Kristoffersson’s eighth win, Nitiss is Euro RX champ, Baciuska takes S1600 lead. Plus Poland, BelNed and more

Seven days in rallycross 20 September

by Rallycross World |

16 September Johan Kristoffersson continues his record-breaking 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship season by capturing his eighth event win of the year. Kristoffersson was top qualifier – for a record sixth time – and won his semi-final on the way to another maximum point score. Mattias Ekstrom and Sebastien Loeb join Kristoffersson on the podium, Niclas Gronholm equalling his personal best in fourth place having run Loeb close.

The Latvian event also formed the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar in which Reinis Nitiss took the win and the title. Nitiss only needed to qualify for the semi-finals to be certain of the title, second in the Intermediate Classification he had locked the crown away before he rounded out the season with his third win. Cyril Raymond and Anton Marklund placed second and third on the day, and the other way around in the series.

The penultimate round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 was won by Rokas Baciuska who gave his new Audi A1 its first victory – and took a maximum points score – ahead of Aydar Nuriev and Josef Susta. The result put Baciuska eight points ahead of Nuriev entering the final round.

16 September The sixth round of the Polish Rallycross Championship takes place at Slomczyn where Marcin Gagacki (Fiesta) takes the win ahead of Tomasz Kuchar (Peugeot 208) and Mikolaj Otto (Mitsubishi Lancer). The event also forms round ten of the CEZ series but with none of the leading Supercar competitors making the trip, Kuchar’s win in the final (separate from the Polish series) has no bearing on Alois Holler’s series lead. Birgit Kuttner (Honda Civic) placed third in the up to 1600cc TouringCar class to maintain her CEZ points lead. Similarly Jan Ratajsky (Skoda Fabia) placed second in Super1600 to stay ahead in the CEZ battle. Martin Sindelek (Peugeot 207) won the two-litre TouringCar class but there were no CEZ challengers present in the over two-litre section where local racer Pawel Melon (BMW E46) won.

16 September The Dutch Championship was joined by the BelNed Cup and German Rallycross Championship at Valkenswaard. Among the visiting Germans, Bartlomiej Ruszczynski (Alfa Romeo 156) took the over two-litre win, Jens Barkhoff (VW Polo) the up to two-litre class and Sven Seeliger won in Super1600. Steve Otzer (Citroen Saxo) was again best of the BelNed Super1600 field while the Supernational victories were taken by Bart Coninx (Seat Ibiza) and Kristof Bex (Volvo S40).

19 September Audi confirms that World RX star Mattias Ekstrom (below) will take part in the rallycross event at Nitro World Games in Utah this weekend (22-23 September). “I’ve only seen the track itself on drawings so far. It largely consists of gravel, is very similar to a rallycross track and with its spectacular jumps offers plenty of suspense and action to the spectators,” Ekstrom said. The Swede will race a ‘first generation’ Audi S1 EKS RX which will be run by Comtoyou Racing – which acquired a pair of cars from EKS last winter. Timmy Hansen is also slated to drive in the event.

20 September Subaru Rally Team USA announces Toomas Heikkiken (below) as the driver for its third car in the fourth and final round of the Americas Rallycross Championship. The Finn has already tested the car and, on the back of a strong run in World RX of Latvia, will make his ARX debut in the car previously raced by Jacques Villeneuve, Travis Pastrana and David Higgins.

20 September World RX will not return to the Belgian track of Mettet in 2019. A statement issued by FIA World Rallycross Championship promoter IMG says that it has parted ways amicably with local organiser RUMESM which has hosted the event since 2014. Freddy Tacheny, Chairman of RUMESM, said: “Along with everybody involved in this event – from the organisers to our loyal partners and volunteers – we are very proud that Mettet’s Circuit Jules Tacheny was able to host the FIA World Rallycross Championship for five years, thanks to an excellent working relationship with IMG. It is with a sense of a job well done that we now close this exciting chapter in the history of our club and turn our attentions towards new sporting adventures.”

20 September ES Motorsport tests with Nassar Al-Attiyah and Kevin Abbring at Riga. It is the first time the new car has been tested on a rallycross track and the team reports that it is happy with progress.

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