joint round of the Austrian and Czech domestic rallycross championships at the Autodrom Sedlcany circuit in the Czech Republic, driving his Ford Focus MkI. The Austrian finished the final over 15 seconds ahead of Gerald Eder’s Skoda Fabia in second. Max J. Puncher finished third at the wheel of the only OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta Mk7 sold by the Swedish squad in Europe. Hungarian ‘Luigi’ drove to victory in the Super1600 division in a Ford Puma for the first time instead of his regular Skoda Fabia. Jan Skala had another good run in his Peugeot 208 to finish second, Austrian Erwin Frieszl (Peugeot 206) in third. Jakub Bittman (Peugeot 206) won the SuperNational final ahead of Roman Castoral driving his front wheel drive Vauxhall Astra. Karel Vaclavik (VW Golf) completed an all Czech podium. It was an all VW Polo affair on the podium in the National1600 division, Sven Forster winning from Dominik Janisch and Philip Leonhartsberger.

With troubles between the Filippini and Reuten groups still continuing around the Maasmechelen circuit in Belgium, a neutral organising group has been instigated by the Belgian courts to enable events to run at the venue. A regional VAS championship event was held on July 6th, while the circuit played host to one of it’s annual Folkrace events last weekend. Originally invented as an end of year ‘mechanics race’, the events now attract a variety of drivers, many of whom go on to regional, national and even international competition. World RX driver Jos Jansen first appeared in rallycross at a Folkrace event at Massmechelen driving a Pauwels Motorsport Skoda Fabia Supercar. Last weekend Tonny Achten (Nissan Sunny) won the over 1600cc division for competition cars, while Jeroen Detrez (Honda Civic) won the under 1600cc category for competition cars. Norman Thiry (Honda Civic) won Class A while Bart Bogaerts (BMW E36) headed a BMW one-two in Class B ahead of Rigo Verstrepen (BMW 325). Dagmar Verheyen won the Ladys Cup in her Ford Escort Cosworth.

With events able to run again at the venue, the national championship will have it’s first ‘home’ event of the season at the circuit on August 10th.




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