For the third time in 2015, Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) won in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, this time at the Istanbul Park in Turkey. Hansen led Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta) during the final and survived late pressure from the Norwegian to win. Bakkerud finished second at the event in which he passed Hansen for victory in 2014, while Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo) finished third. Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) dominated the heat stages but lost out to Bakkerud in the semi-finals and spun in the final when hit from behind by Davy Jeanney (Peugeot 208), as the pair avoided Anton Marklund (Audi S1) who was slow exiting the first lap loose hairpin, before retiring. Robin Larsson was quick all weekend and lost out in a dramatic semi-final two, which Hansen won. Reinis Nitiss had led semi-final two early on but was ruled out by gearbox problems, while Toomas Heikkinen missed out on the semi-finals, a legacy of a heavy heat three crash with Jeanney in which both were blameless. Rene Munnich made the semi-finals for the second time this season. Petter Solberg was forced to drive slowly through the semi-finals with a driveshaft failure and had his points lead to Hansen cut to 19 points.
In the RX Lites Cup, Thomas Bryntesson won for the fourth time in 2015. Kevin Hansen finished second and extended his points lead, while season long title rival Kevin Eriksson was unlucky to roll in the events first heat before being slowed by a driveshaft problem in the final. Former British Touring Car Championship race winner Tom Onslow-Cole completed the podium on his debut, the drive prize for winning the RX Talent Search at Lydden Hill in May.
Jos Jansen (Ford Focus) won the final round of the Belgian Rallycross Championship at Maasmechelen, he beat Jochen Coox (VW Scirocco) in the final but Coox had done enough to seal the title, Jansen having to settle for second place. Ron Snoeck finished third on his final Supercar outing with his Seat Leon, while Marcel Ottink (Skoda Fabia) finished fourth of the four starters. In Super1600 Thijs Heezen (Ford Fiesta) won the final ahead of Euro RX driver Davy Van Den Branden, who by qualifying for the title wrapped up another Belgian title. Dennis Remans (Ford Fiesta) had to leave the grid after twice jumping the start. Ford Escort driver Steve Volders won again and sealed the SuperNational+ crown. Former Supercar driver Michael De Keersmacher (Volvo 242) finished second with Mandy Kasse (BMW 325) third. The final had to be restarted after a huge crash for Danny De Beuckelaer (Opel Nova), for which Luc Maris (Volvo 242) received the black flag. In SuperNational- , Steven Stessens (Open Nova) won to beat Martijn Vanhove (BMW 1M), who finished second, to the title.
Ken Block (Ford Fiesta) headed to the penultimate weekend of the Global Rallycross Championship well in contention for the series title, but a heavy roll on day one and puncture on day two in Barbados put him out of the running. Scott Speed (Volkswagen Beetle) was another to have heavy contact on day one, he collided with Patrick Sandell (Ford Fiesta) but both recovered to cross the finish line, before Sandell was handed a penalty and dropped to 10th. 2014 champion Joni Wiman (Ford Fiesta) was classified third. Speed scored a second podium finish on day two to remain in the title hunt with one round to go, but the weekend was dominated by his team mate, Tanner Foust (VW Beetle), who took a pair of victories and the points lead heading into the final round. Nelson Piquet (Ford Fiesta) joined the VW pair on the podium on day two. In the Supercar Lites category, OlsbergsMSE drivers Oliver Eriksson and Austin Cindric both took a win and a second place finish and are separated by three points in the championship. Both will compete at the final round of the RX Lites Cup in Italy next week.
Italian motorsport star Gigi Galli ran his new Kia Rio Supercar for the first time at a media day at Franciacorta on Wednesday ahead of the debut for the new machine at his home round of World RX. “The car has shown good character immediately, and now we just have to take it to the race and develop it a bit at a time,” said Galli. “I don’t want to talk about results yet because that would be very premature. We have a lot to do before we get to the point where you can think about winning.” Former F1 and WTCC driver Gianni Morbidelli will also compete at his home round of World RX, driving for the Munnich Motorsport team, replacing Alx Danielsson.
Many stars from the rallycross world will compete in the NGK Masters folkrace event in Karlstad, Sweden this weekend, which annually attracts hundreds of competitors fighting for a place in the event’s final. Timmy Hansen, Johan Kristoffersson, Sebastian Eriksson, Eric Faren, Kevin Eriksson, Robin Larsson and Peter Hedstrom will all compete, as will RallyX Nordic Lites driver Wiliam Nilsson. This gives us the opportunity to use a photo of WRC star Kris Meeke on his roof at the event in 2008.
World RX event winner Andreas Bakkerud will compete in the final round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship in the RX150 category, and in Sunday’s British Rallycross Grand Prix event, also in an RX150. He will be joined as a guest driver by Ryan Champion. “The World Championship is such a big focus for me that it is nice to sometimes race without any pressure, whatever the level. But, I know myself that as soon as I put the helmet on that I will want to win. I’m doing two days, so the second day I should have more experience. I’m really looking forward to a fun weekend”, said Bakkerud. The British title will be settled on Saturday in a number of categories, of note: Supercar, SuperNational, Swift Sport and Junior Swift are all yet to be settled.
The third round of the Argentine CARX Championship takes place at Cordoba for the first time this weekend. Federico Villagra currently leads the Maxi championship standings ahead of Miguel Baldoni, who raced a Skoda Fabia in his home round of World RX last season. Gonzalo Monarca leads the N4 category, just one point ahead of second place driver Alejandro Levy.
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