Larsson wins in Argentina, Solberg claims title and Steffen graduates to Supercar
by Hal Ridge |
Robin Larsson and Petter Solberg shared the headlines at the final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Rosario in Argentina. Solberg (Citroen DS3) qualified fourth at the Intermediate Classification to be assured of his second World RX title in a row, while Larsson (Audi A1) won the first semi-final and beat Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) to the first corner in the final. The Swede fended off the attentions of Hansen and then Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) throughout the race to claim his first World RX win. Ekstrom finished second with Solberg third.
Janis Baumanis (Ford Fiesta) made his first start for the World RX Team Austria team and finished fourth – the team’s second ever final finish, while Hansen spun out on the fourth lap. Kevin Hansen, younger brother to Timmy, made his Supercar debut in an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta as prize for winning the RX Lites Cup and impressed by making the final, but retired after contact with his sibling’s Peugeot when the older of the pair spun. Davy Jeanney (Peugeot 208) just missed the final with fourth in semi-final two, while Manfred Stohl (Ford Fiesta) suffered accident damage and Anton Marklund (Audi S1) crashed out. In the first semi-final, top qualifier Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta) crashed out early in the race at the Joker Lap split, while Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo) retired with engine failure. Ole Christian Veiby had made the semi-finals but withdrew to allow team mate into the semis and as such secured third pace in the championship ahead of Bakkerud.
Former WRC driver Frederico Villagra (Ford Fiesta) won the penultimate round of the Argentine CarX Rallycross Championship in the Maxi Category, which ran as support to World RX at Rosario. Augusto D’Agostini (VW Golf) finished second with Hernan Kim (Ford Fiesta) third. Miguel Baldoni (Peugeot 208) who made his World RX debut in 2014 in a Hedstroms Motorsport Skoda Fabia finished sixth, while Marcelo Bugliotti (Citroen DS3) was excluded for dangerous driving. In the N4 category, Alejandro Levy (Mitsubishi Evo) in the category dominated by the popular Group N machine, with Leonardo Nazareno (Mitsubishi Evo) and Julio Gomez (Mitsubishi Evo). Walter D’Agostini (Mitsubishi Evo) was penalised for not taking his Joker Lap.
The Andros Trophy championship gets underway this weekend at Val Thorens, where sporadic rallycross driver Jean-Philippe Dayraut will once again be the man to beat. Driving for the Mazda France team, Dayraut will be joined by Marklund Motorsport World RX driver Toomas Heikkinen. Euro RX brothers Jean-Baptiste and Andrea Dubourg will race a pair of Renault Clios, run by DA Racing, and will be joined by French Championship Supercar driver Christophe Jouet.
European Championship Super1600 driver Andreas Steffen will graduate to Supercar next season in a Ford Fiesta to compete in Euro RX and at least the two German rounds of World RX at the Estering and Hockenheim. Steffen’s Fiesta was constructed by Dutchman Jos Kuypers. “It was always my aim to start race in Supercar with a competitive car and I am proud to present my new project. We will begin extensive testing in the next weeks and months, to be well positioned in time for the season opener of Euro RX next year,” said Steffen.
The FIA Awards Gala takes place tonight (Friday) takes place this evening, where Petter Solberg will claim his World Championship title and Team Peugeot-Hasnen will collected the Teams Championship crown.
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