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S1600 REVIEW: LINNEMANN WINS ROUND ONE IN PORTUGAL

The opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 joined the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Montalegre in Portugal last weekend, and it was Denmark’s Ulrik Linnemann who repeated his 2016 victory at the circuit to take an early championship lead. 

Reigning champion Krisztian Szabo set three fastest times in the qualifying races and survived first corner contact with Finland’s Jussi-Petteri Leppihalme in the final, the Renault Twingo driver retiring from the race after losing a wheel. Linnemann seized the lead at the first corner and took his joker on lap two, returning to the main track in third. When Lithuania’s Kasparas Navickas and Russia’s Timur Shigaboutdinov later took their joker laps, Linnemann retook the lead on the final lap. 

Shigaboutdinov passed Szabo for second position in the final corners but was later deemed to have pushed the Hungarian’s Skoda Fabia and was given a five second penalty, meaning Szabo climbed to second and Latvia’s Artis Baumanis was third. 

“I had a great start in the semi-final and that was enough because the Skoda’s were a little bit slower. In the final I took the lead at the start from second, then something happened in the joker that I didn’t see, but it was enough that I could take the joker and come out in front of Szabo on the second lap,” said Linnemann. “It was two hard races but a brilliant end and I’m really satisfied. For sure it will be hard this year because the other guys are really fast. Hopefully in Belgium and Sweden we can be strong, I’m really looking forward to the next few races.” 

Watch the full Euro RX Super1600 semi-finals and final here. 

Find full results here.

 

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