Hansen wins in France as RallyX Nordic enters final weekend

by Hal Ridge |

For the second event in a row, Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) showed the FIA World Rallycross Championship field a clean pair of heels at Loheac in France. Hansen claimed maximum points from the event by finishing top at the Intermediate Classification before winning the first semi-final and final. World Championship leader Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3) finished second at the Intermediate stage, won the second semi-final and finished second to Hansen in the final, the Norwegian fending off a challenge from Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Dubourg. Driving his ex-Davy Jeanney Citroen C4, Dubourg had a brilliant run to his first World RX podium. Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo) finished fourth ahead of Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1), who crawled through the final with a broken driveshaft. Robin Larsson (Audi A1) ran as high as third after the first corner but was forced to retire with a broken clutch. World Touring Car Championship star Yvan Muller made his rallycross debut at the event and set top ten heat times in his Albatec Racing Peugeot 208. The Frenchman had a spin in heat two and failed to make it to the semi-finals. British drivers Liam Doran (Citroen DS3) and Guy Wilks (Mini RX) both showed good pace but were ruled out of good results by mechanical troubles.

Hansen won second event in a row. ©RallycrossWorld.com/World RX

Ulrik Linnemann (Peugeot 208) won the Super1600 final at the French round of the front-wheel drive European Championship, and described the win as the highlight of his career. Andrea Dubourg (Renault Clio) finished second, with Russian Timur Shigabutdinov (Renault Clio) third. Italian driver Davide Medici (Renault Clio) had his best run to date, made the final and finished fourth, while Egor Sanin (Renault Clio) made his Euro RX debut and would have finished on the podium but for a puncture.

Steve Glenney (Mitsubishi Evo) won the opening round of the Australian Extreme Rallycross Championship at Brisbane. Former World Rally star Alister McRae (Supercar Lites) finished second with Anthony Brose (Suzuki Jimny) third. In the two-wheel drive category, Greg Mammen (Excel) led home Luke Page (Excel) and Steve Hay (Excel).

The fifth and final round of the Rallyx Nordic championship takes place this weekend at Sovalla, where the series joins the Swedish Touring Car Championship. OlsbergsMSE driver Kevin Eriksson (Ford Fiesta) leads the points race and just needs to qualify for the finals to seal the crown. Tied on points with Sebastian Eriksson (Ford Fiesta) at the top of the table, Kevin is almost guaranteed the crown as Sebastian is away competing in the Global Rallycross Championship this weekend. Euro RX drivers Peter Hedstrom (Ford Fiesta) and Ramona Karlsson (VW Scirocco) will race at the event before heading to Barcelona for the penultimate Euro RX event next week. In Thursday’s free practice sessions at Sovalla, Eriksson set the benchmark.

In the Supercar Lites category, Kevin Hansen and Tobias Brink are tied for the lead of the series. Brink rolled his car in free practice but it will be repaired in time for heat one, while both will be aiming to overhaul Thomas Bryntesson for final round victory, the Norwegian newbie having been the dominant force in recent events. Also in action at the Swedish event will be Johan Kristoffersson, who will continue his campaign in the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia. Currently unbeaten all year, Kristoffersson wrapped up the title at the previous round.

Two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider will replace Rene Munnich in the Munnich Motorsport team at the Spanish round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship next week in Barcelona. Munnich will miss the event to race in the TCR International Series in Singapore. Scheider joined the Munnich team at Loheac to get a flavor of rallycross competition, and tested for the squad on Monday at the venue. Rene Munnich didn’t make it to the end of the Loheac event, ruled out by engine problems, so Scheider used the team’s other car at the test, usually driven by Alx Danielsson.

We are sad to note the recent death of rallycross driver Mike Wood. Having raced in the 1970s, Wood returned to the sport in second half of the 1980s, racing a two-litre rear-wheel drive Escort III in British events. Having been a frequent visitor to events in Belgium and Holland, Wood switched to the Euro2000 category when it was launched and raced in it for several seasons before calling time on motor sport. Suffering several illnesses in recent years, Wood died on August 13 aged 66 after suffering a brain haemorrhage. We extend our sympathies to his family and friends.






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