Ekstrom extends lead, wins for Kuchar, Ovenden & Graham

Seven days in rallycross, May 12

by Hal Ridge |

On a weekend where he jumped between his DTM Audi commitments and the defence of his World Rallycross Championship crown, Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) won both his semi-final and the final at Hockenheim to extend his Championship lead. Ekstrom led the final from start to finish, chased by Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo). Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) fought back from a mistake on the final lap of his semi-final where he went off while in the lead to complete the podium, as Petter Solberg (Volkswagen Polo) and Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot 208) fought over fourth place, Loeb taking his joker on the final lap allowing Solberg to take the position. Toomas Heikkinen (Audi S1) made a pair of brilliant starts in the semi-final and final from the back of the grid and finished sixth. Less than 20 minutes after leaving the World RX podium, Ekstrom began Sunday Qualifying for the second DTM race of the weekend (and was 10th fastest).

Tomasz Kuchar (Citroen C4) won the third round of the Central European Zone Rallycross Championship at Torun ahead of Mikolaj Otto (Mitsubishi Lancer) and Gracjan Duda (Subaru Impreza). Maxiej Palczewski (Subaru Impreza) was fourth while Dariusz Topolewski (Mitsubishi Evo) didn’t finish the final. Czech Republic driver Josef Korinek (Skoda Citigo) won the Super1600 final from David Gerencser (Suzuki Swift) and Jakub Wyszynski (Citroen C2). Pawel Melon (BMW E46) was victorious in the SuperTouringCars+ final and Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) won yet again in the SuperTouringCars- division.

Tristan Ovenden (Renault Clio) won the second round of the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship on Saturday at Pembrey as a warm-up the British Championship racing on the revised layout at the venue next month, before Tommy Graham (Ford Escort) claimed victory the following day. Guy Corner (Peugeot 206) finished second in round two while Allan Tapscott (Vauxhall Corsa) completed the podium. Corner retired from the final on Sunday after contact with Graham, Tapscott finishing second and Michael Labedz (Ford Fiesta) was third. Irishman Keith Kerrshaawe (Peugeot 106) won on both days in the Production category, while Simon Horton (Subaru Impreza) and Mad Mark Watson (Citroen Xsara) took a win apiece in the Clubmans Supercar finals. Roger Thomas (Opel Astra) made his debut in the ex-Christohper Evans winning car and scored a brace of podiums. Willie Farrell (Subaru Impreza) won on both days in the Production 4×4 category and Brian Hardman (Ford Escort) was unbeaten in the Historic finals. Tom Constantine also claimed a pair of wins in the Junior category, before Ole Henry Steinsholt won the ‘weekend’ final extra race for the Junior drivers.

The World Rallycross Championship supported the first ever FIA Volunteers day, celebrating those who dedicate their time to make motor sport possible around the world. Capitalising on a packed weekend of FIA competition – six headline race events will raise awareness and give thanks to the volunteers who carry out the wide variety of essential roles without which the events would simply not happen. World RX joined Formula E, Formula 1, World Touring Car Championship and the European Truck Racing Championship in the celebrations.

The RX2 International Series gets underway in Belgium this weekend, the category re-branded for 2017 from the previous RX Lites Cup for 2017. In first Free Practice on Friday evening, reigning British Rallycross Champion Dan Rooke was fastest. Petter Solberg was quickest of the World RX runners in the first hour-long session. Super1600 and TouringCar began their race weekends with Q1 where it was a Volland Racing one-two in Super1600 with Artis Baumanis (Skoda Fabia) leading Krisztian Szabo (Skoda Fabia). Former champion Lars-Oivind Enerberg (Ford Fiesta) was fastest in TouringCar ahead of reigning champion Ben-Philip Gundersen (Ford Fiesta), starting his first event of the year after failing scrutineering at round one in Spain.

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