Solberg And Ekstrom Lead Belgium WorldRX Day One

2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg and former double DTM Champion Mattias Ekstrom are tied for the lead after Day One of the WorldRX of Belgium.

EKSRX Team Principal Ekstrom was fastest in heat one and followed this up by finishing 10th overall in heat two, whilst SDRX driver Solberg finished inside the top five to tie for the lead at the intermediate stage. 2014 Mettet winner Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen currently lies in third place overnight after finishing in eighth place in heat one and second in heat two. Ford OMSE’s Andreas Bakkerud is in fourth place whilst Team Peugeot-Hansen‘s newboy Davy Jeanney completes the top five for the WorldRX runners.

Former WRC ace Francois Duval leads the FIA European Rallycross contenders in his Mk2 Ford Focus with Albatec Racing‘s Jerome Grosset-Janin in his Peugeot 208 WRX in second place overnight. Pailler Competiton‘s Fabien Pailler finished in third place whilst Lukas Walfridson has put his Helmia Motorsport Mk3 Renault Clio in fourth place ahead of the Volkswagen Team Sweden VW Polo of Ole-Christian Veiby who lies in fifth place.

The second Albatec Racing entry of James Grint lies in 12th place overnight and has the pace to secure a Semi-Final spot on Sunday whilst EuroRX competitor Peter Hedstrom suffered a scary moment in his Skoda Fabia during heat one as he rolled the car during his Joker lap. Meanwhile, Hungarian Tamas Karai got his event off to a bad start when he ran into Russian Timer Timerzyanov, which resulted in Karai being excluded from heat one.

Ekstrom is overjoyed to be joint leader in the overnight standings in his Audi S1 but spoke about the changing conditions.

“The track is good,” he said, “but the rain has made it hard as the conditions are always changing.  In the first heat, I kept it clean and was lucky but the second didn’t go so well.  The car is working well so tomorrow we continue to push and we aim for the finals like we always do.”

Solberg explained his issues during the first days action.  Solberg’s SDRX team-mate Liam Doran is lying 19th overall after breaking his car’s suspension on the day’s opening heat.

“We had problems with our central differential throughout the second heat so we lost a few seconds on the corners but everything else has been good and no major problems,” said Solberg.

Heats three and four, along with the EuroRX Semi-Finals and Final take place on Sunday as does the WorldRX Semi-Finals and Final.