Ford OMSE driver Andreas Bakkerud leads the first day of action from the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship opening round at Montalegre in Portugal.
Conditions at the Portuguese track are a complete contrast to twelve months ago as rain soaked the circuit for the first two heats and the weather caught out a few drivers.
Bakkerud made the best of the wet track to go fastest in heat one with 2014 World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg finishing in third place in his SDRX Citroen DS3. The two drivers were at the front again in heat two as Solberg was the quicker driver with Bakkerud second, but his heat one time giving him the advantage.
Timmy Hansen ended the first day in third place, guiding his Team Peugeot-Hansen 208 WRX to second fastest time in heat one but falling to fifth place in heat two. Rounding out the top six are Per-Gunnar Andersson in his Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo, Timur Timerzyanov in his first outing in the Namus OMSE run Ford Fiesta and Topi Heikkinen in the second Marklund Motorsport VW.
Several drivers fell foul of the conditions with Anton Marklund rolling his EKSRX Audi S1 whilst 2014 EuroRX Champion Robin Larsson beeched his Audi A1 in the gravel trap. Muennich Motorsport driver Alx Danielsson was out of the running due to a broken suspension but hopes to be back out for Sundays heat races.
Bakkerud is happy with his work so far and he has more in reserve for Day Two.
“I’m happy with my performance today; the conditions were very tricky for the start, so I focused on that,” said Bakkerud. “As long as we’re top seven in the rest of the heats then we will have good points to get into the semi-finals.
“For sure I want more speed to come later on and I know we are not even close to the limit yet.”
Day Two sees heats three and four take place as well as the two Semi-Final races and the Supercar Final. The Super1600 and RX Lites categories also have their Finals on Sunday.