It was three in a row for Mattias Ekström when Round 3 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship was run at Hockenheim.
Johan Kristoffersson took second place, followed by Timmy Hansen.
While the 4 qualifying heats on Saturday were run on a dry track, it was completely different on the Sunday. Light rain made the track extremely slippery, and that resulted in a crash for Kevin Hansen in the warm up even BEFORE the semifinal. The mechanics were quick to repair the car, but following a collision with Reinis Nitiss in the semifinal, he didn’t make it through to the final anyway.
It was very difficult conditions for all the drivers, since the starting grid was positioned on the drag racing strip. That meant a completely different asphalt from the normal one, which is mixed up with a lot of rubber. It actually made it look embarrassing for the approx. 600 bhp powerful 4-wheel-drive cars. They were nowhere near the rocket starts that we are used to, but only a lot of wheel spin and randomness deciding who was first into turn one. In our opinion it not good enough, that a World Championship should be held under such conditions. However, when the cars left that special asphalt, they were just as fast as always.
Timo Scheider and Ken Block had a collision in semifinal 2, which prevented both from going through to the final.
Ekström is a clear leader of the Championship, while his countryman Johan Kristoffersson on second and the Norwegian Petter Solberg in 3rd.
Team Peugeot-Hansen (T. Hansen and Loeb) leads the Teams Championship with one point ahead of PSRX Volkswagen Sweden (Kristoffersson and Solberg) and with EKS (Ekström and Heikkinen) in third. Heikkinen has been disappointing this year, and he has to start finishing a lot further up the rankings, if EKS wants to defend the teams title this season.
The teams don’t have much time to get the cars ready, since they’ll already race again this weekend in Belgian Mettet. Ekström won that event in 2016, and if he can make it four in a row in the season, it will be a new record in the WorldRX.