Solberg and Kristoffersson dominate Lydden Hill Q1

by Vince Pettit

Petter Solberg an Johan Kristoffersson dominated their first race of the day at Lydden Hill to top the Q1 timesheet. The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden pair flew away from the start and were untouchable throughout the race.

There was drama in the opening race of the day when Niclas Gröholm rolled his Ford Fiesta on the exit of the first corner, thankfully for the Finn he emerged unharmed from his spin cycle, leaving the team plenty of work to do before the second race.

Reigning champion Mattias Ekström won his race but could only manage third place overall, possibly as a result of having to slow down for the yellow flags of Grönholm’s accident.

Hoonigan Racing Division’s Andreas Bakkerud finished fourth overall after slotting in to second place behind the Audi S1 of Ekström, a promising start for the Norwegian who has seemed to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in previous meetings.

Reinis Nitiss won his race but was relegated to twenty-third overall with a 30 second time penalty after missing his joker lap, handing the race win to Timmy Hansen who set the fifth fastest time. Ken Block had a quiet race to complete the top six position.

Sébastien Loeb and Kevin Hansen looked like the were putting on a Peugeot demonstration as they dominated the last race ahead of a fierce battle between Martin Kaczmarski, Grégoire Demoustier and Oliver Bennett, who this weekend is making his World RX debut at his home circuit.

Topi Heikkinen timed his joker lap well as he chose to take it early, the result meant that he managed to have the pace to edge ahead of Kevin Eriksson and Janis Baumanis when they took their joker laps to finish respectively ninth and eleventh overall.

Former British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan benefited from Nitiss’ demise to take the tenth fastest spot with Timur Timerzyanov rounding out the top twelve.

For Q2 “M.D.K.” will lead away the pack in the first race ahead of Bennett, Nitiss and Grönholm (as long as his mechanics get the car repaired in time)

The second race sees Jean-Baptiste Dubourg on pole position ahead of “CSUCSU”, Kaczmarksi, Demoustier and British and European Rallycross regular Oli O’Donovan.

Janis Baumanis starts R3 from pole position with Timerzyanov, Kevin Hansen, Guy Wilks and René Muennich, who has switched to the Citroen DS3 of former champion Petter Solberg.

Ken Block will start his race from pole position ahead of a strong line up of Loeb, Heikkinen, Eriksson and Jordan.

The final race of Q2 will see Solberg, Kristoffersson, Ekström, Bakkerud and Timmy Hansen line up for what will surely be the highlight race of the day.

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