Cyril Raymond dominates RX2 weekend in Canada


Photo credit: RX2 International Series

This weekend’s FIA World Rallycross of Canada (5-6 August) enjoyed the support of the one-make RX2 International Series. Current standings leader as well as reigning RX Lites champion, Cyril Raymond, was second in the overnight standings after day one, just behind his closest rival Dan Rooke.

Let’s take a quick look at the action from day two:

Cyril Raymond is fastest on Sunday’s practice, too, ahead of American hotshot Tanner Whitten and Norway’s Sondre Evjen.

Q3

Dan Rooke once again sets the pace, leading Raymond by 0.8 seconds, with Belgium’s Guillaume de Ridder in third. Despite setting the second-fastest time in the previous session, Sweden’s Simon Olofsson retires from his Q3 run, while female star Jessica Bäckman is ninth.

Q4

Raymond snatches back TQ with the fastest time of the fourth and last qualifier. Rooke only finishes fourth, but he and his French rival are actually both top qualifiers on equal points. De Ridder, however, is only fifteenth, losing third to Whitten (the Belgian enters the semis in P5). DNF for Anders Michalak.

SEMI-FINALS

Raymond’s getaway in semi 1 allows him to control the race in a lights-to-flag victory, with Whitten firmly in second place. Once the joker laps played out, Andreas Bäckman looked set for his career-best third place in a semi-final, also achieving a back-row final slot, until a costly last-lap mistake dropped him to last, behind William Nilsson (fifth) as well as his younger sister Jessica. De Ridder eventually snatched the all-important final place.

Semi 2 was literally dominated by Rooke, who will start from the front row in the final alongside Raymond. Latvian-Russian Vasiliy Gryazin brilliantly held on to his second place, with Sweden’s Simon Olofsson (third) completing the line-up for the final race. American one-off entry Cole Keatts did no better than fifth, behind Sondre Evjen but in front of the other Swedish fast female, Sandra Hultgren.

FINAL

Raymond benefits from a good start, granting him an immediate lead, although Rooke and De Ridder are chasing hard. The Englishman, determined as he was, suffered a major setback in the middle of the race, when contact with De Ridder sent him spinning into a concrete wall, and into the front of Olofsson’s car. Belgium’s De Ridder, then, leapt up to second, followed by Whitten.

In terms of Championship standings, although Raymond’s lead has increased by a few points, Rooke remains firmly in second place, with a substantial advantage over third classified De Ridder.

After this weekend’s Canadian meeting, the World RX Championship returns on 2-3 September, back to Europe for round nine of the series in Lohéac, France. On the French weekend, the WRX and RX2 will be joined by the FIA European Rallycross Championship for both the Super1600 and Supercar classes.