The first day of action for the 2017 World RX of South Africa has ended with a surprising top three that couldn’t have been predicted in the run up to the final event in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Ken Block is Top Qualifier after the completion of both Qualifying One and Qualifying Two with the Hoonigan Racing driver taking the top spot after going fifth fastest in Q1 and then second fastest in Q2. Janis Baumanis holds second place in the Team STARD Ford Fiesta whilst Timmy Hansen lays in third place overnight after going fastest in Q1.
With this weekend being the last World RX event that Block and the Hoonigan Racing Team will compete in for now, the former Global Rallycross Championship driver describes his efforts so far.
“I’m pretty stoked to be on top, this track just really suits this car so we knew from the beginning that it was going to be pretty strong here,” explained Block.
“Our car works best when there is good grip and long corners and this track actually has a lot of good grip and even a lot of the gravel has quite good grip so our car has been really accelerating out of the corners. It’s been fun for me today driving this track, I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Baumanis is once again enjoying a good show of form in the Team STARD Ford Fiesta RXS and explains how he’s enjoying racing at the Killarney International Circuit during its first World RX weekend as a host.
“We are struggling a lot with the starts but there was some action in the corner. I was first after the second corner and I really pushed to get the maximum out of my car. I really enjoyed those four laps,” explained the Latvian.
“I really enjoy this track, you need to know where you need to push and if you don’t do that exactly in the right place you will be in big trouble, but I did everything right and was the fastest man in Q2,”
After going fastest in Q1, Timmy Hansen looks set to be one of the challengers for victory this weekend however the Team Peugeot-Hansen driver’s Q2 time was slowed by a puncture, an issue that quite a few drivers have suffered with so far.
“Q2 wasn’t too good. We had a puncture. But lets talk about Q1 were I finished fastest. That was something special’. I tried to force out some lap time out of the car,” explained Hansen.
“The South African fans are the most amazing fans, you can here them screaming from the stands. The few fans that I have spoken too are very curious about the sport.”