Kristoffersson & Larsson conquer Hell; Ekstrom likely to miss Holjes

Seven days in rallycross, June 16

by Hal Ridge |

Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo) claimed his second World Rallycross Championship victory of the season at Hell in Norway to extend his lead in the championship standings, winning the final by taking his joker on the opening lap, passing lap one leader Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Focus) when he took his joker on lap two and then clearing Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot 208) and Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) when they took their jokers on the final tour. Kristoffersson’s victory was despite him having a swollen right foot all weekend, from when it was run over by Loeb’s Peugeot in the pre-grid area on Friday, which was being pushed at the time. Bakkerud finished top of the Intermediate Classification and took a lap one joker from pole position in the semi-final, forcing fellow front-row starter Petter Solberg (Volkswagen Polo) wide into the extra route, who was then pushed wider still by Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208) and Timo Scheider (Ford Fiesta), and didn’t make the final. Bakkerud finished second to Kristoffersson in the final with Loeb completing the podium, Ekstrom fourth, Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) fifth after a heavy crash in Q3 and Timur Timerzyanov (Ford Fiesta) sixth.

The second round of the European Rallycross Championship took place in Norway, where 2014 champion Robin Larsson (Audi A1) won ahead of Anton Marklund (Volkswagen Polo) and Alexander Hvaal (Volkswagen Polo). Tamas Pal Kiss (Peugeot 208) had crossed the finish line second, but was handed a five-second penalty for contact with Marklund after his joker lap and dropped to fifth, behind Peter Hedstrom (Volkswagen Polo) in fourth. Tommy Rustad (Peugeot 208) retired from the final with rear suspension dramas. Cyril Raymond won his third round of the RX2 International series ahead of Tanner Whitten and Dan Rooke, who swapped positions to where they had finished in Belgium. Lars-Oivind Enerberg (Ford Fiesta) won the TouringCar final after a fifth lap joker allowed him to jump leader Phillip Gehrman (Ford Fiesta) for the win. Fredrik Magnussen (Ford Fiesta) finished third.

Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) won the second round of the Dutch Rallycross Championship at Valkenswaard, leading home a pair of BMW drivers in the shape of Stefan Vaesen (BMW E36) and Stephanie Lingen (BMW E36 M3) in the SuperTouringCars+ category. There are no Supercars competing in the series this year, in part due to noise restrictions governing the circuit. Johan Jacobs (Ford Mondeo) finished fourth in the venerable Mondeo, with Roel Verhoeven (BMW M3) fifth and Tom Meeusen (Mitsubishi Lancer) sixth. In the SuperTouringCar- category, Mandy Kasse (Ford Fiesta) claimed victory in her Euro RX TouringCar specification machine, with former European Champion Ron Snoeck (Volvo C30) second and Bart Coninx (Seat Ibiza) third. It was an all-Belgian podium in the Super1600 division, Pascal Roumans (Ford Fiesta) winning from Joel Strackx (Honda Civic) and Davy Van Den Branden (Citroen DS3). Filip Wojtowicz won the RST Junior Cup final. Jordi van Weet was second and Jari van Hoof completed the podium.

The third round of the RXAus Australian Rallycross series took place at Stanthorpe’s Carnell Raceway in Queensland, where Justin Dowel (Hyundai i20) and Arron Windus (Mazda 2) claimed victories in the four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive Super Finals respectively, with the finals decided by joker lap tactics. In the four-wheel drive division, Dowel won after a day-long battle with Will Orders (Mitsubishi Lancer), who finished second. Dowel’s son Troy was third in a Volkswagen Polo. Arron Windus (Mazda 2) won the in the two-wheel drive division ahead of Mike Conway (Ford Escort), while Troy Dowel (Ford Fiesta) claimed his second podium of the weekend.

On Monday, Audi Sport revealed that Mattias Ekstrom is likely to miss his home round of World RX to race in the clashing round of DTM at Norisring. Following his fourth place finish at Hell last weekend, Ekstrom is second in the World RX standings, eight points behind leader Kristoffersson. The Swede has raced in both DTM and World RX in the double-header weekend for the two series at Hockenheim in the last two years, but missed the second Hockenheim date on the DTM schedule last year to race in World RX at the Estering, where he claimed his maiden world crown. A decision will be made as to whether Ekstrom will miss the Holjes event on the Monday before (June 26), with FIA rules allowing a driver change in a permanent World RX team to take place up until the Monday prior to each round. PG Andersson has been entered in Ekstrom’s Audi S1 Supercar and is likely to stand in.

The entry list for the Swedish round of World RX has been released, which includes entries from OlsbersgMSE. The team will field a pair of Ford Fiesta RX Supercars for Sebastian Eriksson and Oliver Eriksson, while one of its former Fiestas will be raced by Ari-Pekka Niemi in Euro RX. The Finn will campaign the car this weekend in Finland.

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