Driver

SUPER SOLBERG SLIDES TO TOP OF LEADERBOARD AFTER Q2

Two-time World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg slid his way to the head of the Intermediate Classification in the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona, round one of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship after setting the quickest time in Q2.

The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver won Q2 race four to set the best time, ahead of Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin, who both recovered from Q1 dramas to win their respective races and secure second and third on the Q2 timesheets. 

The rain stopped falling early in the Q2 session but the track continued to prove tricky, with Solberg not alone in describing the conditions as some of the most challenging he as ever faced.

“The conditions are the same for everybody, but I spoke to Loeb earlier and he said ‘Petter have you driven on any worse condition before,’ and no, I hadn’t either,” said Solberg. “It’s more about not being too greedy and trying to survive and no do mistakes and it’s been good for that, a fantastic day actually.”

Solberg says the PSRX team has improved its car Polo R Supercar for wet conditions, but a dry track tomorrow could mix up the order. 

“Most of the testing we have done has been in wet and we have improved the car there, but we know this clever guy on the side (Mattias Ekstrom), they are also very smart with how they work and prepare and big respect for that, so we have to be on our toes to push forward. 

“If we’re going to have a chance to win this year we really have to be proper. It will be very interesting tomorrow to see how the conditions will be, it should be dry how it looks. It will be a completely new race again.”

After setting the pace in Q1, EKS Audi Sport’s Mattias Ekstrom slips to second behind Solberg in the classification after setting only seventh best time in Q2, while Johan Kristoffersson is third despite finishing behind Andreas Bakkerud in the final race of the day.

Kevin Hansen’s third fastest time of all in Q2 means he flies the flag for Team Peugeot Hansen in fifth overall, ahead of Janis Baumanis in the STARD Fiesta and Timmy Hansen in the second of the Peugeot 208s. Robin Larsson – winner of race three - completed the top eight for Olsbergs MSE.

All of the permanent World RX teams have at least one car inside the top 12, with Jerome Grosset-Janin top GC Kompetition driver in ninth and Niclas Gronholm completing the top 12 for the GRX team.

Elsewhere, there was drama for Sebastien Loeb after spinning out of the lead at Turn 6 on the opening lap of the final race, before limping home with suspension damage to leave him 11th on the leaderboard, while Kevin Eriksson spun out of the lead in race two and impacted the barriers, the Swede down in 15th as a result.

View the full results from Q1 and Q2 for the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona HERE 

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