JK’s Tierp rout deflated. Oss bags LAT-LIT opener. Benyo in Hungary.
Seven days in rallycross 11 May
by Rallycross World |
5 May / Isak Sjokvist will race in the FIA RX2e championship for the third year, but will this year have his effort managed by #YellowSquad, Hansen Motorsport’s sub-brand. With more private teams expected to race in the series this year, Sjokvist has chosen the most experienced rallycross team on the planet for his bid.
6-7 May / After breezing through the first day of the RallyX double-header at Tierp, Johan Kristoffersson is felled in the final of the second day when his VW Polo sustains a puncture. Saturday had brought a perfect JK performance, the World champion sweeping the board and never seriously challenged. Sunday was heading the same until a puncture intervened and Kristoffersson slipped back to fifth place. Kevin Eriksson was the greatest benefactor, moving through to take the win in his Honda Civic. Third in round three on Saturday, it was a good end to the weekend for Eriksson. Gustav Bergstrom had a nightmare in the first day but recovered well to place second on Sunday in a Hyundai i20, Viktor Vranckx ripping it up and again demonstrating the pace of his RX2e car by placing third having been fifth on Saturday. The weekend yielded a brace of fourth place finishes for Yury Belevskiy (Audi S1).
Simon Olofsson started the weekend with a win in the Supercar Lites class, but was bumped down the order on Sunday when the prodigious Lukas Andersson stepped up to win again. Martin Enlund was second on both days and Isak Sjokvist placed third on Sunday having been dumped out of the semi-finals on Saturday. There were 28 Cross Cars on the entry, Robin Grana (Speedcar Wonder) winning H1 and bagging a maximum points score on Saturday ahead of Alexander Heum (Casmat) and Martin Juga (Speedcar Wonder) who had won H2. Elias Svensson (Casmat) won H3 on Saturday but missed the podium, on Sunday, however, he smashed it. Beaten only in H2, where Thomas Eek Murstad (Speedcar Wonder) was fastest, Svensson took maximum points from the day. Down and out on Saturday, Ronalds Baldins delivered a more usual performance to place second on Sunday with Murstad third. Young Finns again dominated the Cross Car Junior section. With 20 starters the class was strong again. Mikael Uitto (Speedcar) was beaten only in H3 as he swept to victory in round three on Saturday. Lauri Halonen (Ydrefalk) and Joonatan Ylilammi (Speedcar) were second and third on Saturday and each went one place better on Sunday, Halonen taking the win. They were joined on the podium by Joni Turpeinen (Speedcar Wonder). Viktor Johansson won the 2WD class with his hybrid Mercedes on Saturday, while on Sunday it was the more normally powered Mercedes of Marcus Norman that won, ahead of Johansson and Derek Tohill who was third on each day.
7 May / The Hungarian Rallycross Championship moved to Kakucs where the event attracted an unusually small entry. With just two Supercar starters Mate Benyo did a perfect job of Hoovering up the points and took a clear win over Peter Zsolt Palotas (Mitsubishi Lancer). Bence Doczi (BMW E46) was best of the STC+2000 field, Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) was the only starter in the -2000 class and Gergo Kormoczi (Skoda Felicia) won the -1600 group. With 17 starters the Magyar Cup was the best contested class. Top qualifier Peter Soma Szeplaki (Toyota Yaris) was bumped down to second in the semi-final but fought back to win the final ahead of Tamas Madari (Suzuki Swift) and Krisztian Horvath (Peugeot 106). Csaba Gaspar won the MX5 Cup final, Norbert Attila Kaldeneker was the best of the 13-strong Junior field as top qualifier Bendeguz Kunkli went of the final in the first lap. Zsofia Korda won the Hybrid Cup final, Zsombor Pinter was best of the Hankook Race Cup class, “Kisharsanyi” won the Astra Cup final and the all-Semog Bravo Cross Car class was won by Benjamin Lorant.
7 May / The Latvian-Lithuanian Rallycross Championship began at Bikernieki in Riga. Estonian Andri Oun opened the event by winning heat one and was third qualifier, but then a non-finisher in the final. By that stage of the event, Edijs Oss had asserted himself and won heats two and three to be top qualifier. Running at the head of the field, Oss finished comfortably clear of the magnificently named Edvards Egle with Marcis Martinovs placing third. Estonian veteran Valdur Reinsalu made a rare appearance and placed fifth. Valdas Mikuzis won the Super2000 final ahead of Maija Stakena and Varis Zentins while in Super1600 it was Rytis Gurklys who took the chequer ahead of Audrius Kragas and Rytis Rutkauskas. Kristaps Martinovs won the Lada class, Maris Druva was best of the BMW RX3000 category and Teet Vare beat Bruno Blumbergs to take the Kartcross win.
7 May / Driving a VW Polo rallycross car extracted from the Volkswagen museum for the occasion, Petter Solberg won his class in the Simola Hillclimb in South Africa. Fastest overall in the wet first runs, Solberg’s second run in drying conditions was also good enough for the overall podium. “Of course, it would have been nice to win, but the main thing is to have a fantastic time and put on the best show we can for all of these fantastic people. I think we have done that. And I’m happy, the Polo is going back in to Wolfsburg in the same shape it came out!” said Solberg.
9 May / With car owner Ollie O’Donovan taking part in Rally Barbados, British Supercar racer Steve Hill has been given the chance to start in a round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for the first time in more than a decade. Placing 11th in his last start (in 2012), Hill will drive O’Donovan’s Proton Iriz in Portugal next month. “To race at Montalegre, one of the most iconic tracks in the rallycross world and in a current spec Supercar is a fantastic opportunity for me. Thanks to the team for setting the wheels in motion and to Ollie for letting me use his car – hopefully I can repay them by giving some feedback on this developing car and keep it in one piece for Ollie to race at the next round in Norway,” said Hill.
10 May / The FIA announces that Emil Axelsson will be its new Sporting Manager for the FIA World Rallycross Championship. A world championship winning rally co-driver, Axelsson has worked in rallycross with EKS and Construction Equipment Dealer Team. “I have a strong belief in rallycross. It has an intense sporting concept that should appeal to the modern young generation. Attracting a new audience, as well as maintaining the spirit of rallycross for the existing fans, are two key objectives,” he said. Former occupant of the role, Benoit Dupont has moved to the FIA’s Circuit Sport department.
10 May / Viktor Vranckx confirms that he will return to the FIA RX2e championship to defend the title he won in 2022. Continuing with his family-run VMV Racing, the young Belgian has been active already this season running his RX2e car in national events and regularly featuring at the sharp end of the results among more powerful Supercars. “I’m really looking forward to driving in the FIA RX2e Championship with these upgrades [the power has been increased from 250 kW to 270 kW and there will also be a boost mode that will give drivers 80 kW more power for a limited time during each race], although I’m already quite used to them, as we are driving with more power in national events,” said Vranckx.
This weekend / The magnificent Ahveniston at Hameenlinna in Finland returns to rallycross this weekend when it hosts the opening round of Rallicross SM. No-one would honestly claim this is the greatest rallycross track in the world, probably not event the best in Finland, but it’s a hugely atmospheric arena in a classic race track on the edge of Finland’s second city and for that reason alone is a good venue for rallycross. The CEZ series joins the Austrian championship at Greinbach and the Dutch and Belgian Championships come together at the Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard.
pics: World RX, RedBull content pool, RallycrossLV, RX2e, RallyX, KMS, Korda Racing,
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