World RX - Barcelona: Fourth season's win and championship lead for Ekström
Mattias Ekström (EKS RX) scores his fourth win of the season in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship today at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. With four wins in nine events Ekström takes the lead from Petter Solberg. The Swedish driveer now has 204 points, ten more than his Norwegian rival.
Behind Ekström’s Audi S1 quattro, Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen) and Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden) provisionally completed the podium. Kristoffersson steals the last podium spot from Timur Timerzyanov (World RX Team Austria) on the last lap but after the race the Swedish driver was punished for pushing manouvre and demoted to the sixth place. Two more drivers in the Finals were Janis Baumanis and Robin Larsson.
Regining World RX champion Petter Solberg, who was in the lead before the Catalunyan round, didn’t manage to enter the Final. He stuck in the first Semifinal group, finishing fourth. He was seventh in the intermediate standings after four qualifying heats, so he started the SF1 from the second row, next to the nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb. Robin Larsson, who started behind them, jumped to the third place in the opening lap and remained there until the end, taking the spot in the Final.
In the second Semifinal group, we saw the fantastic progress of Timur Timerzyanov, who started in the third row and managed to win, ahead of Johan Kristoffersson. World RX Team Austria earned one more place in the Finals, as Janis Baumanis finished third. Andreas Bakkerud, who started from the front row, dropped to back of the field in the opening lap. He managed to recover to fourth, but it wasn’t enough for entering the Finals.
Twenty Supercar drivers who were fighting for the World RX points in the BarcelonaRX event, were joined by Euro RX, Super 1600 and RX Lites competitors. In the European Rally Championship, Kevin Hansen scored fourth win and secured the Supercar title.
Three more rounds are in the 2016 World RX calendar. The next event is the Neste World TX of Latvia, on September 30 to October 2. It would be the first World RX visit to that Baltic country.