World RX of France: Loeb and Kristoffersson joint top qualifiers on opening day


Photo credit: FIA World RX

Round nine of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Lohéac, France, opens with a win by current standings leader Johan Kristoffersson in the first of four qualifying sessions. The Swede put his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden VW Polo in front of the rest of the field, followed by French rally legend Sébastien Loeb in his Peugeot 208 with fellow Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) in third.

Race 1 immediately saw Kristoffersson imposing himself over the rest of the field. American star Ken Block took an unexpected win in race 2, with Petter Solberg only fourth, while the third heat saw an exciting battle between Loeb and Ekström for the win, that eventually went the Frenchman’s way. Another fight in Q4 between Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss, the Norwegian eventually won and took seventh overall. Race 5 went to Kevin Eriksson.

Top 12 at the end of Q1:

  1. Kristoffersson
  2. Loeb
  3. Ekström
  4. Solberg
  5. T. Hansen
  6. Block
  7. Bakkerud
  8. Nitiss
  9. Scheider
  10. Eriksson
  11. Grönholm
  12. Heikkinen

The second qualifying round of this year’s FIA World RX of France has handed Team Peugeot-Hansen’s lead driver, nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb, with an awesome win in front of his home crowd. The Frenchman is now joint leader in the overnight standings, together with Johan Kristoffersson (PSRX Volkswagen Sweden).

In race 1, EKS RX driver Nico Müller led his run from start to finish, brilliantly recovering from his troubled heat in Q1. Janis Baumanis also dominated race 2, while race 3 went young Kevin Hansen’s way. Race 4 was literally dominated by the Hoonigan Racing Division team, with Ken Block taking an unexpected win in front of an aggressive (and more experienced) Andreas Bakkerud. The final heat of the day saw Loeb and Kristoffersson go head-to-head with their respective team-mates, Timmy Hansen and Petter Solberg, as well as Audi’s Mattias Ekström. A very popular win for Loeb, in front of Kristoffersson and Ekström: the French rally legend is now joint overnight leader.

OVERNIGHT STANDINGS AFTER Q2:

  1. Loeb 95pts
  2. Kristoffersson 95pts
  3. Block 80pts
  4. Ekström 80pts
  5. Bakkerud 77pts
  6. Solberg 76pts
  7. T. Hansen 73pts
  8. K. Hansen 68pts
  9. Baumanis 66pts
  10. Eriksson 66pts
  11. Nitiss 66pts
  12. Heikkinen 65pts