17 June / The first event of the 2023-24 Nitrocross season took place at Jay in Oklahoma where Fraser McConnell emerged as the winner, leading home the 22-23 season winner Robin Larsson and Kevin Eriksson. The latter had been ahead after the Battle stage of the event but only reached the final after starting the LCQ. McConnell and Larsson both won their heats to go straight to the final, as did Andreas Bakkerud. Conner Martell eventually placed fourth ahead of Travis Pastrana, Kris Meeke, Bakkerud and Conor Daly. Meeke and Bakkerud then continued their battle in a social media duel in which no handbags were damaged. The support Next and SxS categories ran to a double-header format and each had a copy and paste top three in each of the two days. Lane Vacala led home Eric Gordon and Jimmy Henderson in Next, all three also racing for the BAK 40 team which had a great weekend. In SxS Kainan Baker was the double winner, Tyler Remmereied and Ben Maier second and third in each event. Lia Block was first to the chequer in round two of Next, but was disqualified for an incident on-track.
18 June / The second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Hell in Norway where Johan Kristoffersson continues to demonstrate why he is the best rallycross driver of his generation. Leading the field at every phase of the event, Kristoffersson was challenged, but was equal to everything thrown at him as he racked up his 37th World RX win in what was the 100th event since rallycross gained World Champion status in 2014. Behind the World Champion, Niclas Gronholm both challenged and survived to grab second place while Timo Scheider also chartered a clear course to bring Munnich Motorsport’s 2022 car onto the podium in a fine third place. Sabastien Loeb ended the event fifth, behind Klara Andersson while OC Veiby was disqualified after the final as his car failed the weight check – it missing large parts of its bodywork. Timmy Hansen exited the event after H4 in which a clash with Veiby resulted in a blue light (high impact warning) on his car. Veiby was disqualified for his part in the incident while Hansen was fined €1000 for poor conduct after he confronted Veiby following the incident.
The FIA RX2e series began in Norway and the win was taken by Isak Sjokvist in his first event with #YellowSquad. The winner of the first two heats, Sjokvist was top qualifier and won semi-final one and the final in a convincing display. Nils Andersson and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky were second and third in a display of strength for KMS spin-off Eteam. At the other end of the order defending champion Viktor Vranckx endured a tough event, qualified third and then crashed out of SF1.
The European Championship was also on the bill in Hell where there was an emotional maiden win for home start Sivert Svardal. Anton Marklund was top qualifier but Svardal battled up from eighth in the intermediate to be second in SF2 and then take the big one with a good Joker strategy and a fine drive at the wheel of a car that is definitely not best in class. Marklund again showed his complete class by coming through another tough event to take second place and a good points score while Tamas Karai was also in form to take third. More than worthy of note, fourth place was a personal best for Mandie August. There was also a first time winner in RX3 where Nils Volland took a clean sweep for his maiden win. Series leader Damian Litwinowicz placed second ahead of Espen Isaksaetre.
18 June / Missing its recent visitors, the DRX series at Schluchtern was by and large a domestic event in which Dietmar Brandt (VW Golf) won the three-car Supercar final ahead of Andreas Traudt’s Audi A4 Quattro and the Audi TT of Mark Bohling. In DRX2 the winner was Tobias Weigel (BMW E36) who beat Belgian’s Peter Puttenaers and Helmut Antonissen (both E36). Sven Seeliger (Ford Fiesta) was best of the DRX4 field, leading home the similar car of Benett Zobel. Eric Flashar (Peters) won the combined DRXCx1 and DRXC2 final while Dave Tijdink (JvdC Cross Car) won the ADAC Cross Car Cup section from Sam Peters (JvdC) and Willi Kisser (Peters). Daniel Hablicht (E36 318) won the DRXN1 final and Dominic Drange (Citroen Saxo) was best of the DRXN2 field.
18 June / Sever do Vouga welcomed the Rallicross Portugal field among which Tiago Alexandre (Peugeot 208) was the only Supercar starter. S1600 is regarded as the premier class in the series, but had a troubled day with the results remaining provisional pending the outcome of an appeal by Andre Sousa against a 10-second penalty that dropped him from fifth to fifth (and last) place. Until the appeal is heard, Sergio Dias is the provisional winner. The National 2WD final was red flagged twice, and even when it went the full distance the drama was not over as on-the-road winner Andre Ferreira (Suzuki Swift) was disqualified, as was third placed Andreia Sousa. All of which meant that defending champion Adao Pinto (Opel Astra) inherited the win ahead of Mario Teixeira and Agostinho Pereira who were only other classified finishers. there was just car in the Junior class, Jose Pedro Barriga lacking opposition but the winner. There were 22 in the kartcross class, Diogo Soares (Kincar) running out the winner ahead of Rui Nunes and Mario Rato (both Semog Bravo).
18 June / The Latvian-Lithuanian Rallycross Championship had an awayday at Raassilla in Estonia where Edijs Oss was unbeaten as he swept to the win in his Skoda Fabia. Marcis Martinovs and Ivo Gabrans led the chase with local star Mart Tikkerbar placing fourth in his Mitsubishi Lancer. Rytis Gurklys (Audi A1) held off the challenge of Audrius Kragas (Skoda Fabia) to win the Super1600 final in which Martins Spikis was third. There were 13 starters in the Super2000 section in which Maija Stakena was the winner after overcoming top qualifier Ivo Gabrans. the BMW3000 class had 18 starters, Kaspars Fricsons taking the win while Martins Muraska won the Lada class. The kartcross class was not well supported, Teere Vare best of the four starters, while the yaris Cup boasted 14 drivers and was won by Kemius Sulinskas.
This weekend / Rallycross France is certainly the main event this weekend as the series hit Chateauroux. Elsewhere, Norway’s NM series goes to Gardermoen for round two of its dash through the summer months. The Austrian championship is in action at Fuglau and the Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard welcomes open cars in its split series.
pics: World RX, Red Bull content pool, Nitrocross, DRX, Rallycross LV, FPAK
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