Monster Energy athlete Liam Doran took victory at the Bompiso Rallycross of Montalegre in Portugal, claiming his fourth career win at European championship level.
Doran had to come from the second row of the grid at round two of the FIA European Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, after a string of problems through the heats made life difficult for the Englishman. Doran had missed heat one altogether, his team discovering a clutch problem in the free practice session early in the day. “To win today is amazing. I really wasn’t expecting it after the problems we’ve had this weekend.” Said Doran. “I drove my heart out today. This makes up for all the hard work over the winter in putting my own team together.”
It was reigning champion Timur Timerzyanov and Petter Solberg who shared the front row for the final, both taking comfortable wins in their respective semi-finals. Solberg jumped the start at the first attempt of the final, incurring the false start penalty of having to take the joker lap twice once the race got underway. At the second start it was Timerzyanov that took the advantage in the first corner, ahead of Solberg, Mats Lysen and Davey Jeanney. Doran made the best start of all from the second row having finished second in semi-final 1, winning the Monster Energy Supercharge Award for getting to the first corner first, and headed straight for the joker lap with Alexander Hvaal hot on his heals.
As the pack started the second lap, Solberg got a run on Timerzyanov, taking the inside line in the first corner. Solberg ran deep, allowing the Russian back up the inside. As Solberg pulled back across, contact was made between the two cars resulting in a front right puncture for Timerzyanov, forcing him out of contention. Mats Lysen ran second, and took his joker lap on the fourth tour, returning to the main circuit behind Doran. By the fifth lap, Solberg had built a big lead, allowing him to take his first joker and return out in front. On the final lap Solberg took his second joker, arriving back in the pack behind Doran and Lysen. Hvaal followed the leading trio across the finish line in fourth, ahead of Frenchman Jeanney and the ailing Timerzyanov.
The Super1600 category was won by sixteen-year-old sensation Kevin Eriksson, competing in only his second ever rallycross event. The young Swede won semi-final 2, to start on the front row of the final. Round one winner Ulrik Linnemann made the best start, leading for a lap before he took his joker at the start of lap two. Eriksson took over the lead and was never headed, taking his joker late in the race and returning out in front, Citroen C2 driver Eric Faren finished second and fast starter Linnemann third.
Robin Larsson dominated the TouringCar category all weekend in Portugal. Fastest in every heat and final, the Swedish driver was never beaten and took a maximum points haul. Belgian driver Koen Pauwels finished second in his Ford Fiesta, ahead of Roman Castoral, who as Solberg, had to take the joker lap twice in his final following a jump start. Round one winner Derek Tohill had a torrid weekend, problems though the qualification heats left him fifth at the Intermediate standings. The Irish driver made a good start in the final, looking as if his weekend might change around only to retire on lap two with mechanical failure.