EKS Audi Sport’s Mattias Ekstrom claimed the accolade of being the first driver to set a quickest qualifying time in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship, as the first session of the season took place in torrentially wet conditions at the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona.

The 2016 World RX Drivers’ Champion won Q1 race two to beat race one winner Petter Solberg’s time by nearly four seconds. Solberg was second quickest overall.

In the final race of the session, GCK owner and driver Guerlain Chicherit led from turn one, holding off reigning Drivers’ Champion Johan Kristoffersson, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver then passing the Frenchman at turn seven, the old first corner on the Catalan rallycross circuit, Kristoffersson winning the race to set the third best time.

Team Peugeot Total’s Sebastien Loeb survived a number of moments in race one and was fourth quickest, Team STARD driver Janis Baumanis slotting into fifth after pushing Solberg hard in the first race of the day.

Team Peugeot Total driver Timmy Hansen led race three for the first two corners but hit the wall on the outside of the track before the jump, EKS’s Andreas Bakkerud holding off GRX’s Timur Timerzyanov for the rest of the race. Bakkerud was sixth quickest overall, Timerzyanov 10th. Hansen didn’t finish.

Both GCK Renault Megane RS Supercars were inside the top ten after their first competitive outing, Jerome Grosset-Janin seventh and Chicherit eighth. 

Despite both Olsbersgs MSE drivers experiencing spins in the session, Robin Larsson finished ninth overall with Kevin Eriksson in 11th.

Find full World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona results HERE.


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