There was excitement all the way when Round 6 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship was held in Norwegian Hell.
Saturday was a rainy day, which meant that they could save the dry tires for Sunday.
Kevin Eriksson got a big hit in Qualifying heat 1 Saturday, which sent him backwards into the joker lap against his own liking. He was flipped the whole way around, so he was parked against driving direction, but could still complete the race. The slick asphalt due to the rain added to the slide, making it look worse than the actual contact was.
In Qualifying heat 3 we had drama again, when Petter Solberg and Timmy Hansen collided. Hansen retired on the spot, but Solberg limped home with heavy damage to his car.
Qualifying heat 4 saw Johan Kristoffersson, Mattias Ekström, Kevin Eriksson and Andreas Bakkerud bump together in turn 1-2. That send Bakkerud into a huge drift, but he still came out as the leader. Kristoffersson got a puncture due to the contact, and finished fifth and last in the heat.
Andreas Bakkerud, Petter Solberg, Sebastien Loeb, Kevin Hansen, Timur Timerzyanov and Timo Scheider qualified for Semifinal 1, while Mattias Ekström, Johan Kristoffersson, Ken Block, Reinis Nitiss, Toomas Heikkinen and Timmy Hansen went into Semifinal 2.
Bakkerud got a great start and went straight into the joker lap, which is located in turn 1 at the Hell track. That forced Petter Solberg to go along with him, no matter if he wanted or not. Petter got into contact with Timo Scheider and Kevin Hansen out there, and therefore Solberg was dead last for a big part of the heat. He managed to fight back to fourth, but that wasn’t enough for a ticket to the final.
Bakkerud won semifinal 1 ahead of Sebastien Loeb and Timur Timerzyanov.
In semifinal 2 Mattias Ekström took the start, while teammate Toomas Heikkinen went straight for the joker lap, where he, in a fight with Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen, was heading straight towards the grass bank outside the track – but he came back, but in a very lonely last position. Kristoffersson raced so fast, that he grabbed first position from Ekström while Timmy Hansen took the last place in the final.
Bakkerud and Kristoffersson were starting the final from the front row. Bakkerud chose to go the normal route, while Kristoffersson dived straight into the joker lap. Timerzyanov and Timmy Hansen joined him in there, and battled side by side on their way out. On lap 2 Bakkerud went for the joker lap, and came out straight behind Kristoffersson, who had done a perfect first lap. Kristoffersson even had so much speed in the car, that he managed to catch up with Loeb and Ekström even BEFORE they had done their mandatory trip to the joker lap.
Johan Kristoffersson beat everybody in the final, followed by Andreas Bakkerud and Sebastien Loeb. Mattias Ekström could do more than fourth, and lost more points to Kristoffersson at the top of the Championship, that Kristoffersson is leading ahead of Ekström.
Petter Solberg is still third in the World Championship and has made quite a big gap to Timmy Hansen, Sebastien Loeb and Andreas Bakkerud in the following positions.
PSRX Volkswagen Sweden leads the Teams Championship ahead of Team Peugeot-Hansen, which is only a few points ahead of Team EKS, with Hoonigan Racing Divsion in fourth.
The next FIA World Rallycross Championship race will be held on July 1st-2nd in Swedish Höljes, which is the highlight for many of the drivers and not at least, the spectators.