The second half of FIA World Rallycross Championship 2019 started in Swedish Höljes, which is one of the most traditional rallycross tracks in the world.
There was an extra excitement for the Danish viewers as Ulrik Linnemann got his World RX debut in the Honda Civic he normally drives in RallyX Nordic.
The brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen were first and second in the world championship respectively, ahead of Andreas Bakkerud and Janis Baumanis. Niclas Grönholm was lurking behind them.
In Q1 there was a drama for Timmy Hansen, who got pushed to the gravel. It ripped the cover of his rim, so he had a very bad time in Q1.
Reinis Nitiss had a huge roll at the start of his race but he came back in Q2 with the quickest time out of everyone.
It didn’t go so much better for Timmy Hansen in Q2, when he had a solospin. But he still managed to get an okay result.
Andreas Bakkerud was the best driver after the two qualifying rounds on Saturday, in front of Anton Marklund, Kevin Abbring and Kevin Eriksson.
It had rained in the night between Saturday and Sunday, so the track was very greasy.
Liam Doran got pushed around in Turn 1 and posted a really bad time. Timer Timerzyanov was disqualified for touching a floppy.
Timo Scheider spun around by himself and lost an otherwise secure lead. But the track was extremely greasy, which made it hard for the drivers to stay on the asphalt.
The weekend ended in Q3 for Linnemann. After driving seventh fastest time in Q2, he was unfortunately disqualified in both Q3 and Q4, and was done for the weekend. The Dane got disqualified because the datalogger didn’t work and he hit a floppy in Q4. Otherwise he drove 13th and 10th fastest times in the two sessions, and would probably be in the semi final – but it didn’t work that way.
In Q4, Krisztian Szabo spun of the track after a contact with an armco in the Joker Lap. Timo Scheider was disqualified from Q4 for touching a floppy – and Cyril Raymond rolled his car after a driving error.
Sebastian Eriksson surprised everyone by winning Q4. Sebastian was just there as a guest starter, so it was really impressive showing from the young driver, beating the world elite.
So after all the qualifying rounds, Andreas Bakkerud, Kevin Hansen, Timmy Hansen, Kevin Abbring, Anton Marklund and Kevin Eriksson were in Semi 1, while Sebastian Eriksson, Reinis Nitiss, Niclas Grönholm, Rokas Baciuska, Janis Baumanis and Jere Kalliokoski were in Semi 2. Well-known names as Guerlain Chicherit, Liam Doran, Krisztian Szabo, Timo Scheider and Timur Timerzyanov all missed out the semifinals.
Bakkerud took the start, while Timmy Hansen, Marklund and Kevin Eriksson chose to Joker on the first lap. There was drama on the second lap when Bakkerud’s Audi had technical problems. It allowed Kevin Hansen to claim the lead.
Kevin Hansen took Joker on lap four and came out right in front of his big brother Timmy. Timmy got ahead, but a couple for corners later Kevin came back. Kevin Abbring was the last person to do the Joker lap. He came out side-by-side with Timmy Hansen but could squeeze himself past. Later on the same lap he got hit by Timmy in the back corner of his car, so he went off track and Timmy could get past.
But Kevin Hansen won Semi 1 ahead of Timmy and Abbring. Kevin Eriksson, Anton Marklund and Andreas Bakkerud were done for the weekend. Bakkerud later explained that a drive-shaft was broken, and thus he couldn’t go through to the final.
The stewards looked into the incident between Timmy Hansen and Kevin Abbring – but chose not to do any further action.
Sebastian Eriksson took the start in Semi 2 in front of Nitiss, while Baciuska was out off to the gravel but was back to the track again. Grönholm and Baumanis took Joker Lap on the first lap. Kalliokski and Baciuska took their Joker halfway into the heat, while, mens Nitiss took it on the fourth lap, and merged behind Grönholm.
On the penultimate lap, Eriksson took the Joker lap, and came out centimetres in front of Grönholm and pushed the Finn hard. Two corners before the finish, Grönholm was off the track and lost the lead to Sebastian Eriksson, who won ahead of Grönholm and Reinis Nitiss. Janis Baumanis, Jere Kalliokoski and Rokas Baciuska didn’t make it to the final.
Sebastian Eriksson took the start, while Timmy Hansen, Niclas Grönholm, Reinis Nitiss and Kevin Abbring all Jokered on the first lap. Grönholm was pushed off the track by Timmy Hansen and had to take a shortcut back to the right track.
Kevin Hansen took the Joker lap on lap three and came out in P3, after his brother. The two drove very hard against each other, and there was a contact between the two cars. It caused a puncture to Timmy Hansen, who dropped down the field.
Sebastian Eriksson Jokered one lap later and came out in the lead. However, Kevin Hansen was extremely fast in his Peugeot and closed up the gap to the fellow countryman, and put him under pressure all the way to the finish line. Even though Eriksson shut the door in the last corner, Kevin Hansen squeezed himself on the inside and sent Eriksson sideways across the track. Despite all that, Kevin Hansen chose to fall back behind Eriksson again, knowing he’d be penalised otherwise.
So Sebastian Eriksson won the race, ahead of Kevin Hansen and Reinis Nitiss. Niclas Grönholm finished in fourth place, followed by Kevin Abbring and Timmy Hansen.
Two out of three guest drivers on the podium.
The result means that Kevin Hansen reclaims the lead in the championship, in front of his brother Timmy Hansen, while Andreas Bakkerud remains third, and now with Niclas Grönholm in fourth.
Team Hansen MJP leads the team championship, ahead of GRX Taneco and Monster Energy RX Cartel.
The next round of FIA World Rallycross Championship will be run on 3 and 4 August in Canadian Trois-Rivieres.