Canada WRX: Kristoffersson leads Heikkinen after Q2
World Rallycross Championship points leader Johan Kristoffersson concluded the opening day of the series' Canadian round on top.
The Swede delivered an impeccable performance in the first two qualifying races of the Trois-Rivieres event to be second in Q1 and fastest in Q2 to claim top spot overall so far in the event.
After heavy rain forced the second free practice session to be postponed by over an hour, Kristofferson won the first race of the weekend in slippery conditions and was only just beaten to the fastest time by Toomas Heikkinen, the EKS driver having started the final race on dry-weather tyres.
Kristoffersson's teammate, Petter Solberg, was sixth in Q1 and but appeared to be on course to be the Q2 pacesetter.
Then in the final race, Kristoffersson came out on top of a side-by-side battle for the lead into Turn 2 with compatriot Mattias Ekstrom.
Despite dropping half a second to Solberg's best lap on the opening tour, Kristoffersson clawed the time back by the finish, thanks to a pair of fastest lap times and a tidier joker lap than Solberg to claim fastest time in Q2 by almost half a second to lead overall.
Heikkinen was fifth in Q2 and remains second overnight, Solberg's second fastest time in Q2 lifting him to third, ahead of 2016 champion Ekstrom.
Andreas Bakkerud had pressured Solberg and race leader Ekstrom in their Q1 encounter and again ran behind Solberg on the opening lap of their Q2 race, but he spun before the circuit's second jump with apparent front drive issues, before being collected by an unsighted Sebastien Loeb, who then also spun.
Both recovered to finish the race but their times leave the pair 11th (Loeb) and 15th (Bakkerud) in the overnight order.
Loeb's teammate, Timmy Hansen, appeared to break a driveshaft on the start line in Q2 and then spun, leaving him 14th after the opening two qualifiers.
At the close of day one, privateer Niclas Gronholm is 10th, the GRX team continuing to fine-tune a wet setup on the M-Sport built Ford Fiesta, while Kevin Eriksson, Timo Scheider and Janis Baumanis also hold semi-final qualifying positions at this stage of the weekend.
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