It is the third event in a row that Timmy Hansen has led the World RX drivers after day one.
Sweden’s Timmy Hansen is leading this weekend’s NAF World RX of Norway, round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, after an impressive drive at the wheel of his Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar. It is the third event in a row that Hansen has led the World RX drivers after day one. Frenchman Davy Jeanney is second in Team Peugeot-Hansen’s second car, while Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov is third in an Olsbergs MSE prepared Ford Fiesta Supercar.
Home favourites Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud are currently seventh and 11th respectively. Solberg was quickest in free practice and took the heat one victory over Jeanney who finished second. The reigning Champion’s luck ran out in heat two, however, when Solberg suffered a puncture after clipping a kerb in his Citroen DS3 Supercar. He is seventh overnight. Bakkerud fought back after a Double Joker penalty for a false-start in heat one to finish the second heat fourth quickest.
I think it’s more about the driver, than the car,
Overnight leader Hansen summarised his day: “The car is really flying at the moment. It’s not that this track suits me better than others but it’s down to the car, it really feels so good at the moment. It was a bit difficult to find the rhythm first thing but then we got it right for the second practice. We’ve worked on finding some small ways to improve the car, and it’s staring to pay off with with the lap times. In the last heat, I took the Joker on the first lap and Davy took it at the end. I could see him in front all the time – he was really quick. I had to drive so hard to catch up and it was flat out for both of us.”
Team Volkswagen Sweden driver Johan Kristoffersson is fourth after a solid run through today’s heats. Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson spoke of his relief after the team’s misfortunes in Canada. “We can’t quite match the pace of the Peugeots but we’re going to work on this tomorrow. We’ve had some bad luck this year but it’s good to be in the top five on a Saturday for a change! There’s a technical glitch with Ole Christian’s [Veiby] car so we’re looking into the problem now and hope to have it fixed before he goes out tomorrow.”
EKS driver Anton Marklund had his best first day of the season after taking a race win in heat one and ending the day fifth overall. Reinis Nitiss, who won last year’s Norwegian event, is sixth. The Latvian suffered suspension problems in heat one but the Ford Olsbergs MSE squad worked hard to repair the car before heat two.
In the FIA European Rallycross Championship, in which Hell is the third round, it’s Tommy Rustad who leads the charge in his Marklund Motorsport run Polo RX Supercar. “The car feels good, but I’m not so happy with the pace. I think it’s more about the driver, than the car,” admitted Rustad. “Obviously the European Championship is my focus but I really like fighting with the World Championship guys. I also have 50 guests here this weekend so it’s important to put on a good show for them.”
Marklund Motorsport duo Topi Heikkinen and PG Andersson had a difficult start to the weekend. Heikkinen was forced to change his engine after heat one while Andersson broke a steering arm in the same heat.
Supporting the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hell this weekend is the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for TouringCar and the fourth round of the RX Lites Cup.
In TouringCar, Fredrik Salsten needs to finish in the top three at the Intermediate Classification on Sunday to be guaranteed the title before the semi-finals get underway and is second overnight. Mazda RX8 driver Christian Sandmo was fastest in the opening two heats and third fastest in heat three to be top on Saturday night. Kjetil Larsen is third in his Skoda Fabia.
RX Lites Cup
In the RX Lites Cup, Thomas Bryntesson is top of the standings after three heats. He was fastest in the first two heats and second fastest to Championship leader Kevin Hansen in heat three. Hansen is third overall, he retired from heat two after his car suffered broken rear suspension following contact in the first corner. Hansen’s title rival Kevin Eriksson is second overnight.
Tomorrow’s action begins at 08.30am (local time) with a warm-up session. Heat three for Supercars will run from 10am and heat four will follow at 11am for all classes. Semi-finals for TouringCar, Lites and Euro RX will commence at 1.45pm, with the World RX semi-finals and other finals will begin at 3pm. The World RX winners’ press conference is scheduled for 4.10pm.
FIA World RX