Hansen wins in Italy as Solberg seals World Rallycross title

by Hal Ridge |

The tenth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Franciacorta in Italy was all about winners for both the event and the championship. Timmy Hansen scored the first win of the year for Team Peugeot-Hansen, while Petter Solberg amassed enough points to ensure him his second FIA World Championship. The European champions in each division were also crowned.

The Peugeot-Hansen squad have been the most consistent team over the last three events and it was no different come the final stages of proceedings in Italy. Timmy Hansen topped the Intermediate Classification and won semi-final one to line up on pole for the final. He was joined on the front row by team mate Timur Timerzyanov, who also won his semi. Solberg started third, a day two fightback went to plan for the Norwegian, he was fastest in heat three and second fastest in heat four to be third at the Intermediate and finish second to Hansen in his semi-final. Hansen made the best start in the final to claim the first corner, Timerzyanov slotted into second with Solberg third. Andreas Bakkerud also put a difficult day one behind him to make the final and ran fourth in the early stages ahead of Johan Kristoffersson and Richard Goransson, who took his joker on the first lap. Timerzyanov’s challenge was effectively over at the end of lap one, his Peugeot 208 picking up a puncture. Solberg was up to second, and within yards Goransson was elevated to third after both Bakkerud and Kristoffersson retired.

Solberg took his joker on lap two and returned to the main circuit second in his pursuit of Hansen. All Solberg needed to do was finish in the top three to secure the title with Toomas Heikkinen and Reinis Nitiss both failing to make the final, but, never one to shy away from drama, Solberg kept things interesting… He took one of the circuit’s jumps too fast on lap three, landing hard and breaking the rear suspension, a problem that has reoccured for the PSRX team a few times since Belgium in July. Goransson seized second, while Solberg pushed as hard as he could with a wounded car. Unchallenged up front, Hansen crossed the finish line to earn his second career Supercar win. Goransson finished second on his Supercar debut while Solberg came home third and wrapped up the first ever World Rallycross Championship. Timerzyanov finished fourth.

Heikkinen had looked on to take the title to next round in Turkey in the semi-final, but suffered a mechanical problem and dropped out of the qualification positions for the final. Robin Larsson entered the Italian event with a ten point lead in the FIA European Rallycross Championship standings and beat rival Henning Solberg at the Intermediate Classification to win the championship, following in his father Lars’ footsteps who won the title in 2006 and 2007. The young Swede is the first son of a former champion to win the crown in the headline Supercar division. Starting on the back row of his semi-final, Larsson was keen to push for a position in the final but broke a driveshaft on the start line. Former WRC driver Gigi Galli was one of the star performers in the event in an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta. Never out of the top eight, he almost made it all the way to the final but just missed out by one position in the semi’s.

Sergej Zagumennov wrapped up the Super1600 European Championship at the final round, title rival Nikita Misyulya won the event. Swede Daniel Lundh has led the TouringCar division for much of the year and a podium in Italy was enough to confirm him as champion. The event also played host to the penultimate round of the RX LItes Cup. Daniel Holten won the event, but it was Kevin Eriksson who scored enough points in second position to earn his first rallycross championship.



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