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Throwback Thursday: Hockenheim RX 2016

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Throwback Thursday: Hockenheim RX 2016

Exactly four years ago FIA World Rallycross Championship fans were treated to an amazing semi-final race at the World RX of Hockenheim in Germany, which is the focus of this edition of Throwback Thursday.

The final was won by Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom as part of a one-two finish for the EKS team with team mate, Finland’s Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen, second. America’s Ken Block also took the Hoonigan Racing Division’s first podium with the Ford Focus RS RX.

But the major action came in semi-final two, after which World RX TV commentator Andrew Coley exclaimed: “I have never seen a race like that in any motor sport.” Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson started on pole with World RX Team Austria’s Janis Baumanis alongside. On row two was Norway’s Petter Solberg and Sweden’s Kevin Eriksson. Great Britain’s Liam Doran and Block made up the grid.

After a really, really long hold at the race start and the lights went to green, Solberg ran into the rear of Kristoffersson’s Polo at the first turn. On the straight to the famous Sachs Curve, turn two, Eriksson went up the inside of Baumanis for third, but Block went around the outside, all the way onto the loose section. Eriksson and Block dropped to P5 and P6 in the tight corners, as smoke started to pour off the left-rear tyre of Kristoffersson’s Polo. The Swede took his joker on lap one, followed by Eriksson, and returned to the lead. Doran took his joker on lap two. By the middle of lap four, the right rear tyre on the leaders Polo had gone flat, but Kristoffersson continued to hold on.

Solberg took a look around the outside on lap four into Sachs Curve, which allowed Baumanis up into P2. The pair swapped places in the following corners, where Doran overtook Solberg for third. Baumanis took his joker at the end of the same lap, but made hard contact with the rear of Kristoffersson’s car as he re-joined, putting the Ford Fiesta out of contention. At the start of lap five, Solberg retook P2 from Doran, but in the JRM MINI RX, Doran took the place again, leading Coley to shout: “You don’t get this in other motor sport!”

The pack was bunched up behind Kristoffersson, but Doran made a move for the lead over the finish line into lap six, followed by Solberg. Block then also overtook, but Kristoffersson fought back. Block held on tough to take P3 in the race behind Doran and Solberg and go through to the final. The race would go down in World RX history, watch the whole thing here.

 

 

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