Seven days in rallycross, July 31

by Hal Ridge |

Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) maintained his stranglehold on the MSA British Rallycross Championship, the engine builder winning the event in a calm and collected style similar to that of his former customer, Dermot Carnegie. Godfrey would only start on the outside of the front row for the final, alongside pole man Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Focus) and Andy Grant (Ford Focus). O’Donovan was out of the running at turn one, despite making it to the first corner first. The returning Pat Doran (Citroen DS3) made a lunge in the first turn for the lead and collided with O’Donovan, leaving Godfrey free to take the lead ahead of Colin Anson (Ford KA) and Steve Harris (Ford Focus). Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) made a similar move to that of Doran’s on lap two, colliding with Harris and putting the Focus man out. The race was stopped, and when re-started, only three undamaged cars took to the start. Godfrey dominated, finishing over half a minute ahead of Simon Horton (Subaru Impreza). Colin Anson retired on the last lap and finished third. Guy Corner (Peugeot 206) won the SuperNational final, while reigning champion Graham Rodemark (Suzuki Swift) took victory in the Suzuki Swift category. Charlie Bean (Suzuki Swift) won the junior version to take the lead of the championship. Phil Chicken (Citroen C2) won the single car Super1600 final after Jack Thorne (Citroen C2) failed to start, Tomasz Marciniak won the Hot Hatch class and Ray Morgan (Ford Escort) took the honors in the Retro Rallycross division.

Gymkhana star Ken Block was fastest at every stage of the fifth round of the GRC in Charlotte, and led the final from start to finish to win his first event of the season, just a week after Tanner Foust has broken his American victory drought in New York. Nelson Piquet Jr progressed through the last chance qualifier to finish third and maintain his championship lead over fellow former F1 driver Scott Speed (VW Polo), who finished fifth. Unusually, the reg flag was only shown once in the final, after a pile up at the first attempt. Joni Wiman (Ford Fiesta) finished fourth with Bucky Lasek (Subaru Impreza) sixth. Steve Arpin (Ford Fiesta), Tanner Foust (VW Polo), Brian Deegan (Ford Fiesta) and Austin Dyne (Ford Fiesta) failed to make it to the finish. Mitchell DeJong took victory in the GRC Lites division ahead of brothers Kevin and Oliver Eriksson, the latter making his first appearance in only his second rallycross event.

The seventh round of the French Championship hosted the Rallycross Challenge at Kerlebo, where as expected the event was dominated by Frenchman. Fabien Pailler (Peugeot 208) hounded Cristophe Jouet (Citroen DS3) in the early stages, the latter eventually winning the Supercar final, while a driveshaft failure caused a non-finish for Pailler, his brother Jonathan claimed the second place finish at the finish with Herve Knapick (Citroen DS3) third. Fabien Paillers’ breakage could have proved decisive in the championship chase, but he actually extended his lead thanks to bad luck for title rival Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Citroen C4), who clashed with Christophe Wilt (Citroen C4) in the semi finals, neither would progress to the final. Former champion Laurent Chartrain (Citroen C2) returned to Super1600 competition and dominated, fastest in every heat, the semi final and final. Second was Cyril Raymond (Renault Twingo) with Andrea Dubourg (Renault Clio) rounding out the podium. Belgian WRC and World RX ace Francois Duval (Peugeot 307) raced in the Division Three category, and was top at the Intermediate Classification but a mistake in the final while chasing Christophe Saunois (Toyota Corolla) for the lead would leave him second, ahead of Henri Navail (Citroen DS3) who completed the podium. Emmanuel Anne (Renault Clio) won Division Four ahead of Steven Lefrancois (Peugeot 206) and Christophe Barbier (Peugeot 206), while Thomas Petit (renault Twingo) won the Twingo Cup final and heads the championship standings. Roman Castoral (Vauxhall Corsa) won the TouringCar category to close the gap championship leader Jos Sterkens (Volvo C30), who suffered technical troubles.

The Swedish Tomelilla MK club built and liveried folkrace cars to replicate Ramona Karlsson’s current Eklund Motorsport World RX Saab 93, and the infamous yellow and blue Clarion backed Saab that Per Eklund used in 2004. At an evening folkrace in Tomelilla, Karlsson, Eklund and Rolf Nilsson were invited to take part in the ‘celebrity race’. Nilsson was the only one of the trio to qualify for the semi finals where his event would finish, while Karlsson was thwarted by punctures in heat one and a black flag for aggressive driving in heat two and was out. Eklund finished third in both of his heat races and just missed out on the semi finals. While at the event, Karlsson and Eklund spoke with youngsters about their own motorsport careers, how to get involved and getting sponsorship.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship will feature a September event at the Circuit de Barcelona in Catalunya in Spain next year. The track will be the sixth new circuit introduced to the series by promoters IMG so far, and will join the Istanbul Park as an F1 come rallycross venue. “This is extremely positive news for our Championship. It’s a new market for us and the organisers in Barcelona have worked extremely hard to help get this project off the ground. ,” said Martin Anayi. “The team are very experienced having previously brought X Games to the city so I have no doubt that the same level of professionalism will be delivered in our Championship. Work will shortly be underway on the new rallycross track and I’m excited by the prospect of a World RX race in one of the world’s major economic and sporting hubs.”

The entry list for the seventh round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship was revealed this week. A notable wildcard entrant is three time European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen in his Subaru Rally Team USA Subaru Impreza. The Norwegian hasn’t raced in the series since winning the final round of the 2011 championship in his Ford Focus. “I’m very excited for Canada and to compete again against some of the same teams and under the same race format from my years in Europe,” said Isachsen. “We have put so much effort into developing the Subaru from scratch into something very competitive now, I hope for a good result.” Patrick Carpentier will join Tanner Foust in a pair of wildcard Marklund Motorsport VW Polos, while former Super1600 driver Joni Wiman will race the OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta that he drives in the GRC. Henning Solberg will also be in action in Canada, taking Liam Doran’s seat in the Monster Energy World RX Team.




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