Marklund Motorsport to undertake Euro RX title defence with updated Polo and exciting new partnersSwedish rallycross team Marklund Motorsport will begin the defence of its FIA European Rallycross...
Marklund Motorsport driver Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen finished fourth at the team’s home round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Holjes in Sweden.
Heikkinen qualified twelfth at the Intermediate Classification in the Volkswagen Polo RX and drove a brilliant semi-final to finish third and start on the third row of the final. The Finn made a great start in the final and moved from sixth to fourth on lap one, drove his own race and crossed the line in fourth position. “We were the last qualifier for the semi-finals but we had some really good speed, helped by good tactics from the team and managed to get into the final. Starting from sixth place isn’t the best place to be but we made a good start. We got a bit stuck in traffic but had a good result in the end. We are back where we belong and gaining good points,” said the Finn.
PG Andersson had a difficult weekend. Due to a contact with another competitor in the first heat he had to stop his car. The former double Junior World Rally Champion proved what both he and the Volkswagen Polo RX are capable of in the fourth heat with a series of fast laps, despite having to take two joker laps as penalty for a jump start. “In the first heat we had a problem, then I did two average heats. The driving wasn’t good enough – I should really have put in top three times. In heat four I stopped thinking and started driving and things felt normal again. I’ve been scratching my head – I know the speed is in me somewhere. I haven’t lost it, I just need to do it again, but after the fourth heat today I think we can and I’m looking forward,” said the Swede.
FIA European Rallycross Championship contender Tommy Rustad competed at the event in his Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo RX, run together with HTB Racing. Rustad also qualified for the semi-finals after a strong run through the heats and finished fourth, just one place away from a starting position in the final. “The car has been really good again this weekend. I made a mistake in the third heat when I was leading; otherwise I think we could have been in the final. It’s always special to race at Holjes, it’s good to get more time in the car and it’s been a great warm up for the next round of the European Championship in Norway,” said the Norwegian.
Marklund Motorsport team manager Michael Schneider was pleased with the team’s performance at Holjes and hopes they can carry some good fortune to the next events in the championship. “We made a big step forward in Sweden in comparison to recent events, that’s really great for the whole team. We are back on track and we will keep fighting for more. The package is good; the drivers, the car, the engine, everything. It’s hard to get a good result from the back row in the final but Topi did his best and PG gave himself some great confidence with his lap times in the last heat,” he said.
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Trois-Rivieres, Canada (August 7-8).
Sweden World Rallycross Final Result:
1 Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1)
2 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208)
3 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta)
4 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo)
5 Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta)
6 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3)
12 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo)
16 PG Andersson (Volkswagen Polo)
FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers’ Standings:
1 Petter Solberg 159
2 Johan Kristoffersson 115
3 Andreas Bakkerud 113
4 Timmy Hansen 104
5 Reinis Nitiss 96
6 Davy Jeanney 88
7 Mattias Ekstrom 87
8 Toomas Heikkinen 75
9 PG Andersson 51
FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams’ Standings:
1 Ford OlsbergsMSE 209
2 Team Peugeot-Hansen 192
3 SDRX 182
4 VW Team Sweden 154
5 Marklund Motorsport 126
6 EKS 115
7 World RX Team Austria 43
8 Munnich Motorsport 8