Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo Mk5) won the eighth round of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship – World RX of Catalunya – at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today (October 18). For Kristoffersson already the fourth win in this year’s championship. Yury Belevskiy (Audi A1) was successful in the second round of the 2020 FIA European Super1600 Rallycross Championship, scoring his second consecutive win this season.
On Sunday morning yesterday’s podium was put all together in the second Q1 race. Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) beat Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208) and Johan Kristoffersson. In the race after Mattias Ekström (Audi S1) drove to the win setting the fastest time in Q1. Timmy Hansen was still good for a second time while Kristoffersson got classified as sixth. In Q2, according to slowest first, Ekström was in the last race and drove with a first-lap-joker-strategy to the fastest time. Championship leader Kristoffersson made it in fourth in Q2. In the final qualifying Ekström set a fourth time, which was sufficient to claim today’s top qualifier. Second in the intermediate classification was Andreas Bakkerud (Renault Mégane Mk4) who set the fastest time in Q3. Kevin and Timmy Hansen qualified respectively as third and fourth with Kristoffersson rounding off the top five.
The first semi-final had Ekström and Kevin Hansen on the front row. Kristoffersson was placed on the second row – for the first time this season – together with Robin Larsson (Audi S1). The grid was completed by Timo Scheider (SEAT Ibiza Mk4) and Tamás Kárai (Audi S1). Ekström won the start and went into the lead after the first turns ahead of Kristoffersson and stayed in the lead for three laps. Kristoffersson went into the joker lap section during lap three with Ekström responding to it in the lap after resulting in Kristoffersson moving into the lead. In the remaining laps Kristoffersson stayed ahead of Ekström. Third place, and a spot in the final, went to Robin Larsson who won it from Kevin Hansen after the latter got stuck in traffic behind Kárai early in the semi-final.
In the second semi-final the front row was occupied by Bakkerud and Timmy Hansen with Anton Marklund (Renault Mégane Mk4) and Niclas Grönholm (Hyundai i20) on the second row and Timur Timerzyanov (Hyundai i20) together with Enzo Ide (Audi S1) on the last row. Bakkerud was leading it from the first corner until he passed through the joker lap section in the fourth lap. He joined the main track again as second ahead of Timmy Hansen and Anton Marklund who both passed through the joker lap section earlier in the race. With two more laps to go he had only Grönholm ahead of him who still had to do his joker. Eventually Bakkerud won semi-final two ahead of Timmy Hansen, Marklund and Grönholm.
Bakkerud was now allowed to start the final from pole and was joined by Kristoffersson on the front row. Ekström and Timmy Hansen shared the second row while Larsson and Marklund were on the third row. When the final got underway an incident between front row starters Kristoffersson and Bakkerud occurred where Bakkerud was squeezed between Kristoffersson and the tyre wall eventually making Bakkerud crashing into the wall on the inside. Third row starter Larsson then could not avoid the collision and hit the Renault Mégane on the door on the driver side, resulting in both drivers out for the rest of the final. The race continued with Kristoffersson leading it from Timmy Hansen, Ekström and Marklund. Kristoffersson made it into the joker lap section in lap three and was afterwards down to third. An error of Ekström the lap after made Kristoffersson moving into second behind Timmy Hansen who still had to pass through the joker lap section. After six laps Kristoffersson reached the finish line first followed by Timmy Hansen, Marklund and Ekström. Commenting on the final afterwards, Kristoffersson said: “I had a great start in the final, I saw Andreas [Bakkerud] drop back, I didn’t expect him to be there. I thought he was further back than he was. I couldn’t do anything different be honest.” The incident at turn one was also reviewed by the Stewards of the Meeting but no further action was taken. In the standings with two more rounds to come Kristoffersson is leading with 219 points. Second and third are Mattias Ekström and Timmy Hansen with respectively 192 and 163 points.
In the second round of the 2020 FIA European Super1600 Rallycross Championship Volland Racing’s and yesterday’s winner Yury Belevskiy was the top qualifier. He set a fastest, second fastest and third fastest time in qualifying. The next four spots all went to Volland Racing Audi A1’s with Gergerly Marton (Audi A1), who was fastest in Q1, second and Artur Egorov (Audi A1), fastest in Q2, third. Marat Knyazev (Audi A1) and Marius Bermingrud (Audi A1), in that order, completed the top five in the intermediate standings.
In the first semi-final Belevskiy and Egorov had a relatively easy ride on one and two for six laps on the track. The battle was behind those two with Marius Bermingrud and Josef Šusta (Škoda Fabia Mk3). Bermingrud managed it to overtake Šusta in the final lap and passed the finish as third. However, afterwards the Stewards penalized Egorov for an action on Bermingrud shortly after the start and the latter himself got penalized for ‘pushing and overtaking’ Šusta. After the maths were done Šusta and Egorov were the qualifiers for the final together with semi-final winner Belevskiy. The second semi-final resulted in a lights-to-flag victory for Marat Knyazev. Gergely Marton and João Ribeiro (Škoda Fabia Mk2) were the other qualifiers for the Super1600 final. The Portuguese driver therefore drove his Škoda Fabia for the second time in a row into the final.
In the final the Volland Racing Audi’s were on positions one to four after the first lap. Only the ranking after six laps was still to be decided. Belevskiy was leading it by the end of the first lap from Knyazev, Marton and Egorov. Marton was the first one to pass through the joker lap section in lap two, Knyazev did the same in lap four while Belevskiy and Egorov both passed through it in the final lap. Belevskiy won his second race of the weekend. This time he was joined on the podium by Marat Knyazev and Gergely Marton. In the standings after two (out of three) events Belevskiy is obviously leading it from Marton. Both are separated by eight championship points (59 versus 51 points) with one more event to come mid December in Germany.
The next round in the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship is at the time of writing scheduled for Belgium (Circuit de Spa-Franchorchamps) in five weeks time (November 21-22) where alongside the ninth round of the World championship also the final round of the 2020 FIA European Rallycross Championship should take place as well as a round of the 2020 Projekt E Series.
World RX final: 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), VW Polo Mk5; 2. Timmy Hansen (S), Peugeot 208; 3. Anton Marklund (S), Renault Mégane Mk4; 4. Mattias Ekström (S), Audi S1; 5. Andreas Bakkerud (N), Renault Mégane Mk4 – DNF; 6. Robin Larsson (S), Audi S1 – DNF.
Super1600 final: 1. Yury Beleveskiy (RUS), Audi S1; 2. Marat Knyazev (RUS), Audi A1; 3. Gergely Marton (H), Audi A1; 4. Artur Egorov (RUS), Audi A1; 5. João Ribeiro (P), Škoda Fabia Mk2; 6. Josef Šusta (CZ), Škoda Fabia Mk3.
Drivers (8/10): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 219; 2. Mattias Ekström (S), 192; 3. Timmy Hansen (S), 163; etc.
Teams (8/10): 1. KYB Team JC (S), 314; 2. Team Hansen (S), 298; 3. GRX Taneco (FIN), 228; etc.
Super1600 (2/3): 1. Yury Belevskiy (RUS), 59; 2. Gergely Marton (H), 51; 3. Artur Egorov (RUS), 39; etc.