Just miss Norway podium

2015-08-25

Swedish rallycross team Marklund Motorsport almost finished on the podium for the second event in a row at the eighth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Hell in Norway.

Swede PG Andersson won the second semi-final in his Volkswagen Polo RX to start on the front row of the final. He took the joker on the first lap and was catching the cars ahead, only for his chances of completing a dream fight-back after problems in Saturday’s first heat to be destroyed by a puncture on the second lap.

Andersson lost time in heat one after contact with another car, but drove fast and consistently in the remaining three heats – proving both his own pace and that of the Volkswagen Polo RX. After qualifying 13th at the Intermediate Classification, Andersson made it into the semi-finals when another car was late to the grid. He drove brilliantly to win the race. “We were lucky to get into the semi-final, but we proved that we had the pace to be there. We had really good fun and I really enjoyed the race. I think we would have been second or third in the final, but I got a puncture somewhere – I don’t know where it happened,” said Andersson. “The driving is quite good now. It’s not perfect everywhere, I caused a problem for myself in the first heat but otherwise it was good. That gives me confidence going into the next events, now it feels great. I’m back.”

Finnish driver Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen had a difficult weekend. The Marklund Motorsport mechanics performed incredible feats on day one by first changing the gearbox and then the engine on Heikkinen’s car in record time, but the Finn missed out on a place in the semi-finals. “I had a terrible weekend. In first practice we broke the gearbox and in the first heat we broke the engine. We were good in heat two but we were fine-tuning the engine. Heat three was good, but it wasn’t enough. The guys did a really great job to change the engine in only 45 minutes, so big thanks to them. The track is really cool in Hell but it’s sad that we didn’t manage to get a good result,” said Heikkinen.

The third round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship also took place in Hell, where Norwegian Tommy Rustad claimed his second victory in a row, driving his Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo RX run together with HTB Racing. Fastest all weekend, Rustad took maximum points from the event and now leads the championship. “It was the perfect weekend for me and we took maximum points. Racing in Norway always puts me more under pressure; lots of people want a Norwegian to win here but I felt I handled it well and we had a great weekend. It’s an incredibly good feeling to win at this race. The car worked perfectly and I’m in a good position in the championship now, but you never know what can happen. We need to stay focused,” said Rustad

Marklund Motorsport team manager Michael Schneider was pleased that the team were able to prove the pace of the Volkswagen Polo RX in Hell, despite not getting the result they wanted. “We had a really bad first heat with both cars. After that we just tried to recover. We showed what the car is capable of in the semi-final and PG was really catching the leaders in the final but the puncture meant he wasn’t able to finish. PG’s pace was really good and he has really improved. The guys did a really impressive job on Topi’s car when they changed the engine and gearbox and it’s a shame he wasn’t able to show what we know he can do,” said Schneider. “It’s really great that Tommy won again in the European Championship, he drove the perfect weekend.”

The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Loheac, France [4 – 6 September].

 

FIA World Rallycross Championship, Final Result Norway:

1 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208)

2 Davy Jeanney (Peugeot 208)

3 Robin Larsson (Audi A1)

4 Alx Danielsson (Audi S3)

5 PG Andersson (Volkswagen Polo)

6 Timur Timerzyanov (Ford Fiesta)

19 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo)

 

FIA World Rallycross Championship, Drivers’ Standings:

1 Petter Solberg 193

2 Timmy Hansen 152

3 Andreas Bakkerud 140

4 Davy Jeanney 139

5 Johan Kristoffersson 135

6 Reinis Nitiss 122

7 Mattias Ekstrom 118

8 Toomas Heikkinen 95

9 PG Andersson 63

10 Robin Larsson 62

 

FIA World Rallycross Championship, Teams’ Standings:

1 Team Peugeot-Hansen 291

2 Ford OlsbergsMSE 262

3 SDRX 218

4 Marklund Motorsport 174

5 VW Team Sweden 161

6 EKS 124

 

 

FIA European Rallycross Championship, Final Result Norway:

1 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo)

2 Joni-Pekka Rajala (Saab 93)

3 Janis Baumanis (Peugeot 208)

4 Jerome Grosst-Janin (Peugeot 208)

5 Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta)

6 Frode Holte (Hyundai i20)

 

FIA European Rallycross Championship, Drivers’ Standings:

1 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo) 83

2 Jerome Grosst-Janin (Peugeot 208) 77

3 Joni-Pekka Rajala (Saab 93) 53

4 Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Citroen C4) 49

5 Frode Holte (Hyundai i20) 45

6 Ole-Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Polo) 40