Rallycross party in Höljes

Formula 1 has Monaco, Indycar has Indianapolis, Sportscars has Le Mans – Rallycross has Höljes.

That was how the TV broadcast started from Swedish Höljes – and it is a real party in the middle of a Swedish forest.

It was a weekend full of sun from start to finish, which gave the drivers perfect conditions to battle at this classic track.

Defending World Champion and current Championship second place Mattias Ekström weren’t in Höljes due to a DTM date clash, and Audi Sport had chosen the Swede to sit in his Audi R5 DTM rather than the Audi S1 WRX car.

The EKS team had replaced Ekström with Per-Gunnar Andersson, but little did they know that it was going to be a bad weekend for them. Toomas Heikkinen was the best driver in 14th position, followed by P.-G. Andersson, while Reinis Nitiss was only 18th. Which meant no semifinal for the EKS team, and any remaining dream to defend the championship has seemed to vanish into thin air. They are currently more than 100 points behind the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Team, who leads the team championship.

The four qualifying rounds were close and action-packed, but without any drama.

Sebastien Loeb, Timo Scheider, Ken Block, Sebastian Eriksson, Jean-Baptiste Dubourg
Photo: FIAWorldrallycross.com

In the first semifinal we had Johan Kristoffersson, Sebastien Loeb, Timmy Hansen, Niclas Grönholm, Ken Block, and Timur Timerzyanov, while Petter Solberg, Andreas Bakkerud, Kevin Eriksson, Janis Baumanis, Timo Scheider, and Sebastian Eriksson were in semifinal two.

Kristoffersson, Loeb, and Hansen went through from the first semifinal, where everything went pretty smoothly, while there was a big drama in semifinal two.

Solberg couldn’t start when the green lights were on. Instead, it was Bakkerud who got a clear victory. Kevin Eriksson drove a perfect semifinal and finished second in front of Janis Baumanis. Solberg attempted a few times to drive past Scheider, but he made some small mistakes and had to finish the race in sixth.

Timo Scheider
Photo: FIAWorldrallycross.com

Johan Kristoffersson was untouchable in the final. He won the race by a mile in front of Andreas Bakkerud and Sebastien Loeb. The only exciting moment in the final was when Bakkerud waited to do the joker lap until the last lap, so he could come out anywhere in front, between or behind the two Team Peugeot Hansen cars with Loeb and Timmy Hansen.

With that result, Kristoffersson has extended his championship lead to Petter Solberg, who has now taken the second place from Mattias Ekström, who’s been bumped into third place.

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden leads the team championship, followed by Team Peugeot Hansen and EKS.

The next round of FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held in five weeks’ time in Trois-Rivieres, Canada.


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