Monster Energy athlete Andreas Bakkerud claimed his debut RallycrossRX victory in emotional style at round six of the FIA European Rallycross Championship in Holjes presented by Monster Energy, Sweden
Bakkerud, or Mr Baby Blue as he is affectionately nicknamed in Rallycross, started on the front row of the final, having won his semi-final for the second event in succession, joined by DTM star Mattias Ekstrom, who made it to the final by taking victory in semi-final one.
Bakkerud made the best start, earning himself the Monster Energy Supercharge Award for being first to the first corner, followed by Solberg and Ekstrom. Hansen took the joker lap on the first lap, breaking from the pack, followed by Daniel Holten and Henning Solberg. Ekstrom was next to take his mandatory joker lap on lap two, returning to the main circuit behind Hansen.
Solberg pushed Bakkerud hard for the lead, until retiring from the race with a technical problem on the third lap, leaving Bakkerud clean air before he took his joker on lap four. While in the joker section, the Citroen DS3 driver made a small mistake allowing Hansen to take the lead, before he too made a mistake in the velodrome section, Bakkerud sneaking up the inside.
Ekstrom too capitalised on Hansen’s mistake, passing the Swedish driver on the fast downhill lose section of the Holjes circuit, in front of a rallycross record 30,000 strong crowd.
The trio completed the final two laps nose to tail to fill the podium, Bakkerud picking up a Rockwell watch for taking the win. Henning Solberg had a quiet run to fourth position while Daniel Holten finished fifth, although a long way back having been slowed with a technical problem.
“I was pushing so hard all race, I’m so proud of myself and the whole team. We have worked really hard for this, and to do it in front of all my supporters is amazing,” said Bakkerud.
Ulrik Linnemann claimed his second RallycrossRX Super1600 win of the season. The Dane took the joker lap while running in second positon, allowing fellow front row starter Reinis Nittis to lead at the front. Nitiss led until the final lap, when he too took his joker, allowing Linnemann to take the lead and the victory, ahead of Nitiss and Russian driver Vadim Makarov.
Eric Faren and Ildar Rakhmatullin fought hard for fourth with Faren coming out on top. Swedish driver Kevin Eriksson was removed from contention, spinning into the turn one gravel trap.
TouringCar was won by Irish driver Derek Tohill for the second time this season, extending his championship lead in the process. Tohill was took maximum points from Sweden, finishing top at the intermediate classification and winning both his semi-final and final.
Swedish driver Daniel Lundh was Tohill’s closest challenger finishing second, with Roman Castoral third. Tom Daniel Tanevik earnt a career best fourth, with championship contender Robin Larsson fifth, slowed by a spin and then a puncture. Torleif Lona finished sixth.
The JRX category was won by Kevin Hansen, who took his first win of the season at his home event, joined on the podium by William Nilsson and Magda Andersson.
Round 7 of the FIA European Rallycross resumes after the summer break in LOHÉAC in France on 31st August – 1st September where Sebastian Loeb will be racing.