World RX: Champion Petter Solberg victoriously at Hockenheim
Petter Solberg is the winner of the first ever World RX of Hockenheim, round two of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Reinis Nitiss took the runners-up spot and Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timmy Hansen finished third. In front of 75.000 spectators World RX made its debut at the iconic F1 venue this weekend as a purpose-built rallycross circuit was constructed inside the famous Sachs Arena.
Solberg’s team SDRX had a strong weekend as Britain’s Liam Doran led after heat two, while Solberg went on to win heats three and four, the semi-final and the all-important final. He now leads the overall World RX Drivers’ Championship by 15 points. SDRX lead Ford Olsbergs MSE in the Teams’ Championship by three points and have a total of 74 points. Peugeot-Hansen lie third with 65 points.
“I love big fights and tough competitions and that’s why I love rallycross. The fans seemed to love rallycross and it’s been great to be in Hockenheim alongside DTM this weekend, it’s been very well organised. It’s not been an easy weekend: we had a bad start on Friday, there was little grip off the line and then I had a puncture in the semi-final. I had two choices going into Saturday: one was to go fast or the second was to go very fast – I went for the second option! I know everybody says this but my win is credit to the team. They are fantastic and I wouldn’t be here without them”, said Solberg who received a standing ovation alongside his fellow World RX finalists.
Runner-up Nitiss was a model of consistency this weekend as the 19-year-old posted a series of top five times during the heats and was placed second at the Intermediate Classification. He won his semi-final round and took second placeat the end.
Team Peugeot-Hansen continued its podium-winning streak as Timmy Hansen finished third in the Peugeot 208 WRX supercar. Joining Solberg, Nitiss and Hansen in today’s final was Marklund Motorsport’s Topi Heikkinen, last year’s FIA European Rallycross Champion Robin Larsson and Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud. Total of 22 drivers took part at Hockenheim round of Championship.
World RX Managing Director for IMG Martin Anayi said after event: “It’s been an honour to join DTM at their season-opening race at Hockenheim this weekend where our drivers did a fantastic job of showcasing the exciting bumper-to-bumper race action we so frequently see in rallycross. The sound of our 600bhp Supercars inside the Sachs Arena was incredible and the cheers from the stadium showed just how much the crowds were enjoying the action. After dominating the final, Petter thoroughly deserves his win and it’s great to see three marques – Citroen, Ford and Peugeot – on the podium.”
World RX crews will now have a short break before they prepare for round three at Mettet in Belgium from 23-24 May. The Belgian RX round will also formed the opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship and total of 39 Supercars will take part.