The Ford OlsbergsMSE duo of Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss were made to work through a difficult weekend in Germany, however both drivers are looking to the positives as they head for the Italian round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Bakkerud’s weekend began in scary fashion as on the run down to turn one in Heat One, he suffered contact which broke his rear suspension and led to him having a 360 degree spin down the back straight, at around 150kph, infront of his other heat race competitors.
“The car started dancing everywhere and I didn’t have any control, It was fine as long as I kept the throttle in but when I had to brake for the hairpin it was a big problem: I saw the fence, I saw the wall, and then I saw every car in the race coming straight for me,” said Bakkerud, “I didn’t hit the fence, I didn’t hit the wall, and nobody hit me. It was just a perfect little spin for YouTube, I saved it — like a boss.”
Due to the spin, Bakkerud finished Day One in 27th position, however by going on to set the fastest time in Heat Three on Sunday, he managed to secure a Semi-Final place. However, starting on the back row of his Semi-Final put Bakkerud on the back foot and he missed out on a Final place.
Team-mate Nitiss faired slightly better in the Heat Stages on Day One, Day Two saw the usually rapid Latvian Superstar suffer mechanical issues that kept him out of the Semi-Finals for the first time this year. Because of this, Nitiss dropped to third in the drivers championship.
It wasn’t our best weekend but I’m happy with our pace and the capabilities we’ve shown as a team,” said Nitiss. “Now is the moment when we need to be strong. We’re in a good position in the team championship and the Supercars standings. That’s a good feeling.”
Bakkerud also shares the positivity as the team heads to Italy. “I’m really excited for the next race, we set some great times and I’m happy with how everything works with the car and the team. I can’t wait to get to Italy and be on the podium.”
With three rounds left in this years championship, the Ford OlsbergsMSE team lead the Teams Championship by 10 points and will have an expanded four car lineup in Italy this weekend where they are joined by Wildcard drivers Gigi Galli, the rally driver known for his spectacular driving style, and former Swedish Touring Car Champion Richard Goransson, who has competed in several RX Lites events this season.
Round 10 of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Franciacorta in Italy on September 27-28.