Ekstrom’s Holjes World RX after Hansen’s last gasp move

by Hal Ridge |

The biggest event of the week is a predictable one, as the FIA World Rallycross Championship descended on Holjes in Sweden for its sixth round. The Magic Weekend is renowned for providing top class rallycross entertainment and the 2015 edition didn’t disappoint, the action going right down to the final corner of the last race of the weekend, where Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) passed Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) for the lead of the Supercar final, before being docked a position for making contact with his compatriot’s Audi. Ekstrom claimed his second World RX win while Hansen’s second place cements his place as the second most regular podium visitor in 2015 behind Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3) who broke his steering in the final and ended up in a gravel trap on the fifth lap. Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta) continued his run of final finishes and started on pole position, placing third for his first podium after nursing an engine problem. Toomas Heikkinen (VW Polo) put two difficult events behind him with fourth, while Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta) made it two OlsbergMSE cars in the top six.


Daniel Holten debuted the new Eklund Motorsport built Volkswagen Beetle and impressed on the car’s debut. He finished 19th, five places ahead of team owner, Per Eklund (Saab 93) who raced at the event just weeks after his 69th birthday. Liam Doran (Citroen DS3) would have made it into the semi-finals but suffered a misfiring engine in heat four, while Robin Larsson (Audi A1) had a disastrous weekend, his brand new engine expiring in the first heat. Thomas Bryntesson fended off the attentions of Kevin Hansen in the last corner of the final to win the RX Lites category, Hansen’s title rival Kevin Eriksson finished third. Latvian Janis Baumanis (Renault Clio) won in Super1600 ahead of Nikita Misyulya (Skoda Fabia) and Magnus Bergsjobrenden (Renualt Twingo). Fredrik Salsten (Citroen DS3) won his third event in succession in TouringCar with Fredrik Magnussen (Ford Fiesta) second and Magda Andersson (Ford Fiesta) third.

Liam Doran was back in form in Sweden, until engine problems struck on Sunday. © RallycrossWorld.com/Johan Dingenen

Ken Block (Ford Fiesta) won the fourth round of the American-based Global Rallycross Championship at MCAS New River. Swede Patrik Sandell (Ford Fiesta) led the final before the race was stopped after Brian Deegan (Ford Fiesta) crashed heavily on the fourth lap. The race was restarted for the remaining four laps to be completed, where Block took the lead and won to extend his margin at the top of the points table. Sandell finished second with Nelson Piquet Jr (Ford Fiesta) completing the podium. Swedish star Sebastien Eriksson (Ford Fiesta) remains second in the points but failed to finish inside the top four for the first time in 2015, he was classified ninth. In the 12-car field, Andretti Motorsport drivers Tanner Foust (VW Beetle) and Scott Speed (VW Beetle) were the only drivers not to make the final. Alex Keyes won the GRC Lites category.

Ken Block competes at Red Bull Global Rallycross, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA, on July 5, 2015 // Larry Chen / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20150706-00027 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

FIA World Rallycross Championship will feature in the new DiRT Rally. Available now in ‘Early Access’ the game was trialled in Sweden last weekend by a bunch of World RX pros with Andreas Bakkerud coming out best of the bunch.

The sixth round of the French Rallycross Championship takes place this weekend at Pont de Ruan, where European Championship team Albatec Racing will field a pair of Peugeot 208 Supercars for Finnish rally driver Kristian Sohlberg and French F1 commentator, Julian Febreau. The event will be the first of three with Albatec for Sohlberg, who will also race in the British Rallycross Championship at Pembrey next week in preparation for his World RX debut in Turkey later this season. “I’m very excited about this new challenge. I have no previous experience of a rallycross car, but I’m very quick to adapt and learn new things so I’m confident I’ll learn to handle the phenomenal acceleration of a Supercar,” said Sohlberg. “One of the biggest challenges will be to race with other cars on the track on the same time. I have done some circuit racing with endurance cars 10 years ago, but it’s still something very new to me.” Christophe Wilt (Citroen DS3) currently leads the French championship in Supercar, just one point ahead of Gaetan Serazin (Peugeot 208).


The opening round of the NEZ (North European Zone) Championship will run at Vilkyciai Trasa, Lithuania as part of the Lithuanian Rallycross Championship. The event will also include the second round of the Rallycross Challenge Europe. Austrian World RX regular Max Pucher (Ford Fiesta), Jos Jansen (Ford Focus) and Roman Stepanenko (Citroen C4) are the event’s leading entries.


And if you want something just a little different, SMK Motala’s Folkrace Festival takes place in Sweden next week, July 15-19. Last year’s event, won by Tobias Svard, had 700 starters (and 15,000 spectators). With four days of qualifying races ahead of finals on the last day, no-one is going to get an easy ride in this one. The event is also running a lottery to win a folkrace car built by Ljungbergs Motorsport, tickets sold in aid of the charity My Big Day.






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