World RX: Hansen again victorious, Solberg still championship leader
Swedish driver Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen) won the second World RX event in a row. Two weeks ago he was the most successfull and fastest driver at Hell (Norway) and the same story repeated this weekend at Loheac in France. Hansen, who was driving a Peugeot 208 WRX, became the winner of 9th round of World Rallycross Championship ahead of Norwegian Petter Solberg (SDRX Citroen DS3) and Frenchman Jean Baptiste Dubourg in a Citroën C4. Three more Swedish drivers competed in today’s final race: Johan Kristoffersson, Mattias Esktrom and Robin Larsson.
Twelve drivers out of 34 qualified for semifinals after four qualifying heats. Hansen was the winner of two heats yesterday, while today’s heats were won by Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson. Good results from qualifying gave them better starting position in semifinals, so five drivers with best intermediate results stepped over semifinal runs to the finale, plus Robin Larsson, who was 8th after four heats.
With JP Dubourg, one more French driver qualified to Semifinals and cheered the home crowd – Gaetan Serazin with Peugeot 208. Other competitors in SF who didn’t reach the final, were Anton Marklund, Andreas Bakkerud, Davy Jeanney, Toomas Heikkinen and Timur Timerzyanov. Frenchman Yvan Muller, multiple WTCC champion and guest driver in Albatec Racing’s Peugeot 208, finished 19th after four heats.
After nine events (of 13) Petter Solberg is still championship leader. He has 219 points, 37 more than Timmy Hansen. Third placed Johan Kristoffersson is 26 points shorter than Hansen, but following drivers Andreas Bakkerud and Davy Jeanney are very close to Kristoffersson, so the battle for all leading positions are still open. Next World RX event is scheduled for two weeks at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.