Denmark’s Ulrik Linnemann fought back from a troubled time in the qualifying stages at Montalegre in Portugal to claim victory at the opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Super1600 Championship.

The front-wheel drive FIA World Rallycross Championship support category featured a record entry of 33 cars in Portugal, and it was Estonia’s Janno Ligur who mastered the challenging conditions to finish top in Q1 and maintain the position at the Intermediate Classification, ahead of local hero Mario Barbosa. Meanwhile, Linnemann ran in a later race in Q1 when the rain was at its worst and could only manage 17th fastest time. He was then 13th fastest in Q2 following contact with Latvia’s Artis Baumanis, for which the Set Promotion driver was excluded from the race, and later got held up in Q3.

The Dane set the fastest time in Q4 to qualify seventh at the Intermediate Classification, before finishing second to Hungary’s Krisztian Szabo in the first semi-final. In the final, Linnemann took the joker on the first lap while Russia’s Timur Shigabutdinov led the field. The Renault Twingo driver took his joker on the fourth lap, Linnemann moving into the lead to claim victory, while Barbosa finished second much to the delight of the home fans and Shigabutdinov finished third. Ligur completed his strong weekend with fourth place while behind Szabo passed Magnus Bergsjobrenden on the fourth lap of the final for fifth place.

“It was a really tough weekend, we had a bad time on Saturday. I started in fourth place in the semi and final but managed to take the victory, which was really great. I have to be at the top all season to win the championship. We need to be consistent,” said Linnemann. Barbosa leads the Super1600 championship after round one, with Linneman and Ligur tied in second place, two points behind. The RX Lites Cup will support the second round of World RX at Hockenheim, Super1600 will return at round four in Great Britain.



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