Seger i Belgien

2015-05-18


Marklund Motorsport claimed victory at the third round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Mettet, Belgium as Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen put the Volkswagen Polo RX on the top set of the podium.

Heikkinen led the race from start to finish to win the Belgian race for the second time in two years, while team mate PG Andersson also made the final and finished fourth, only just unable to make it a double podium for Marklund Motorsport, who move up to second in the teams championship standings.

“It’s fantastic to win here again, but it isn’t just me that’s won – we have many guys in the team. Together we can make great results. I really owe this win to the guys. They’ve given me the type of car I want and like. The level is really high right now so it’s really hard to win, which makes it feel even better,” said Heikkinen. The Finn is looking forward to the next round of World RX, which takes place next week at Lydden Hill. “England last year was really good for us, we just had some problems but I’m confident about next weekend. I like the track at Lydden so it can be really good there I think.”

Before the start of the final, Heikkinen and former double Junior World Rally Champion Andersson won both of the two semi-finals, to lock out the front row of the grid for the final. Both drivers made strong starts but as Heikkinen seized the lead, Andersson had nowhere to go on the outside and went wide, to be sixth on lap one. Heikkinen set the fastest lap of the race as he held off championship leader, Petter Solberg while Andersson was hunting the Ford of Nitiss, but although he was a lot quicker he was unable to overtake him to make it a double podium for Marklund Motorsport.

Andersson was pleased with the pace of the Volkswagen Polo RX but disappointed not to stand on the podium with team mate Heikkinen. “When you start from the outside it’s tricky to get into the first corner. I made a really good start but there was no room on the inside, so I just had to try and stay close to Topi, but he slid wide and I slid even wider – then all the other cars came past on the inside,” he said. “This weekend has been a lot better overall, we are improving all the time heat by heat and I think there is still more to come, which is good.”

Marklund Motorsport team principle Jan Marklund feels the team has made significant improvements through the first three rounds of World RX this year. “I think we’ve been working up – we’ve been struggling a lot with the settings but now we’re starting to get there,” said Marklund. “I think the win here last year gave Topi some extra confidence today too. It’s really good for the whole team – we have worked really hard for this. “

Together with HTB Racing, Marklund Motorsport also ran a Volkswagen Polo RX for Norwegian driver Tommy Rustad in the first round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Mettet. Rustad showed strong pace through the weekend and finished first after the Heats, but had to retire from the final after contact in the first corner damaged the suspension on his Volkswagen Polo RX. Despite the retirement, Rustad collected good points for the European championship and is joint second overall. “We’ve had a few problems but in the end we are quite happy that we’ve proven we have the speed. We can take a lot of experience to the next race now,” said Rustad. “The speed is there, I know we can win. Marklund Motorsport are very professional and it’s really good to be working with the team.”

The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place next weekend at Lydden Hill, England, where American star Tanner Foust will join the team for the second time in 2015.

 

Belgium World Rallycross Final Result:

 1 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo)

2 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3)

3 Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta

3 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208)

4 PG Andersson (Volkswagen Polo)

5 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta)

6 Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1)

 

FIA World Rallycross Championship drivers standings:

 1 Petter Solberg 82

2 Johan Kristoffersson 60

3 Toomas Heikkinen 57

4 Andreas Bakkerud 56

5 Timmy Hansen 50

6 Reinis Nitiss 48

7 PG Andersson 43

 

FIA World Rallycross Championship teams’ standings:

 1 SDRX 102

2 Marklund Motorsport 100

3 Ford OlsbergsMSE 99

4 Team Peugeot-Hansen 89

5 VW Team Sweden 77

6 EKS 47

 

Belgium European Rallycross Final Result:

1 Jerome Grosst-Janin (Peugeot 208)

2 Ole-Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Polo)

3 Tamas Karai

4 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo)

5 Frode Holte (Hyundai i20)

6 Francois Duval (Ford Focus)

 

FIA European Rallycross Championship drivers’ standings:

 1 Jerome Grosst-Janin (Peugeot 208)

=2 Tommy Rustad (Volkswagen Polo)

=2 Ole-Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Polo)

4 Francois Duval (Ford Focus)

5 Frode Holte (Hyundai i20)

6 Joni-Pekka Rajala (Saab 93)