Vasiliy Gryazin drew first blood as the 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires roared into life at Mettet today (11 May), topping the timesheets in the first qualifying race to send a warning to his rivals that he will be a force to be reckoned with over the coming months.

Gryazin was quick in Belgium last year – placing third in the intermediate rankings – and he came on increasingly strong as the season progressed, reaching the rostrum for the first time in France to secure seventh spot in the final standings.

Competing for Sports Racing Technologies, the Latvian made the perfect start to his 2018 bid at Mettet today by winning his qualifier to lead the way. In hot pursuit are JC Raceteknik ace Ben-Philip Gundersen – who turned heads on his full-time RX2 debut with a commanding performance – and home hero Guillaume De Ridder, who overcame an unfavourable grid slot to fight his way through to third overall.

Glenn Haug – another series returnee – sits a solid fourth overnight, with new boy Henrik Krogstad impressing as he rounded out the top five.

Some of the fancied runners – including big names like Sondre Evjen, Conner Martell and Albert Llovera – endured a tougher time of things, and will be determined to bounce back on Saturday, when all three remaining qualifiers will make for a fast-and-frantic day of RX2 action.

Intermediate Classification:

1. Vasiliy Gryazin LVA 50 points
2. Ben-Philip Gundersen NOR 45 points
3. Guillaume De Ridder BEL 42 points
4. Glenn Haug NOR 40 points
5. Henrik Krogstad NOR 39 points
6. Oliver Eriksson SWE 38 points
7. Jami Kalliomäki FIN 37 points
8. William Nilsson SWE 36 points
9. Simon Olofsson SWE 35 points
10. Simon Syversen NOR 34 points
11. Nathan Heathcote GBR 33 points
12. Anders Michalak SWE 32 points
13. Sondre Evjen NOR 31 points
14. Conner Martell USA 30 points
15. Koen Pauwels BEL 29 points
16. Cole Keatts USA 28 points
17. Albert Llovera AND 27 points

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