Canada WRX: Solberg keeps top spot as qualifying concludes
Continuing his form from the first day of the Canadian round of the World Rallycross Championship, reigning champion Petter Solberg finished top after Q3 and Q4 on Sunday morning to head the Intermediate Classification and claim 16 championship points.
The Norwegian’s points haul means he closed the gap in the title race to series leader Mattias Ekstrom to two points; Ekstrom fourth overall heading into the semi-finals.
Solberg didn’t score a perfect run through the four qualifying sessions however, contact from triple-European Rallycross Champion Timur Timerzyanv at the start of the final race in Q3 pushed Solberg wide, dropping him to fifth in the race and eighth overall time.
Timerzyanov received a warning for the incident, but remains second at the Intermediate stage thanks to fourth fastest time in Q4, finishing second on track to Solberg.
Volkswagen RX Sweden racer Johan Kristoffersson set the fastest time in Q3 and sixth in Q4 to move to third at the Intermediate Classification.
The Swede initially led the last race of Q4 but was passed into turn three by Andreas Bakkerud. The Norwegian led until the final lap, but having lost time on lap three with a problem, Kristoffersson was able to pass the Ford Focus into the joker lap. Bakkerud is sixth overall.
Later in the same race, Toomas Heikkinen, who had contact with Bakkerud heading into the first corner, made a move to pass Sebastien Loeb but spun across the front of the Frenchman’s Peugeot, the pair both losing time.
Loeb is fifth at the Intermediate Classification, with Heikkinen eighth. Ekstrom won the final race of the session to climb to fourth overall thanks to third fastest time, the championship leader fighting back from time lost by a puncture in Q1.
Hoonigan Racing Division owner and driver Ken Block qualified for the semi-finals in seventh overall, largely thanks to an impressive race win on track in Q4 and second overall time behind Solberg.
Also making it into the semi-finals after day one problems is Loeb’s team mate, Timmy Hansen, the Swede qualifying tenth. OlsbergsMSE drivers Niclas Gronholm and Kevin Eriksson also both qualify for the top 12.
Eriksson retired from Q3 after contact with Janis Baumanis at the joker lap exit, the Swede’s Fiesta hitting the concrete wall on the outside of the circuit hard – the team working hard get Eriksson onto the grid for Q4.
Of those to miss out on a place in the semi-finals, Reinis Nitiss had a difficult weekend and ended up 13th overall ahead of team mate Rene Munnich.
Baumanis was disqualified from Q3 for his part in Eriksson’s visit to the wall and as a result ended up 15th overall, with Robin Larsson 16th, the Swede having his weekend hampered by a number of suspension problems and being disqualified from Q1 for contact with Munich.
Canada WRX: Solberg on top after Saturday's running
Canada WRX: Hansen scores shock win in wet finals