Mattias Ekstrom has signalled his return to form in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship after going fastest on the first day of the 2017 World RX of Germany.
The Swedish driver, who secured his World Title at the Estering last year, leads the overnight standings after going fastest in Q1 in his EKSRX Audi Quattro S1 before following up that pace by going second fastest in Q2. Ekstrom holds an eight point lead in the event standings over Timmy Hansen, who was fastest in Q2 and looks the closest challenger to the former World RX Champion.
Petter Solberg lies in third pace overnight, which itself is an achievement considering the Norwegian driver underwent surgery for a broken collar bone on Monday. The PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden driver was fifth fastest in Q1 before going third fastest in Q2. Fellow Norwegian driver Andreas Bakkerud sits in fourth place with the Hoonigan Racing Ford Focus RS RX looking spectacular at the German venue so far this weekend.
2017 World Champion Johan Kristoffersson lies in fifth place overnight after a difficult start to Qualifying for the Swedish driver saw him eighth in Q1 before improving to fourth in Q2. Team Peugeot-Hansen driver Kevin Hansen is on giant killing form as he lies in sixth place overall in the 2016 208 WRX whilst Topi Heikkinen is in seventh place in the second EKSRX Audi and looking for a place in the Supercar Final on Sunday.
Global Rallycross Championship regular Sebastian Eriksson is looking good for his aim to be in the Semi-Finals after holding eighth place overnight in the Olsbergs MSE run Ford Fiesta. Eriksson made his intent clear after going third fastest in Q1. 2016 World RX of Germany winner Kevin Eriksson is also on good form, with the MJP Racing Team Austria driver lies in ninth place in the overnight standings whilst Reinis Nitiss in the third Audi S1 completes the top ten.
Ken Block currently lies in eleventh place overnight in the second Ford Focus and after missing out on the Semi-Finals in Latvia, will be looking to move up the order on Sunday so that he can make sure he seals a place inside the vital top twelve. Janis Baumanis currently holds the final place inside the top twelve with the Team STARD driver hoping for another Supercar Final.
The big names outside the Semi-Final places so far include Sebastien Loeb, who suffered a dismal Q1 to finish eighteenth overall and Timur Timerzyanov who lies one place behind the former WRC Champion. Timo Scheider has work to do in the second MJP Racing Team Austria Ford Fiesta to progress up the order whilst 2015 World RX of Germany winner Davy Jeanney is also outside the top twelve in the DA Racing Peugeot 208.