On the weekend of the 2/3 July 2016, the Ford Focus RS RX, driven by Hoonigan Racing Division driver Andreas Bakkerud, completed its sixth race in the World Rallycross category at Holjes in Sweden, and by doing so earned its second consecutive win, thus becoming a serious competitor for the title.
The weekend had been mixed for the Norwegian driver; In practice, he finished third, but the first qualifying heat saw the Ford Focus RS RX suffering a double puncture that resulted in a DNF.
The next two qualifying rounds saw Bakkerud take second place in both respectively, before taking a win in the fourth race. His accumulation of good results put Bakkerud into pole position for his semi-final, which, despite a slow start, he went on to win.
Bakkerud commented “I just missed the start, and I saw the guys in front of me were hitting each other. I had been through the joker lap, and even though I couldn’t get my windshield wipers to work, I told myself to keep calm. I saw Timmy [Hansen] getting out of the joker and I just had a big enough gap to take him.”
Not only was this Bakkerud’s second consecutive victory, but it also marked his fourth consecutive World RX podium in Sweden.
“I have no words. Being on the podium four times in a row at Holjes in Supercar…it’s just amazing. It’s an event that every rallycross driver wants to win, and we did it!” he added.
The Focus RS RX race program is a collaboration between Ford Performance, M-Sport, and Hoonigan Racing Division. One of the factory-backed Hoonigan Racing Division drivers has qualified for the Final in five of the six 2016 rounds, and it has been on the podium three times this season.
“Obviously we’ve known the car had pace, but now that we’ve worked some of the bugs out, it’s clear that Andreas’s car is where it needs to be. To come back from a double puncture and a DNF to win really shows the capability of the vehicle and the team,” said Brian Novak, Ford Performance Motorsports Supervisor of Rallycross. “They have been doing an amazing job. Winning two races in a row is incredible. It’s really a testament to how well everyone’s working together.”
Driver and owner of Hoonigan Racing, Ken Block only just missed out on Sunday’s Semi Final, after suffering a bout of bad luck that saw him finish in thirteenth.
“We are optimistic about the future of the car. We obviously still have some work to do and we’d like to get both cars on the podium,” said Novak. “Ken’s having some bad luck, but we’ll keep pushing to get them both up there.”