Disappointing weekend

2015-10-05

Swedish World RX team Marklund Motorsport experienced a disappointing weekend at the 11th round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Istanbul Park in Turkey.

Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen and PG Andersson yet again proved the pace of the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar, but both suffered from problems and were unable to progress to the semi-finals. Heikkinen set top three lap times on both days, but had no chance to avoid a big first corner accident in heat three. Although the Marklund Motorsport mechanics did a fantastic job to repair the car in time for heat four, more problems as a result of the accident meant that Heikkinen was unable to run at full pace. PG Andersson hit a tyre wall on day one and was hampered by engine problems on day two, putting him out of contention.

Finnish driver Heikkinen enjoyed the former Formula One circuit in Istanbul and was frustrated not to make it into the semi-finals. “We’ve had good pace again this weekend, but it just hasn’t come together for us. Heat three meant we didn’t make the semis – I was flat out into the first corner and didn’t even have time to hit the brakes before I hit [Davy] Jeanney’s car, which was stopped. There was a lot of damage and the guys did a great job to get the car fixed in time for the next race. It’s a shame we didn’t make the semis because this is one of my favourite tracks,” said Heikkinen. “We have two rounds left in Italy and Argentina, we were fast in Italy last season and I really hope we can show everyone what we can do.”

Former World Rally Championship driver PG Andersson is keen to put the event in Turkey behind him. “I made a mistake in the first heat. I was on a good pace but went too tight into the hairpin on the gravel section. I hooked the front bumper into the tyre barrier and it spun me around. I was still in a position to qualify for the semi-finals after day one, but the engine problems today meant I couldn’t make up enough places,” said Andersson. “It wasn’t the best weekend for me. I hope we can be back where we should be in Italy.”

Marklund Motorsport now focus on the next round of World RX at Franciacorta in Italy (October 17-18), where World RX will be joined by the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship. Norwegian Tommy Rustad currently leads Euro RX by six points, driving a Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar run by Marklund Motorsport and HTB Racing.

Team principle Michael Schneider was disappointed that Marklund Motorsport’s pace in Turkey couldn’t be turned into a strong points finish, but is looking forward to working with Heikkinen, Andersson and Rustad in Italy. “After being third fastest in the practice sessions, it’s really disappointing that we’ve got so few points out of this weekend. The damage to Topi’s car ended all hopes of him making the semi-finals and PG was compromised by engine problems,” he said. “I really hope we can get a good result in Italy. We’ve done three days of testing there and broken the lap record at the start of the year. We’re also looking forward to working with Tommy and helping him as he fights to try and become European Champion.”

 

Turkey World Rallycross Final Result:

 1 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208)

2 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta)

3 Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo)

4 Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1)

5 Davy Jeanney (Peugeot 208)

6 Anton Marklund (Audi S1)

13 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo)

20 PG Andersson (Volkswagen Polo)

 

 FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers’ Standings:

 1 Petter Solberg 256

2 Timmy Hansen 237

3 Johan Kristoffersson 201

4 Andreas Bakkerud 188

5 Davy Jeanney 180

6 Mattias Ekstrom 179

7 Reinis Nitiss 150

8 Toomas Heikkinen 124

9 Robin Larsson 104

10 Timur Timerzaynov 90

11 PG Andersson 67

 

 FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams’ Standings:

1 Team Peugeot-Hansen 417

2 Ford OlsbergsMSE 338

3 SDRX 281

4 VW Team Sweden 241

5 Marklund Motorsport 219

6 EKS 211