Loeb wins in Latvia as national championships enter final weekend

by Hal Ridge |

A single major rallycross event took place on the first weekend in October, but it was a special one as RA Events, organisers of the new Latvian round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship raised the standard for new circuits entering the series with a fabulous event at the historic Bikernieku Sports Complex venue in Riga.

With only one rallycross event taking place on that particular weekend, it was fitting that a man capable of claiming some of the biggest headlines, Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot 208), became the first Latvia RX winner with his maiden World Rallycross victory. Loeb won semi-final one ahead of top Intermediate Classification qualifier Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo) before leading the final from lights to flag, with EKS driver Mattias Ekstrom second to extend his championship lead to 27 points, now over Kristoffersson, while Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) completed the podium.


Ekstrom’s season-long title rival Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3) didn’t make the semi-finals for the first time in World RX history, following a black flag for contact with his rival in Q2 and then crashing into a tyre wall in Q3 with a steamed up windscreen. Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Focus) finished the final fourth, with Kristoffersson fifth. Timur Timerzyanov (Ford Fiesta) crashed out at the first corner.


In the final round of the FIA European Rallycroos Championship, outgoing champion Tommy Rustad (Peugeot 208) claimed his first win of the year, while champion Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208) clawed his way back from spinning at turn three of the final to finish second, with Hungarian Champion Tamas Pal Kiss (Peugeot 208) third. Sondre Evjen scored a maiden win in the RX Lites Cup category, while title contenders Cyril Raymond and Thomas Bryntesson both went out of the event in the semi-finals, Raymond claiming the title. Fredrik Magnussen (Ford Fiesta) won the TouringCar final from Magda Andersson (Ford Fiesta) and Philip Gehrman (Ford Fiesta).


On Monday, RX Lites Champion Raymond sampled the OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta Supercar he will race next week in Germany for the first time at a test in Latvia.


In the UK, Croft Circuit is currently undertaking work to the unsealed surface at the North Yorkshire venue ahead of the final round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship and MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix, which take place in two weeks’ time.


This weekend a number of rallycross championships hold their final rounds, including RallyX Nordic, Global, Hungarian and the Rallycross Challenge, while the penultimate round of the French Championship takes place at Dreux.




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