Andreas Bakkerud has taken his first win of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship after dominating his home event.
The Norwegian driver joined Hoonigan Racing for the 2016 season and has impressed more and more with the brand new Ford Focus RS RX Supercar. He stated his intentions by going fastest in both Q1 and Q2 to be Top Qualifier at the end of Saturday before going on to follow this up by going fastest in both Q3 and Q4 to give him pole position in Semi-Final One.
Bakkerud stormed to victory in SF1 ahead of the Peugeot-Hansen 208 WRX’s of Timmy Hansen and Sebastien Loeb, however the threat to his win came from World RX Team Austria’s Timur Timerzyanov, who won SF2 and set a faster time.
As Bakkerud lined up on Pole position with Timerzyanov alongside, Timmy Hansen was joined on row two by Championship leader Mattias Ekstrom whilst Loeb occupied the back row alongside Petter Solberg.
Bakkerud launched of the startline in the Final and led the field away with Timerzyanov, Ekstrom and Loeb all electing to take the joker lap straight away. This left Bakkerud leading Hansen and Solberg. Places changed on lap three as Solberg took his Citroen DS3 in the Joker lap, however the Double World RX champion lost out as he rejoined the track and fell to fifth place.
Upfront Bakkerud held onto the lead from Hansen’s Peugeot 208 as the two drivers built a gap behind the chasing pack. Hansen took to the joker himself on lap five and had managed to build up enough of a gap to come out in front of Timerzyanov and take third place from the Russian driver.
Despite the Russian being the closest challenger to Bakkerud all weekend, he was unable to challenge for the lead in the Final. After Hansen came out from his joker lap, Timerzyanov fell back through the field to sixth place.
Bakkerud crossed the line to take the win with Hansen in second place, taking his second podium in a row with Ekstrom in third in his EKSRX Audi S1. Solberg wasn’t able to challenge the front three and come home in fourth whilst Loeb took fifth place ahead of Timerzyanov.
Bakkerud was overjoyed at winning his home event:
“To win my home round on our home track is the best feeling in the world – I’m living the dream,” grinned 24-year-old Bakkerud. “The team has been working really hard for this and now we have the pace with the Focus, all the hard work has paid off. Timur [Timerzyanov] was really quick, I was scared of him going into the final as he was definitely the man to beat this weekend. I pushed as hard as I could and this win is for my fans and for my team – thank you to them all for the support, it means so much to me.”
Ekstrom leads the Drivers Championship by five points from Solberg as the championship moves to Holjes in Sweden on 1-3 July.