Hungarian driver Krisztián Szabo celebrated his first victory of 2016 as he took the win at the second round of the 2016 FIA European Super 1600 Rallycross Championship held at Lydden Hill in Kent and in the process took the lead in the Driver Championship.
With 26 cars entered for the second event in 2016, there was tight competition all the way through the event as Europe’s best Super 1600 drivers battled it out to be Top Qualifier for the Semi Finals. Danish driver Ulrik Linnemann led the standings after Qualifying in his Peugeot 208, having won three out of the four sessions, however a roll on to the stricken Saxo of Mario Barbosa lead to both drivers retiring from the event. To add to this, Linnemans Peugeot caught fire and this ruled the Danish driver out of moving on to the Final.
The Final itself saw Szabo lie up in pole position with Artis Baumanis alongside in his Set Promotion Renault Twingo. Timur Shigabutdinov lined up on the middle row in his identical Set Promotion machine and was joined by Josef Šusta in his Super 1600 Skoda Fabia. Linnemann should have lined up on the back row however due to his car fire, Austrian driver Christian Petrakovits moved up as first reserve and lined up his Skoda Fabia alongside Ernestas Staponkus in his Volkswagen Polo.
There was action from the start as contact in turn one between Staponkus and Shigabutdinov immediately ruled the two drivers out of the race and the surviving count of drivers down to four. Whilst Szabo held the lead in the frantic Final, he had to fight hard as he came out of his joker lap to fend off Baumanis, who was looking for a good hul of points after a disappointing show in Portugal. Szabo managed to keep his Skoda Fabia in the lead and held off Baumanis to the flag to take his first win of 2016. Šusta completed the podium with Petrakovits coming home in fourth place.
Szabo now leads the Driver Championship on 51 points with Linnemann in second place on 43 points and Janno Ligur, who missed out on a spot in the Final, in third place on 37 points. The 2016 FIA European Super 1600 Rallycross Championship are next in action at Holjes in Sweden on July 1-3.