Solberg and Ekstrom tied on points in Belgium
Supercar semi-finals and finals are scheduled for tomorrow.
Petter Solberg and Mattias Ekstrom are tied on equal points following the first two heats at Ladbrokes World RX of Belgium, round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. EKS team owner and two-time DTM Champion Ekstrom took the heat one victory, while Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timmy Hansen posted the quickest time on heat two.
The car is working well so tomorrow we continue to push and we aim for the finals like we always do.
Leading the 18 Supercar drivers eligible to score points in the opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX) is Belgium’s Francois Duval in his Ford Focus. French Rallycross ace Jerome Grosset-Janin is second after a strong performance in his Albatec Racing prepared Peugeot 208, while team-mate James Grint is on course for a semi-final position after ending today 12th in Euro RX.
Heat one winner Ekstrom spoke of the difficult driving conditions on the circuit as a result of today’s mixed weather. “The track is good,” he said, “but the rain has made it hard as the conditions are always changing. In the first heat, I kept it clean and was lucky but the second didn’t go so well. The car is working well so tomorrow we continue to push and we aim for the finals like we always do.”
Solberg, who partners Britain’s Liam Doran in the new-for-2015 SDRX team, added: “We had problems with our central differential throughout the second heat so we lost a few seconds on the corners but everything else has been good and no major problems.” Doran is lying 19th overall after breaking his car’s suspension on the day’s opening heat.
Lying third overnight is Marklund Motorsport’s Topi Heikkinen after the Finn posted the second quickest time during heat two. Fourth overall is Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud, while Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Davy Jeanney rounds off the top five.
Dramatic opening day
Elsewhere, it was a dramatic opening day for Euro RX driver Peter Hedstrom who flipped his Skoda Fabia at the exit of the Joker Lap. Meanwhile, Hungarian Tamas Karai got his event off to a bad start when he ran into Russian Timer Timerzyanov, which resulted in Karai being excluded from heat one. Euro RX driver Ole Christian Veiby was fourth quickest in heat one but lost time after an impact with fellow Polo RX Supercar driver Johan Kristoffersson in the race that followed.
Super1600 category and TouringCar
Danish driver Ulrik Linnemann leads the Super1600 category after day one, while in TouringCar Norwegian David Nordgard heads the field after the opening three heats.
Anders Braten had a dramatic day, he had contact with Fredrik Salsten at the start of heat one, before losing his left rear wheel on the final lap of his heat two race but still won. Magda Andersson makes her TouringCar debut in Belgium and is 11th after three heats.
Tomorrow’s action begins at 9am (local time) with warm-up for all classes. Heats three and four will run from 10.30am, while the Supercar semi-finals and finals are scheduled from 3pm.
FIA World Rallycross
Bumper Supercar entry for World RX and Euro RX in Belgium
Heikkinen wins Belgium RX for second year in a row