Sweden’s Timmy Hansen set the fastest time in Free Practice and Q1 to lead the first ever FIA World Rallycross Championship event at Riga in Latvia.

Hansen won the fourth race of Q1 by leading throughout, which included setting the fastest lap of the day. Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud won the last race of Q1 and is second overall behind Hansen, with France’s Sebastien Loeb in third. Hansen’s team-mate lost time behind home driver Reinis Nitiss in his Q1 race, Nitiss leading until the final lap as early race leader Timer Timerzyanov spun after the circuit’s first jump with drivetrain problems.

Championship leader Mattias Ekstrom started on the outside of grid in the very first race, and beat early leader Niclas Gronholm to win on track and be fourth fastest, one place ahead of title-rival Petter Solberg, who finished second to Bakkerud in the last race to be fifth, with Johan Kristoffersson sixth.

Two-time DTM Champion Timo Scheider had a strong Q1 and was seventh quickest in his second appearance in the Muennich Motorsport Seat Ibiza, while Janis Baumanis was fastest of the Latvian drivers in ninth, with compatriot Rienis Nitiss tenth. Gigi Galli makes his return to World RX this weekend in Latvia and chased Loeb on lap one of his race, but hit the wall on the main circuit inside the joker lap entry and spun, losing the Italian time.

Estonia’s Janno Ligur battled with Galli at the end of their Q1 race to be 20th overall on his World RX debut, but Lithuania’s Nerijus Naujokaitis failed to start with technical issues.

Latest results from Latvia RX can be found here.

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