The fourth round of this years FIA World Rallycross Championship was run at Silverstone, which is replacing Lydden Hill as the British round.
The Saturday was run in perfect sunshine, but the local guest starts Andrew Jordan and Mark Higgins were unlucky to break the suspension on their cars, when they took a big jump with a bit too much speed.
It had been raining between Saturday and Sunday, so when Q3 was run, it was very greasy. The track did however dry up, so it was an advantage to run late in the qualifying heats.
Andrew Jordan broke his steering in Q4, and that ended his hope to get through to the semi finals.
Johan Kristoffersson, Petter Solberg, Andreas Bakkerud, Kevin Hansen, Kevin Eriksson and Tommy Rustad were into Semi Final 1, while Sebastien Loeb, Mattias Ekström, Timmy Hansen, Niclas Grönholm, Jerome Grosset-Janin and Timur Timerzyanov were in Semi 2.
So well-known names like Robin Larsson, Janis Baumanis and Guerlain Chicherit weren’t part of the semi finals.
Semi 1 one got off to a dramatic start. Teammates Kristoffersson and Solberg hit each other towards Turn 1. Kristoffersson slammed into the tires at high speed, spreading the tirewall all over the track. That resulted in a Red Flag, so the track to be re-established.
It was Solberg changing direction towards Turn 1, so his rear wheel made contact with Kristofferssons front tire, sending the latter into the ear. Solberg got a puncture, while Kristoffersson had a lot of damage to his engine cover.
So the mechanics got busy, since they only had 3 minutes to get the cars ready again. Several rolls of tank tape were used on especially Solberg’s car, since his rear corner was heavily damaged after the contact.
When the start went, Kristoffersson took the lead, followed by Bakkerud and Kevin Hansen. Solberg fell all the way back to 4th, but ended up retire shortly after due to the damage from the first start. Kevin Eriksson had a solo spin, which put him out of the fight.
Kristoffersson won Semi 1 ahead of Bakkerud and Kevin Hansen. The drama wasn’t over when Johan Kristoffersson had to be towed back to the pits, since his car had problems.
Semi 2 wasn’t quite as dramatic, where Sebastien Loeb took the start ahead of Mattias Ekström and Timmy Hansen. Timmy appeared to have everything under control, but he got a puncture two laps before the chequered flag, so Niclas Grönholm ended up getting into the final.
Johan Kristoffersson did have his car ready for the final – and went off into the distance, while the rest had to fight for the remaining places. Sebastien Loeb had a very bad start, and actually entered Turn 1 as the last driver. Andreas Bakkerud had a lot of speed in second, while Mattias Ekström was in third for a long time. He did however end up being passed by Sebastien Loeb, who had made a fantastic comeback.
So after the 6 laps in the final, Johan Kristoffersson was the first to cross the line ahead of Andreas Bakkerud and Sebastien Loeb, Mattias Ekström, Niclas Grönholm and Kevin Hansen.
Johan Kristoffersson still leads the Drivers Championship ahead of Sebastien Loeb, while Andreas Bakkerud and Mattias Ekström both moved past Petter Solberg. So it was costly for Solberg to make the driving error in Semi Final 1.
PSRX Volkswagen Sweden leads the Teams Championship, ahead of EKS Audi Sport and Team Peugeot Total.
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be run in one and a half weeks’ time at the Norwegian city, Hell.