FIRST BLOOD TO SOLBERG AS WORLD RX OF BELGIUM GETS UNDERWAY
Norway’s Petter Solberg has taken an early lead in the Intermediate Classification after turning in the quickest time in Q1 for World RX of Belgium, round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s Solberg won race three from the front to beat the previous best time set by Team Peugeot Total’s Sebastien Loeb, the nine-time World Rally Champion winning race two comfortably ahead of EKS Audi Sport’s Andreas Bakkerud.
Loeb held onto second overall with team mate Timmy Hansen, who won race one, third. The Swede led World RX Championship leader Johan Kristoffersson in the first race of the weekend and beat the reigning champion in a race to the finish line after a split joker strategy.
All three official Peugeot drivers won their races in the sunny Q1 session with Kevin Hansen claiming victory in race four in front of EKS’s Mattias Ekstrom. The 2016 World RX Drivers’ Champion made a mistake at the hairpin on the first lap and dropped to fourth but battled back though the field to finish just behind Hansen.
The closest battle of the session was between GRX Taneco’s Niclas Gronholm and Timur Timerzyanov. Gronholm took his joker on lap two of race three, Timerzyanov responding by taking his joker on lap three, returning to the main circuit behind his Hyundai i20 team mate, but dived up the inside into the next corner. Timerzyanov was eighth quickest but Gronholm was given a five-second penalty and ended up 15th.
Both Olsbergs MSE drivers, Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson were in the thick of the action and are inside the semi-final qualifying positions after the first race of the weekend, joined by both GC Kompetition drivers; Guerlian Chicherit and Jerome Grosset-Janin. Chicherit survived a two-wheeled moment in the first corner of race four.
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