World RX: Timmy Hansen in the lead after first day
Sweden’s Timmy Hansen and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud are the winners of two qualifying Heats on the first day of HoljesRX event, sixth round of World Rallycross Championship. Hansen are first and Bakkerud second in the intermediate points standings before two more Heats tomorrow.
In Heat 1, Hansen and Bakkerud were in the same race, in which the Team Peugeot-Hansen driver in Peugeot 208 WRX set the fastest time 2.59.754 after four laps. Johan Kristoffersson finished behind Hansen, third was Petter Solberg and Bakkerud fourth. Their group was the fastest among seven groups and Hansen was first overall in Heat 1, Kristoffersson third, Solberg fourth and Bakkerud sixth.
Mattias Ekstrom in an EKS Audi S1 won the last race of the heat and was second overall, just 0.1 seconds slower than Hansen. The biggest surprise was a fifth overall result of Eric Faren, who won his heat race with Peugeot 208 WRX of Hansen Talent Development Team. Reinis Nitiss and Timur Timerzyanov were seventh and eighth with Norway’s Ole-Christian Veiby and Tommy Rustad ninth and tenth.
Robin Larsson was slowed down by a misfiring engine and Davy Jeanney suffered a front right puncture, both while leading in their groups. Toomas Heikkinen got held up by another car and then had a half spin, while team mate Per-Gunnar Andersson was hit by Max Pucher in the first corner and later retired. Ramona Karlsson spun at the first corner but recovered to finish her race and 31st overall.
In Heat 2, the five fastest drivers from Heat 1 raced in one group but they failed to make improvements. Timmy Hansen was fastest in that group, but only 4th overall. Andreas Bakkerud in Olsbergs’s Ford Fiesta was the only driver below 3-minute mark, with time 2.59.881. Behind him was team-mate Reiniss Nitiss, who set the second best time overall. The third placed driver in Heat 2 was Davy Jeanney in Peugeot 208 WRX.
Fifth was Ole-Christian Veiby, ahead of Petter Solberg on sixth. Johan Kristoffersson set the fifth time but after 5 seconds penalty he dropped to 21st. Solberg’s team-mate Liam Doran in Citroen DS3 was seventh, in front of two Marklund Motorsport drivers Per-Gunnar Andersson and Toomas Heikkinen. In Holjes, we saw first World RX competition for all-new VW Beetle, prepared by Eklund Motorsport and driven by Daniel Holten. He was 17th in Heat 1 and 16th in Heat 2.
After two Heats standings of Top 12 drivers is as follows: Hansen 90 points, Bakkerud 88, Nitiss 82, Ekstrom 78, P. Solberg 78, Veiby 74, Timurzyanov 70, Doran 69, Faren 69, Rustad 66, Kristoffersson 65 and Manfred Stohl 64. Under the line are Jeanney 63, Marklund 58, Heikkinen 58, Alexander Hvaal 58… Twelve drivers will qualify for semi-finals, two more Heats will be held tomorrow so everybody still have a chance to go further.
In the supporting series the leaders were Ulrik Linneman (Super1600), Ben-Philip Gundersen (TouringCars) and Andreas Wernersson (RX Lites). All three Heats today so only one more will be held tomorrow.