8 October / In the first day of a double-header at Spa-Francorchamps Johan Kristoffersson takes his fifth event win of the year, but is again made to work hard for the victory. Timmy Hansen was top qualifier after winning Heat Two and pipping Niclas Gronholm who won in Heat One. Kristoffersson was third in the ranking and third again in Semi-Final Two, placing behind Gronholm and Kevin Hansen and going to the final as best ranked of the third placed finishers. In SF1 Timmy Hansen won but the order was shuffled after Klara Andersson was disqualified. When Rene Munnich then became a non-starter, Gustav Bergstrom went into the final in which he would eventually place third – earning the reward for sticking with it and going the full distance. Timmy Hansen was skittled out of the lead in first lap, Kristoffersson slipping through the chaos at Raidillon like a greased piglet and then running home with the win. Kevin Hansen placed second ahead of Bergstrom, Timmy H and Gronholm who was penalised for the first lap incident and dropped from fourth place as a result.
9 October / For the second day running Timmy Hansen topped the qualifying order at Spa-Francorchamps only to be undone in the final phase of the event, this time a spin in Semi-Final One ending his run while Kristoffersson, second in the ranking, won SF2 and then led from start to finish in the final. The day was better for Niclas Gronholm whose broke in Heat One, but who then fought back, winning SF1 and then placing second in the final. Gustav Bergstrom placed third, completing an excellent weekend in Belgium, while Kevin Hansen and OC Veiby completed the finishers.
The FIA RX2e Championship reached the fourth of its five events and with the pack seemingly more evenly matched than ever, raced closely all weekend. Patrick O’Donovan was second in the ranking, won SF2 and then got ahead early in the final. Leaving his Joker until the last lap, O’Donovan hung on to take the win by 0.150s, defeating local favourite Viktor Vranckx and keeping at least a slim mathematical chance of winning the title alive. Vranckx was fifth in the ranking but won SF1 and then hounded O’Donovan through the final. Top qualifier Isak Sjokvist was out of the running after a first lap incident that Raul Ferre survived to place fourth as Pablo Suarez achieved a season’s best third place.
Anton Marklund arrived in Belgium as champion-elect in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX1. With the title in his pocket, Marklund was at his relaxed best and was beaten only in Heat One. Out front in that initial race, Enzo Ide’s weekend turned to dust and eventually finished a sorry event in the Progression Race. Marklund meanwhile was untouchable and bagged his third win in the six-event campaign. Juha Rytkonen’s return to racing reminded everyone of his ability, at the wheel of the Hedstrom’s Motorsport Hyundai, run here by Betomik Racing, Rytkonen qualified third, won SF2 and placed second in the final. Janis Baumanis completed the podium in #Yellowsquad’s Peugeot 208, Sivert Svardal and Tamas Karai completing the finishers in the final.
9 October / The Slovakiaring hosted the CEZ runners in an event that also counted for points in the Slovakian, Czech and Polish national championships. CEZ favourites Zbigniew Staniszewski (Fiesta) and Ales Fucik (VW Polo) were at the forefront, and here again it was Fucik who came out on top. Staniszewski was best in Q1 but after that Fucik led, was the top qualifier and won the final. Behind Staniszewski, Lukasz Zlotnicki (Fiesta) was best of the ‘Supercar Light’ runners in third place overall. Just six cars started in Super160, Jiri Susta (Skoda Fabia) taking the win ahead of 14-year-old Lithunian visitor Rytis Gurklys (Fabia) and Libor Tejes (Audi A1). Slawomir Woloch (BMW E92) gained another victory in the STC+2000 group, Lukasz Zoll (Volvo S40) placing second with Zoltan Held (BMW E36) in third place. Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) returned to the top of the -2000 section, the Czech this time getting the better or Jakub Kowalczyk (Hinda Civic) and Martin Sindelek (Peugeot 207). Radek Dvorak (Skoda Fabia) composed a win in STC-1600, Konrad Gryz (Peugeot 106) and Michal Sklenar (Honda CRX) joining him on the podium. National categories packed out the entry; Tomas Martan best of the 14 starters in the Czech Skoda Cup, Robert Kabat emerging on top of the 15-strong Polish Seicento Cup and Jacek Lepianka winning Poland’s BMW-based RWD Cup which mustered 14 travellers for this event. The event included a further eight ‘cup’ classes were run for Czech racers.
9 October / The Portuguese Rallycross Championship, RX Portugal, moved on to Sever do Vouga. Jose Oliveira (Peugeot 208) was the only Supercar competitor in the event. Having wheeled-out his Supercar Citroen for the recent Euro RX event in Portugal, Mario Barbosa was back in his Citroen Saxo and smashed out another national Super1600 win. Barbosa was joined on the podium by brothers Jorge (Citroen C2) and Joaquim Machado (Peugeot 208). Kartcross provided 16 starters and at the sharp end of the action it was again Jorge Gonzaga (LBS RX01) who took the win, shading out Sergio Castro (ASK Evo) and Diogo Soares (Kincar Kin). In the Junior Kartcross class, Joao Dinis (Semog Bravo) took the win in the five-strong class. The Junior Saloon racers were led home by Duarte Camelo (Peugeot 106). Adao Pinto (Opel Astra) won the National 2WD final, Nuno Queiros (Citroen Saxo) was best of the National 1.6 class.
This weekend / Most eyes will be on France this weekend where Samuel Peu leads the best national series into its final round. British Championship Supercar runners cross the channel for this event at Dreux. The German DRX series goes to the Estering for a double-header weekend that concludes its season while the Hungarian championship also reaches its final round at the Kakucsring.
pics: World Rx/Red Bull Content Pool, RX Portugal, Slovakiaring
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