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...
Swedish rallycross team Marklund Motorsport finished fifth at the tenth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Barcelona, Spain, at the first ever rallycross event held at the famous Formula One circuit [September 20]. The result ensures that the team maintain fourth overall in the World Rallycross Teams Championship standings.
American star Tanner Foust proved the pace of the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar by not only claiming fifth place in the final but also setting second fastest time in heat three, and fourth fastest time in heat two. Finn Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen was second fastest in Saturday’s free practice and also made it into the semi-finals, but like Foust suffered from getting stuck in traffic and was unlucky to finish fourth, only just missing out on a place in the final by a single position.
Foust had retired from the first heat after hitting a wall and breaking his cars suspension, leaving him with the uphill task of fighting back into the top 12. He drove well for the remaining heats to ensure qualification into the final stages of the event. “The weekend didn’t start so well for me, crashing into the same wall twice. With this many cars that are so fast, I don’t think you have a very good chance of making the semis if you DNF the first heat, but the Marklund Motorsport team did a pretty amazing effort to get the car sorted and then qualify for the semis and final. I got into the final with a pass on Mattias Ekström on the last lap in the semi, so I’m pretty happy with the weekend. It was unfortunate for Topi not to make it into the final, but I’m sure he will fight back at the next race,” said Foust.
Heikkinen showed great pace throughout the weekend but was consistently caught in battles and wasn’t able to make the most of the potential of the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar. The Finn feels the car took another step forward in Spain. “Of course I’m really disappointed not to be in the final, but we’re working really hard for the future as a team and we’re having new parts to try and push forward all the time. We should be happy with our speed. We need to think about where we were a few races ago. This is so much better, we can fight for the podium places, but this championship is so competitive you need to be in the right place at the right time too. It’s great that Tanner was in the final, but I had some bad traffic, that’s how it is sometimes,” he said.
The penultimate round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship also took place in Barcelona, where Norwegian Tommy Rustad was dominating all the weekend in the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar run by Marklund Motorsport and HTB Racing. He leads the championship by 6 points with one round remaining. “This is more than we could have hoped for before the season. Marklund Motorsport do such a good job with the car, I am able to fight with the World Championship drivers in the heats, and have the speed to be fast in the races. The speed in the European semi-final and final was really good. I should have made a better start in the final, but I was touching the launch control button, while using the handbrake and after investigation from the Stewarts we got excluded from the Finale for this. I want to win in Italy at the last round, to confirm our speed again,” said Rustad.
Marklund Motorsport team manager Michael Schneider was pleased with the performance from all three of the Marklund Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar drivers in Barcelona. “Starting from free practice we have shown our potential. We’ve been really strong here. Tanner made a great start in the final but had nowhere to go; otherwise he could have been higher up at the finish. Both he and Topi did a good job this weekend. Tommy did a really good job again. We’ll do everything we can to help him in the European championship final in Italy,” said Schneider.
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Istanbul, Turkey [3 – 4 October].
FIA World Rallycross Championship, Final Result Spain
1 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3)
2 Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo)
3 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208)
4 Davy Jeanney (Peugeot 208)
5 Tanner Foust (Volkswagen Polo)
6 Robin Larsson (Audi A1)
7 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo)
FIA World Rallycross Championship, Drivers’ Standings
1 Petter Solberg 243
2 Timmy Hansen 208
3 Johan Kristoffersson 182
4 Davy Jeanney 166
5 Andreas Bakkerud 163
6 Mattias Ekstrom 155
6 Reinis Nitiss 134
8 Toomas Heikkinen 121
11 PG Andersson 67
13 Tanner Foust 44
FIA World Rallycross Championship, Teams’ Standings
1 Team Peugeot-Hansen 374
2 Ford OlsbergsMSE 297
3 SDRX 268
4 Marklund Motorsport 216
5 VW Team Sweden 214
6 EKS 174
7 World RX Team Austria 60
8 Munnich Motorsport 39
FIA European Rallycross Championship, Final Result Spain
1 Ole-Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Polo)
2 Alexander Hvaal (Citroen DS3)
3 Joni-Pekka Rajala (Saab 93)
4 Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta)
5 Jerome Grosst-Janin (Peugeot 208)
6 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo)
FIA European Rallycross Championship, Drivers’ Standings
1 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo) 105
2 Jerome Grosst-Janin (Peugeot 208) 99
3 Joni-Pekka Rajala (Saab 93) 74
6 Ole-Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Polo) 67
4 Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Citroen C4) 53
5 Frode Holte (Hyundai i20) 45