Loeb leads field in to semi finals as World RX of Hockenheim heats up


Credit: FIA World RX / IMG
Credit: FIA World RX / IMG

A warm day greeted the FIA World Rallycross Championship competitors as they took to the Hockenheim circuit for a second day of action which saw Petter Solberg fight back to top the times in Q3, while Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timmy Hansen took the fastest time in Q4.

It was clear from the word go that Solberg meant business today as he kicked off the Q3 races as he beat Andreas Bakkerud to victory and in turn took the fastest finishing time of the session.

While Q3 was a fairly straight forward affair other than a couple of cars breaking down, Q4 brought the drama.

Ken Block opened the proceedings with a second race victory as he pipped Janis Baumanis to the finish on the final lap as he took the joker lap.

After colliding with Solberg on the opening day, Bakkerud was in the center of an accident again today after being tapped through the opening corner, the Hoonigan Racing driver was then forced in the Guy Wilks who’s car was sent in to tyres with a force great enough for the car to get airborne, crashing back down on the side of the car. Wilks was determined that despite losing so much time he would still finish the race to the delight of the crowd who roared as he crossed the line in a battle scarred car.

With Loeb leading the way in the intermediate classification, Hansen set an impressive time in Q4 that moved him ahead of Solberg’s team-mate Johan Kristoffersson and in to second place.

Credit: EKS RX
Credit: EKS RX

Victor of the two race weekends in 2017, Mattias Ekström had another solid day as he doubled up on World RX and DTM duties on his way to fourth fastest overall following an intense battle with Kristoffersson.

After securing victory in Q3, Solberg went on to take second place in Q4, catapulting him up the standings and placing him fifth position ahead of former DTM champion Timo Scheider.

Kevin Hansen took his Peugeot to seventh place with Timur Timerzyanov in eighth and Kevin Eriksson in ninth.

Ken Block continues a steady weekend as he progresses in to the semi finals in tenth place, this time without team-mate Bakkerud who ended up fourteenth in the intermediate standings.

Reinis Nitiss and Toomas Heikkinen rounded out the top twelve positions to make it the third race in a row that all three EKS RX Audi’s progress in to the semi-finals.

Narrowly missing out on the cut was Euro RX competitor Robin Larsson who fell only four points short of the top twelve as Heikkinen got the better of the two.