Driver

YEAR IN REVIEW: RX CARTEL RUE MISSED CHANCES

Sunday 29th of December 2019

In the latest instalment of our team-by-team reviews, we look at Monster Energy RX Cartel 

Team: Monster Energy RX Cartel

Car: Audi S1 RX

Drivers: Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) #13, Liam Doran (GBR) #33

Teams’ Championship Points: 325

Teams’ Championship Position: 3rd

The Monster Energy RX Cartel was one of the last teams to announce its participation for the 2019 season, which brought a reunion of team mates Andreas Bakkerud and Liam Doran – the pair having previously raced together in 2013. Driving Audi S1s run by EKS, Bakkerud and Doran were contenders at every round and Bakkerud only lost out on the World RX Drivers’ title on wins count back at the end of the season.

 Here’s how Andreas and Liam fared head-to-head:

 Quickest Qualifying Times:

AB 8 – 1 LD

Bakkerud set his first of eight fastest times of the season in Q1 at the World RX of Benelux, before team mate Doran went quickest in the very next session at Spa in Q2. When Bakkerud set a quickest time, it was usually in a pair, at Spa, Silverstone and Holjes, with individual fastest times taken at Trois-Rivieres and Canada.

 Semi-final starts:

AB 9 – 8 LD

Doran missed out on two semi-finals through the season, most significantly in the final round at Cape Town RX when Bakkerud was battling for the Drivers’ title. Bakkerud meanwhile made all but one semi, only in round one in Abu Dhabi did he miss out after he was disqualified for an incident with Timmy Hansen in Q3. Through 2019, Bakkerud took the TQ (top qualifier) position three times, and started on pole position in semi-final one.

 Final starts:

AB 7 – 5 LD

In his nine semi-final starts, only in Norway and Sweden did Bakkerud miss out on starting in the final, no thanks to dramatic racing conditions in the semis and final in Norway, and a broken driveshaft that ended his event victory hopes in Sweden. For Doran, his year started strong, with his first of five final appearances at the very first round in Abu Dhabi.

 Podiums:

AB 6 – 1 LD

Bakkerud bounced back from not making the semi-finals in round one to finish on the podium in rounds two, three and four, with a third and two seconds, including a close fight for victory with Timmy Hansen at Silverstone and Timur Timerzyanov at Spa. He finished the year with a pair of podiums in Latvia and South Africa. Doran meanwhile scored a sole podium in the first round at Yas Marina.

 Wins:

AB 1 – 0 LD

Even though he was in the fight for the podium at almost every event, and often in the battle for victory, Bakkerud took a single win at Trois-Rivieres in Canada. He led the final in the last round at Cape Town RX until the first lap incident with Timmy Hansen that dropped Bakkerud to second. Doran almost scored his first ever World RX win in torrential conditions in Norway but dropped out of contention with a broken gear lever.

 Championship:

AB (2nd) 211 points – (8th) 114 points LD

Bakkerud came so, so close to winning his first FIA World Championship title and finished the year level on points with Champion Timmy Hansen, but the Norwegian lost out on wins count-back. Doran lost 7th overall in the Drivers’ standings or chance to be even higher with a difficult final round.

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