Kristoffersson stems Ekstrom’s run, Villagra tops CARX in Uruguay

by Tim Whittington |

Johan Kristoffersson brought an end to Mattias Ekstrom’s winning streak in the FIA World Rallycross Championship by claiming honours in the fourth round of the championship at Mettet in Belgium.

The Swede was fastest in three of the four qualifying races and top qualifier, but beaten by Timmy Hansen in the first semi-final. Kristoffersson’s PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team mate Petter Solberg won the second semi and the three drivers featured in the final during which Hansen passed Solberg and built a good lead as the rest of the field chased Ekstrom. Ultimately Kristoffersson edged out Hansen after the latter’s Peugeot suffered a puncture in the last lap, Solberg placing third.

Ekstrom placed fourth after taking a last lap Joker. Kevin Eriksson made it to the final for the first time this year in his MJP Racing Team Austria Fiesta, sixth place going to Andreas Bakkerud who ended his race as a spectator, his Focus RS RX knocked into the wall after being side-swiped by Solberg who half-spun when challenged by Hansen.


The Belgian event formed the first event for the rebranded RX2 series in which 2016 RX Lites Champion Cyril Raymond emerged as best of the 17 starters. British Rallycross Champion Dan Rooke opened his season with second place, ahead of US-racer Tanner Whitten.

The FIA European Championships for Super1600 and TouringCar were also on the bill at Mettet, Kasparas Navickas taking the Super1600 victory after the final was red-flagged after Artis Baumanis crashed while leading. Former champion Lars Oivind Enerberg returned to the top of the podium in TouringCar where he led home Anders Braten and round one winner Philip Gehrman.

After a delayed start to the season caused by the postponement of round one at Catamarca where extreme weather led to evacuations ten days ahead of race weekend, the Argentine rallycross championship started last weekend at Punta del Este in Uruguay.

On a track set out on Jaguel airfield Federico Villagra won the Maxi Rally class, the 2016 CARX champion leading home Facu Chapur and Hernan Kim. The N4 category featured local rally star Gustavo Trelles who adapted quickly in his first rallycross and took the class win ahead of brothers Diego and Alejandro Levy. The Junior victory was claimed by Pablo Pelaez who climbed to the top step of the podium in his first event. Martin Aranzabe took second place with Jorge Mariano third.

RX Australia returned to Marulan for the second round of its 2017 season. Round one winner Will Orders lost the Superfinal win to Steve Glenney in close race that was finally settled in the last corner as Orders ran a little wide and Glenney, who’d led throughout, slipped by on the exit of the Joker Lap to go ahead again.

Lydden Hill is gearing-up to celebrate its place as the ‘home of rallycross’ and the 50th anniversary of the first ever rallycross event with cars from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s scheduled to run on-track during next week’s World RX event. Group B cars will lead the charge, circuit owner Pat Doran at the wheel of his RS200 while Enda Garvey will drive his ex-Will Gollop Metro 6R4 BiTurbo – both cars in their iconic 1992 liveries. David Halford is scheduled to join then in his ex-Herbert Breiteneder Quattro S1. Rob Russell will bring the Porsche 911 used by Vic Elford to win the first event in 1967, Roy Edwards who drove in the first event will take his Escort Mk1 and “Jumping” Jeff Williamson will wheel out his ex-works Mini among a field expected to number 20 cars.

Entries for World RX of Norway have been revealed. Multiple Finnish champion Joni Pekka Rajala joins the World RX field in Vaaranmaa Racing’s Mitsubishi Mirage while French irregulars Guerlain Chicherit and “Knapick” are joined by compatriot Laurent Bouliou making his first start in the ex-Kevin Hansen Peugeot 208. There are 33 entries in Euro RX, so 55 Supercars in total for the event which also features  RX2 and TouringCar.

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