Bakkerud takes Q1 in Canada

by Jack Cunnane

After the disappointment of Sweden, Andreas Bakkerud opened proceedings in Canada by winning qualifying one by four tenths of a second.

Strategy played a part from the very start of the weekend. A new grid selection format was introduced which allowed the drivers to choose which race they wanted to be in for the first qualifying session. Drivers had to take into account who they would be racing against and the number of cars in each race.

Qualifying one opened with a three car race involving Cyril Raymond, Timmy Hansen, and Timur Timerzyanov. Timerzyanov got the jump into turn two as Hansen jokered on lap one. Timerzyanov waited until the very last lap to take his joker and come out JUST ahead of Hansen to take the win in the opening race of Q1.

IMG: FIAWorldRallycross.com

Race two was a little bit more hectic. Guerlain Chicherit, Oliver Bennett and Liam Doran got away evenly from the grid. Doran tried a move around the outside of Chicherit but made contact during his attempt and dropped back,taking the joker on lap one. Bennett made a costly error, sliding off and colliding with the barriers which allowed Doran to take the position uncontested. Doran managed to jump Chicherit after the Frenchman took his joker, taking the win and going fastest by six tenths of a second. He said post-race that : “ I have a different head on me then i had on in Sweden, that was a great start to the weekend

Race three saw the first five car race of the weekend with Timo Scheider, Niclas Gronholm, Janis Baumanis, Anton Marklund, and championship leader Kevin Hansen lining up for it. Marklund was the last of the late brakers and he took the lead into turn two. Baumanis and Gronholm took the joker on lap one which enabled them to close up to Hansen immediately. Hansen jokered on the next lap and fell behind Baumanis, to the audible delight of the STARD team. As Marklund and Scheider took their jokers, Gronholm set the fastest lap of the day. At the joker merge, Marklund dived up the inside of Gronholm and retook the lead. Marklund took the win but could only manage third fastest behind Doran and Timerzyanov. He seemed surprised by the approach of the rest of the drivers at turn 2 saying; “Everyone was braking so early, so i said Ok, Bye bye, see you later”.

IMG: FIAWorldRallycross.com

The fourth and final race of Q1 saw Andreas Bakkerud lining up against Krisztian Szabo, Guillaume De Ridder, Rokas Baciuska and Jani Paasonen. Bakkerud got an amazing start and was ahead of the field before turn two. Paasonen made an incredibly brave move around the outside of the narrow turn 3 to take third. Baciuska jokered on lap one and later came out in front of De Ridder who jokered on the following lap. Bakkerud controlled the race out front and jokered on lap four, coming out comfortably ahead of the rest of the field. Szabo was caught out by Baciuska at the joker merge, the Lithuanian pulling off a tidy move on the Hungarian for P2.

At the end, it was Andreas Bakkerud who crossed the line to win race four and to go quickest in Q1 by six tenths over his teammate Liam Doran and Timur Timerzyanov in third. Speaking afterwards, Bakkerud said; “Coming into this weekend I didn’t feel this track suited us, i didn’t see this one coming….it’s so much fun“.

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