Ekstrom beats Solberg at Lydden Hill while Lukander wins in Finland
by Hal Ridge |
Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3) was the dominant force at the fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill in the UK, until the final, where Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) executed a better tyre strategy to claim his third win in a row, beating Solberg to the finish line while the Norwegian struggled on spent rubber. Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) claimed his maiden podium of the season, finishing just meters ahead of younger brother Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208) who celebrated his 18th Birthday on the Saturday of the event and claimed his best result to date on Sunday. Timur Timerzyanov (Ford Fiesta) had his best outing for some time but was slowed by broken power steering in the final, while Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Focus) was on the pace through the weekend but suffered from driveline problems at the start of the final. He did finish, in sixth. Reigning British RX champion Julian Godfrey rolled in the opening qualifying race of the weekend but repaired his Ford Fiesta to complete the rest of the weekend, while Guy Wilks (Ford Fiesta) and Liam Doran (Mini RX) struggled, Wilks making his first appearance in an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta and Doran running a two-litre engine in the JRM Racing Mini for the first time.
In the RX Lites Cup, Cyril Raymond claimed his first international victory while Thomas Bryntesson climbed back to second after struggling in the qualification races. Simon Olofsson finished third. In the Super1600 division, Ulrik Linnemann (Peugeot 208) dominated the event until rolling his car into a stationary car in the semi-finals. Krisztian Szabo (Skoda Fabia) won the final, ahead of Artis Baumanis (Renault Twingo) and Josef Susta (Skoda Fabia). Ernestas Staponkus (VW Polo) and Timur Shigabutdinov (Renault Twingo) came together in the first corner, the latter retiring on the spot.
A series of on-track Group B demonstrations also took place at the British round of World RX, where Will Gollop’s 1992 European Championship winning car was used on a rallycross track for the first time in years, much to the delight to the British crowd.
Toni Lukander (Mitsubishi Evo) won the second round of the Finnish Rallycross Championship at former European Championship venue, Kouvola, with Ville Mikkola (Ford Escort) second and Jere Kalliokoski (Skoda Fabia) completing the podium. Former Euro RX Supercar podium finisher Jussi-Petteri Leppihalme competed in a Mitsubishi Mirage, he failed to finish but was classified fourth with Aki Karttunen (Honda Civic) also failing to finish in fifth. Enough Supercars to run A, B, C and D finals took part in the event; some of the regular front-runners ending up down the order. Karttunen leads the championship.
Jussi Klemola (Ford Escort) won the Supernational final despite jumping the start at the first attempt. Tomi Koirkivi (Volvo S40) and Peter Helenius (Volkswagen Sirocco) also finished on the winners rostrum. Eklund Motorsport European Championship racer and former Finnish Champion Joni-Pekka Rajala finished fifth in a Ford Fiesta, climbing up from the B final.
The third round of the Norwegian Rallycross Championship took place at Gardermoen. Espen Isaksaetre (Citroen Saxo) took victory in Supernational Class 1, European Rallycross TouringCar front-runner Ben Philip Gundersen (Ford Fiesta) won in Supernational Class 2, Atle Aamodt (Ford Fiesta) claimed the spoils in Supernational Class 3 and Terje Morstad (BMW) won the A final in Supernational Class 4. In the Junior Rallycross Cup, Helene Hvaal (Honda Civic) was victorious.
It’s a busy weekend of rallycross this weekend, the third round of the French Rallycross Championship is held at Faleyras, the third round of the Global Rallycross Championship takes place in Dallas, Texas, the second round of the RallyX Nordic Championship is held in Arvika and Greinbach in Austria hosts the latest rounds of the CEZ, Hungarian and Austrian Rallycross Championships.
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