Solberg leads into final day of World Rallycross ’14

by Hal Ridge |

Saturday 29th November 2014; the second day at the final round of the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship. Heading into day two in Argentina, champion Petter Solberg heads the order. Amazingly, it’s the first time the Norwegian has topped the standings after two heats all year.

Solberg won the first heat yesterday afternoon, but was beaten in his second heat race by OlsbergsMSE driver Reinis Nitiss, who sits second in the Intermediate Classification before heat three. Team position is crucial at the end of this event – to decide who wins the Teams Championship between Marklund Motorsport, OlsbergsMSE and Team Peugeot-Hansen. Marklund’s Toomas Heikkinen is third heading into day two, with Ford’s Andreas Bakkerud fourth. Bakkerud had a strong heat two race, taking his joker lap early and catching Petter Solberg when the champion took his, only to run deep into the penultimate corner of the lap and relinquish the place.

Peugeot drivers Timmy Hansen and Timur Timerzyanov are fifth and sixth overall, Hansen having a strong run in heat one but was stuck in traffic in heat two. Newboy and possibly the most impressive performer on day one, Kevin Eriksson is seventh. The young Swede makes his debut in San Luis as prize for winning the RX Lites Cup, and backed up a strong practice time with a impressive performance in the first two heats. He would be higher up the order, but for a couple of mistakes in his two races.

New PSRX recruit Manfred Stohl is put on an impressive display of car control in San Luis on his World RX debut and is the quickest of all of Solberg’s team mates this season, he is ninth overall. Albatec Racing’s Andy Scott is again inside the qualification places for the semi-finals in 10th, one place up on countryman Liam Doran who had problems in the first heat with a misfire and could do nothing to fend off the attentions of Belgian driver Jos Jansen. With has car back on song for heat two, he was seventh fastest to be 11th overall. LD Motorsports stablemate Derek Tohill had a torrid day, compounded by a stall on the start line in heat two, before picking up a puncture. Fellow Irishman Ollie O’Donovan makes his third World RX start of the season in Argentina, but his first for Albatec Racing and is just one place out of the qualification for the semi-finals in 13th, behind local driver Miguel Baldoni, who drives a Hedstroms Motorsport Skoda Fabia.

While one Solberg tops the order, another props ups the standings, older brother Henning had an impressive first lap of the weekend on the very first lap of heat one where he hung onto Timmy Hansen despite no previous running. He would suffer power steering problems later in the race, and failed to start heat two.




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