Loeb leads the way in South Africa on Day One

by Phil Kinch

The final round of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship is underway at the Killarney International circuit in South Africa and already is proving to be an exciting end to the season.

After going fastest in Q1 finishing Q2 in sixth place, Sebastien Loeb leads the overnight standings in the 2018 World RX of South Africa and is looking to move up the Drivers Championship order. The Team Peugeot Total driver is in fourth place and needs to gain more ground on his rivals to beat them to second place overall.

Solberg won both of his Qualifying races to stay in second place overnight. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

Petter Solberg holds second place overnight after having won both his Q1 race and Q2 races, despite the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden cars turning up late to the event. Timmy Hansen lies in third place overnight, re-enforcing the pace of the Peugeot’s this weekend.

In the fight for second place between the two EKS Audi Sport drivers in the Drivers Championship, Andreas Bakkerud holds the advantage over team-mate Mattias Ekstrom as the Norwegian driver lies in fourth place after the first two Qualifying sessions.

Timmy Hansen is showing podium challenging pace in Cape Town. Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Johan Kristoffersson has been in fightback mode after spinning in Q1 and finishing in sixteenth place. The 2018 World RX Champion went fastest in Q2 to lie in sixth place so far.

Kevin Hansen is back in fine form after his Estering crash in the Supercar Final and has the third Team Peugeot Total entry in seventh place ahead of Janis Baumanis. Baumanis has showed good form so far after winning the Q1 race and showing good pace in the final race of Q2, putting the sole STARD Fiesta in eight place overall.

Bakkerud holds a slim advantage to close on second pace in the Drivers Championship after Saturday. Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Anton Marklund is the fastest of the GC Kompetition Renault Megane’s in ninth place with Niclas Gronholm the top GRX Taneco Hyundai in tenth place so far as Guerlain Chicherit and Kevin Eriksson complete the vital top twelve places.

The big names outside the top twelve are Timur Timerzyanov, who suffered a puncture in Q2 and Robin Larsson, whilst the two Munnich Motorsport SEAT Ibiza’s will be looking for pace on Sunday. British driver Oli Bennett has suffered turbo failures in both sessions and will be looking to get back out in the final two Qualifying sessions of the year on Sunday.

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