World RX: Second win in a row for Mattias Ekström
Mattias Ekström (EKS RX) wins the second consecutive race in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Following a victory at season-opening event at Barcelona few weeks ago, Ekstrom earns one more win today in the Portuguese round at Montalegre circuit. Sebastien Loeb (Team Peugeot Hansen) finished in the second place, ahead of Johan Kristoffersson (PSRX Volkswagen Sweden).
Just three teams had their representatives in the Final, two cars each – PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, EKS RX and Team Peugeot Hansen, and every team take one place on a podium. Timmy Hansen (Peugeot) finished in the fourth place, ahead of Reinis Nitiss in the EKS Audi S1. Petter Solberg started the Final from the pole position but his Volkswagen Polo suffered a rear left puncture on lap 3 and he had to slow down.
Twenty-two Supercars were running at Montalegre circuit
Twenty-two Supercar drivers participated in the Portuguese round of the World championship. Petter Solberg was the best qualifier, after being second in two qualifying heats on Saturday, winning Q3 and scoring one more P2 in the fourth qualifying heat. His teammate Johan Kristoffersson was the fastest in both Saturday’s qualifying heats but he ruined his effort in Q3 as he forgot to enter a joker lap.
After four qualifying heats, Kristoffersson was third in the intermediate classification, behind Mattias Ekstrom. Andreas Bakkerud was the fastest in Q4, scoring enough points to enter the Semi Final as tenth-placed driver. Among those who missed Top 12 were Niclas Gronholm, Kevin Eriksson, Timo Scheider or Guy Wilks.
No problems for champions in Semi Final runs
Two world champions, former champion Petter Solberg and reigning champion Mattias Ekstrom, won their respective Semi Final races, challenging no problems during 6-lap runs. Behind their back, Johan Kristoffersson and Reinis Nitiss defended their starting position in the SF1 while Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen finished second and third in the SF2, securing two spots in the Final for Team Peugeot Hansen.
Other Semi Final participants were Kevin Hansen, Ken Block, Timur Timerzyanov, Toomas Heikkinen, Janis Baumanis and Andreas Bakkerud.
Montalegre also hosted Super 1600 class of the European Rallycross Championship. Ulrik Linneman (Peugeot 208) is the winner ahead of Timur Shigaboutdinov (Renault Twingo) and Krisztian Szabo (Škoda Fabia).
Ekstrom leads the championship ahead of Hockenheimring
In the points standings of the World Championship, Ekstrom leads with 58 points on his account. Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg follows, with 44 and 42 points respectively. Timmy Hansen if fourth with 33 points, ahead of Andreas Bakkerud with 30 points. In the teams’ standings, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden leads with 86 points, nine more than EKS RX. Team Peugeot Hansen is third with 59 points.
The next round of the World Rallycross Championship is scheduled for May 4-6 at Hockenheimring, as a part of the season-opening DTM weekend.