Oliver Eriksson in Euro RX and Ken Block in Projekt E victorious at Höljes

The first round of the 2020 FIA European Rallycross Championship was won by Oliver Eriksson (Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST) today (August 23) at Höljes (Höljesbanan) in Sweden. Andréa Dubourg (Peugeot 208) and Peter Hedström (VW Polo Mk5) completed the podium. Ken Block (Ford Fiesta ERX) won the Projekt E category.

Q1 and Q2 in the European championship were already completed yesterday resulting in the overnight lead for Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Peugeot 208) after he was fastest in Q1. Oliver Eriksson set the fastest time in Q2afterwards. Today Eriksson continued on the good pace from yesterday and drove his Fiesta to fastest times in Q3 and Q4 claiming the top qualifier spot. Jean-Baptiste Dubourg, with a third and fourth fastest time today, was second with Norwegian drivers Sondre Evjen (VW Polo Mk5), Thomas Bryntesson (VW Polo Mk5) and Ben-Philip Gundersen (Audi S1) completing the top five.

Frenchman Andréa Dubourg finished second in Euro RX at Höljes. (Photo: Tom Banks)

The first semi-final was won by Oliver Eriksson. He won the start from Sondre Evjen and Andréa Dubourg. Unfortunately for Evjen his semi-final came to an early end in the second lap. With Eriksson leading it from Andréa Dubourg and Ben-Philip Gundersen the leading trio passed all together through the joker lap section in the final lap. Nevertheless Mats Öhman (Audi S1), who was running fourth, came close the three mentioneddrivers qualified for the final.

The second semi-final should have had a front row with Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (pole) and Thomas Bryntesson. However the Norwegian did not made it to the grid in time and therefore the other drivers were moved up and the first non-qualifier – Aleš Fučík (VW Polo Mk5) – was brought in. The win was for Jean-Baptiste Dubourg with both of the Hedströms Motorsport drivers Peter Hedström (VW Polo Mk5) and Pontus Tidemand (VW Polo Mk5) making it through to the final. 

Oliver Eriksson (Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST) leading the Euro RX final ahead of Andréa Dubourg (Peugeot 208), Peter Hedström (VW Polo Mk5) and Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Peugeot 208). (Photo: Tom Banks)

In the first Euro RX final of the season it was front row starter Oliver Eriksson who was leading after turn two. He was followed by second row starter Andréa Dubourg and Pontus Tidemand who started the final from thelast row on the grid. Peter Hedström and Ben-Philip Gundersen both went straight into the joker lap section and joined the main track again as fifth and sixth. Positions in the race didn’t change until lap four when Tidemand spun the Polo. The lap after Jean-Baptiste Dubourg was facing technical issues on his Peugeot. Meanwhile Eriksson and Andréa Dubourg had a comfortable lead on Hedström before going into the joker lap section in the final lap. Eriksson controlled it and took the win in the Euro RX season opener with Andréa Dubourg and Peter Hedström finishing respectively second and third.

In the Projekt E Series American Ken Block set fastest times in today’s Q3 and Q4 to become the top qualifier. Afterwards Block won the final from Natalie Barratt and Hermann Neubauer to become the first ever winner of an event for electrical cars in Rallycross.

Ken Block became the first ever winner of an event for electrical cars in Rallycross. (Photo: Tom Banks)

The FIA European Rallycross Championship as well as the Projekt E Series resume in Riga in Latvia on September 18-19.

Brief Results

Supercar final: 1. Oliver Eriksson (S), Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST; 2. Andréa Dubourg (F), Peugeot 208; 3. Peter Hedström (S), VW Polo Mk5; 4. Ben-Philip Gundersen (N), Audi S1; 5. Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (F), Peugeot 208;6. Pontus Tidemand (N), VW Polo Mk5.

Projekt E final: 1. Ken Block (USA), Ford Fiesta ERX; 2. Natalie Barrett (GB), Ford Fiesta ERX; 3. Hermann Neubauer (A), Ford Fiesta ERX.