‘Hollywood’ makes triumphant return to Lydden Hill

Credit: FIA World RX / IMG

Following a dominant display in Q1, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team lead by Petter Solberg blitzed the field in Q2 or Round 5 of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The former champion finished the last race with a time of 2 minutes 48.570 seconds, half a second ahead of teammate Johan Kirstoffersson and 2.7 seconds faster than the nearest competitor Mattias Ekström in third place.

There was never any doubt that the two VW drivers would take the top two positions as they drifted in tandem around North Bend.

Andreas Bakkerud did look like he was in prime position to take third place but with Ekström taking his joker lap early came out just in front of the Hoonigan Racing driver.

The Team Peugeot-Hansen drivers looked strong as Timmy Hansen and Sébastien Loeb secured fifth and sixth place in the Q2 standings. The younger Kevin Hansen struggled as he exited his race on the third lap with engine trouble.

Ken Block put in a strong performance once again and challenged Loeb a number of times throughout the race, a last lap move heading in to Paddock Bend was rethought as the Hoonigan driver thought of the bigger picture rather than the race win.

Timur Timerzyanov took his Stard Ford Focus to an eighth place overall ahead of BTCC racer Andrew Jordan, despite this the Brit leads the Russian by one point in the overnight standings.

Niclas Grönholm put his Q1 roll behind him to claim tenth place in Q2, bringing him up to sixteenth in the overnight standings.

Janis Baumanis managed enough to round out the top ten in the overall standings ahead of Kevin Erikkson and Guy Wilks.

With the exception of Ekström the EKS RX team are having a tough weekend, with Reinis Nitiss being penalised for missing his joker lap in Q1 he exited Q2 in spectacular fashion as three-in-to-one through the first corner didn’t work and he ended up in the barriers. Teammate Topi Heikkinen also recorded a DNF as he suffered engine issues.

Oli O’Donovan ends the day in seventeenth position while Oliver Bennett finishes in twenty third place on his World RX debut (and fourth ever rallycross race).