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 World RX Team Marklund Motorsport claimed fourth place at the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Hockenheim, Germany, with Finnish driver Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen.
Heikkinen lost time at the first corner of the final while battling with Ford driver Andreas Bakkerud, and may otherwise have scored a podium finish – the pace of the Volkswagen Polo RX proven by Heikkinen setting the fastest lap of the race.
On the brand new rallycross circuit at the historic F1 venue, all three Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo RX Supercars qualified for semi-final one, and it was PG Andersson who was best placed to make it into the final until contact with another car on lap two damaged his car. Heikkinen finished third with wildcard team mate Tanner Foust just behind in fourth.
“After a tricky weekend it’s good to get a strong result in the final,” said Heikkinen. “The semi-final wasn’t the easiest place to be with all three of us in the same race. We needed to be friendly to each other but still needed to focus on getting into the top three. I managed to do it but really I need to say thank you to PG who let me go when he had a problem with his car on the second lap. We’re going the right way all the time now. The speed was good in the final so I think we can have a good result at the next round in Belgium.”
For the second event in a row, PG Andersson was unable to realise his potential after sustaining damage in the semi-final. “It’s been a long weekend, with very slippery conditions. When it was dry it was much better for me – I was struggling in the wet a bit with the setup,” said the double Junior World Rally Champion. “I was happy to get to the semi-finals but I had contact with Liam Doran, which destroyed one of my wheels, so I pulled out of the way to help my team mate.”
Experienced rallycross driver Tanner Foust made his first of four 2015 appearances for Marklund Motorsport at Hockenheim, and was immediately on the pace. “I came up to speed quickly, with second fastest time in practice. I ended up qualifying fifth into the semi-finals after a few problems in the heats, then a problem at the start of the semi-final and a small crash coming out of the joker put me not in a qualifying position for the final, but Topi was able to bring it home for the team which I think is a good result,” said Foust. The American is looking forward to his next World RX event with Marklund Motorsport at Lydden Hill next month. “I almost a 50% win ratio at Lydden Hill, I think I’ve got a great chance to get a good result there with the Volkswagen Polo RX.”
Marklund Motorsport team principal Jan Marklund was pleased with the progress of the team at Hockenheim and is looking forward to the next round in Belgium, in just two weeks time. “To summarise the weekend, we’ve been struggling a lot with the settings on the car, but it feels like we found where we needed to be at the end. We will take that with us to the next race where we hope to make more progress.”
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will also include the opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, where Marklund Motorsport will also field a Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar for Norwegian star, Tommy Rustad.
Hockenheim Final Result:
1 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3)
2 Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta
3 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208)
4 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo)
5 Robin Larsson (Audi A1)
6 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta)
9 Tanner Foust (Volkswagen Polo)
12 PG Andersson (Volkswagen Polo)
FIA World Rallycross Championship drivers standings:
1 Petter Solberg 57
2 Johan Kristoffersson 42
3 Timmy Hansen 37
4 Andreas Bakkerud 37
5 Reinis Nitiss 34
6 Toomas Heikkinen 29
9 PG Andersson 23
FIA World Rallycross Championship teams standings:
1 SDRX 74
2 Ford OlsbergsMSE 71
3 Team Peugeot-Hansen 65
4 VW Team Sweden 53
5 Marklund Motorsport 52