The World RX of Argentina played host to the finale of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship as Andreas Bakkerud dominated the Supercar Final to take his third victory of the season.
The young Norwegian driver has already taken two wins this year in the Hoonigan Racing Ford Focus RS RX and was looking for his third as he was in a fight for second place in the Drivers Championship against Double World Champion Petter Solberg and Volkswagen RX Sweden driver Johan Kristoffersson. Contact in the Semi-Finals would end Solberg’s bid which then left a straight fight between Bakkerud and Kristoffersson.
Bakkerud lined up in pole position for the Supercar Final with Kristoffersson alongside whilst the middle row saw 2016 World RX champion Mattias Ekstrom line up the EKSRX Audi alongisde fellow DTM driver Timo Scheider, who had qualified for his first Final this year in the Munnich Motorsport SEAT Ibiza RX. The back row was completed with Topi Heikkinen in the second EKSRX Audi and 2015 World RX of Argentina winner Robin Larsson in his Audi A1.
Bakkerud dominated the start of the race and led into turn one as Kristoffersson filed in behind him whilst there was contact further back between Schieder and Heikkinen. As Kristoffersson stayed with Bakkerud, Heikkinen stayed in touch as Scheider, Larsson and Ekstrom took their joker laps early on. Heikkinen managed to stay ahead of team-mare Ekstrom after he took his own joker on lap five, however out front Bakkerud stayed ahead to take the win ahead of Kristoffersson with Heikkinen completing the podium. Scheider passed Ekstrom late on for fourth place to give the SEAT the highest finish all year whilst Larsson completed the top six.
Bakkerud was overjoyed with the result which secured him third place in the Drivers Championship.
“I am very proud of myself and want to thank all my partners and fans for supporting me. Ever since Ken called me last year to confirm that I was his team-mate, it’s been an incredible journey. Today was a very hard race because there was so much on the line and I’m just so happy that I secured third in the Drivers’ World Championship.”
Kristoffersson finished in second place and this was enough for him to take second place in the Drivers Championship behind Ekstrom.
“After the semi-final, I knew I had to finish P1 or P2 in the final to get second overall so the pressure was on. Once I got to turn three, I just focused on staying behind Andreas and keeping everything clean.”
EKSRX secured the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship as both cars made it through to the Final and the former DTM champion praised his teams hard work throughout the season.
“We have always dreamed of this moment but with the level of competition in World RX, it hasn’t been easy. As a driver and team owner, this year has been fantastic – only three years ago we were starting out with a blank sheet of paper and now we are double champions, it is just the best feeling. For the driver it is nice, but for the team it is even better as everyone has worked so hard.”
Petter Solberg would be classified seventh with Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Sebastien Loeb finishing in eighth place whilst World RX Team Austria’s Timur Timerzyanov had more of the fast pace he has shown this season to finish ahead of Reinis Nitiss who completed the top ten in the OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta.
The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship kicks off next year on March 31st at the Barcelona Grand Prix circuit in Spain.