World RX: Mattias Ekström wins the season-opening round at Barcelona
First podium of the season: Ekström, Scheider, Bakkerud
The podium of the season-opening round was look alike a podium of some DTM race, as the second-placed driver in Barcelona was a former Audi DTM driver Timo Scheider, for whom it’s the first full season in the World RX. Scheider is driving the #44 Ford Fiesta for MJP Racing Team Austria. Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud (#13 Hoonigan Racing, Ford Focus RS RX) completed the podium.
Petter Solberg finished fourth in the #11 Volkswagen Polo of PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, two places ahead of his teammate Johan Kristoffersson. Timmy Hansen was the only Peugeot representative in Barcelona RX’s final, taking fifth place.
Timo Scheider was the leader after four qualifying runs
Twenty-one drivers participated in the season-opening round. The first day of qualifying was marked by weather changes which determined the results in Q1 and Q2. The fastest qualifiers in those two rounds were Johan Kristoffersson and Toomas Heikkinen. On Sunday, Mattias Ekstrom and Andreas Bakkerud was the fastest in Q3 and Q4 but Timo Scheider was the man who was leading in the intermediate classification, collecting the most points in four qualifying runs.
That ensured him a pole position in the Semi Final 1, but he was beaten by Johan Kristoffersson. In the Semi Final 2, Mattias Ekstrom was leading from lights to flag. Ekstrom repeated such a performance in the final race, comfortably taking a victory ahead of Scheider, who jumped into second place after Kristofferssson stalled at the start.
Anton Marklund is Euro RX winner at Barcelona
EKS-Audi is a leading team after Barcelona’s round, with the same amount of points (40) as PSRX Volkswagen Sweden. Hoonigan Racing Division is in the third place with 33 points, three more than MJP Racing Team Austria.
Anton Marklund is the winner of the European Rallycross Championship round at Barcelona, after being fastest in three qualifying races and also in the Semi final. Marklund was driving the #92 Volkswagen Polo of Marklund Motorsport, winning the final race ahead of Hungarian Tamas-Pal Kiss in a Peugeot 208. Oliver O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta) completed the Euro RX podium.
The next round of the World Rallycross Championship is scheduled for April 21-23 at Montalegre, Portugal.