After winning the first two heats at Lydden Hill in Kent today, Petter Solberg is leading the Motorsport News World RX of Great Britain.
Petter Solberg is leading the Motorsport News World RX of Great Britain, round four of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, after winning the first two heats at Lydden Hill in Kent today. Volkswagen Team Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson and EKS owner Mattias Ekstrom are second and third respectively.
A total of 29 Supercars, 18 TouringCars and 12 RX Lites are competing in this year’s British round of World RX but it was two-time DTM Champion Ekstrom who was quickest during this morning’s free practice after setting a time of 42.048s. Ekstrom’s team-mate Anton Marklund went on to post the quickest lap time in heat one (42.015s) but was given a 30 second time penalty for failing to take his Double Joker penalty.
It’s been a great day for the Solberg family, Oliver is leading out of more than 160 entries...
One driver that had no problems today, however, was Solberg who won both heats in his SDRX Citroen DS3 Supercar. The Norwegian was in an even better mood after he discovered that his 13-year-old son Oliver was leading Crosskarts in Holjes today. “It’s been a great day for the Solberg family, Oliver is leading out of more than 160 entries,” grinned Solberg Snr before adding: “We’ve changed the car quite a bit since Belgium and we’ve been working on our start procedures. We missed the start on the second heat but I knew I could make up the time in the gravel so the team saw the opportunity to take the Joker Lap at the right time which meant I could slip ahead of Johan. We’re right where we want to be at the end of two heats.”
Second overall after today is round one winner Kristoffersson who struggled with the car’s set up during free practice but was a model of consistency after finishing runner-up to Solberg in both heats. “I’ve had punctures in Portugal, Hockenheim and Belgium so I’m just hoping for a clear weekend,” explained the Swede.
Lying in fourth is Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Reinis Nitiss and rounding off the top five is Marklund Motorsport’s PG Andersson who enjoyed a close first lap battle with Ekstron in heat two. Norwegian Tord Linnerud is sixth for Volkswagen Team Sweden.
Timmy Hansen posted the third quickest time during heat one but a puncture next time round saw the Swede drop to 13th in the standings. Joining Hansen and Jeanney in the Team Peugeot-Hansen squad this weekend is wildcard entrant Andrew Jordan who suffered a similar fate to Hansen when he incurred a slow puncture on heat one. Jordan, a British Touring Car Champion, is sitting tenth overnight.
Elsewhere, it was a promising RX debut for fellow Briton Guy Wilks who is piloting a MINI RX Supercar with JRM Racing this weekend. The 34-year-old took a race win in heat two and sits 12th overall going into day two. “I’m really pleased with how today has gone – it’s all about learning for me this weekend and I saw a big difference with times on that second heat. Tonight we will make some adjustments to the brakes but right now everything feels really good,” said Wilks.
TouringCar and RX Lites
The TouringCar and RX Lites categories competing ran three heats today. Jan Gabrielsen and Thomas Bryntesson lead the two classes respectively.
Mazda RX-8 driver Gabrielsen was fastest in the first two heats and second fastest in the third to lead Anders Braten who is second. Citroen DS3 driver Fredrik Salsten stayed out of trouble to finish the day in third position.
Kevin Hansen was fastest in the first RX Lites heat, before Thomas Bryntesson set fastest times in the second and third runs to lead on day one, with Hansen second and Kevin Eriksson third.
Tomorrow’s action begins at 10.30am (local time) with warm-up for all classes. Heats three and four will run from 11.30am, while the Supercar semi-finals and finals are scheduled from 3pm.
FIA World Rallycross