MID-SEASON REVIEW: THE STORY SO FAR
Round One – Montalegre, Portugal
Winner – Johan Kristoffersson
The Montalegre circuit in Portugal hosted the 2015 World RX season opener, where Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson won on his first event as a permanent driver. In mixed conditions throughout the weekend, Kristoffersson beat reining champion Petter Solberg in the final, while Team Peugeot-Hansen driver Timmy Hansen beat new team mate Davy Jeanney to the final podium position. Ford OlsbergsMSE’s Andreas Bakkerud finished fifth. Marklund Motorsport’s PG Andersson made the final on his first appearance for the team and was sixth. The event witnessed debuts for new World RX teams ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport and World RX Team Austia; Manfred Stohl making it to the semi-final for the Austrian team.
Round Two – Hockenheim, Germany
Winner – Petter Solberg
For the first time, World RX joined the DTM for a joint event at the legendary Hockenheim circuit in Germany. Liam Doran won an early heat but it was SDRX team mate Solberg who qualified top of the Intermediate Classification and won the event, ahead of Latvian Reinis Nitiss and Hansen, who had qualified 12th for the semi-finals and scraped into the final before making it up to third by the finish. Toomas Heikkinen finished fourth after a last corner battle with Robin Larsson and Bakkerud retired on the second lap. JRM Racing made its World RX debut with a pair of Mini RX Supercars for America’s Danny Way and Dave Mirra.
Round Three – Mettet, Belgium
Winner – Topi Heikkinen
In a repeat of his 2014 victory at the Belgian circuit, Heikkinen won the event after a thrilling flat-out battle with Petter Solberg in the final. Kristofferson had been top after the heats but suffered a puncture in his semi-final. Nitiss made it two podiums in a row with third place. PG Andersson had joined team mate Heikkinen on the front row of the final but ran wide in the first corner and finished fourth. Andreas Bakkerud finished fifth while Mattias Ekstrom made his first final appearance of the season but retired with front-end damage to his Audi. Jerome Grosset-Janin won the opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at the event for Albatec Racing.
Round Four – Lydden Hill, Great Britain
Winner – Petter Solberg
Championship leader Petter Solberg claimed his second victory of the season at Lydden Hill, he beat Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom in a fight to the finish line while Johan Kristoffersson finished third on the day of the birth of his first child. Andreas Bakkerud headed OMSE team mate Reinis Nitiss for fourth and fifth while British driver Guy Wilks made the final in a JRM Mini RX, but retired with a puncture. 2013 British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan raced at the event and made the semi-finals for Team Peugeot-Hansen.
Round Five – Estering, Germany
Winner – Davy Jeanney
In the a dominant display, Frenchman Davy Jeanney became the first driver of the season to win three heats, finished top at the Intermediate Classification before winning his semi-final and final to score Peugeot-Hansen’s second ever World RX victory. Petter Solberg extended his margin at the top of the championship standings with second place. Sweden’s Timmy Hansen again fought back from a difficult set of heats to join Jeanney on the podium, making Peugeot-Hansen the only team so far to have both drivers on the podium in 2015. Volkswagen Team Sweden also had two drivers in the final, Kristoffersson finished fourth with Tord Linnerud fifth. Andreas Bakkerud was classified sixth. Norway’s Tommy Rustad won the second round of Euro RX in his Volkswagen Polo.
Round Six – Holjes, Sweden
Winner – Mattias Ekstrom
The sixth round of World RX was all about the very last corner of the weekend, where Timmy Hansen dived down the inside of Mattias Ekstrom to cross the finish line first. He was later demoted to second position for contact, handing Ekstrom the win. Bakkerud continued his run of final appearances and finished on the podium for the first time in 2015. Heikkinen finished fourth, bringing a run of poor form for the Marklund Motorsport team to an end, while Nitiss finished fifth. Championship leader Petter Solberg retired from the final after breaking the steering on his Citroen DS3. Daniel Holten debuted ‘Herbie’ in World RX, the new Volkswagen Beetle built by Eklund Motorsport, while Niclas Gronholm, son of double World Rally Champion Marcus also made his World RX debut.
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