THROWBACK THURSDAY – JOHAN'S GREAT ESCAPE
Thursday 28th of May 2020
In this edition of Throwback Thursday, we look back at another dramatic semi-final, this time from the Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britain at Silverstone, almost exactly two years ago.
PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team mates Petter Solberg, from Norway, and Johan Kristoffersson, from Sweden, started on the front row of the grid in semi-final one. Solberg has been quickest in Q1 on Saturday, but quickest times for Kristoffersson in Q3 and Q4 gave the Swede the TQ (top qualifier) position in the Intermediate Classification, and pole for semi-final one.
Solberg made the best launch as the lights changed to green and started to edge ahead on the way to the first right hand turn, but before the entry to the corner, when Solberg braked Kristoffersson slipped up the inside, clipped the right rear wheel of Solberg’s Volkswagen Polo R Supercar and sent Kristoffersson’s sister car flying into the tyre barrier on the inside.
That pushed the course markers over the track in the first corner. Row two starter, Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud managed to drive around the tyres chased by Solberg, Sweden’s Kevin Eriksson and Kevin Hansen, but Norway’s Tommy Rustad drove flat out into the tyres, stopping his Marklund Motorsport Polo Supercar dead in its tracks. The race was immediately red flag.
While the circuit was repaired, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden mechanics also did their own rushed repair work in the pre-grid, but got Solberg’s right-rear tyre changed and bodywork patched up so he could take the restart. He retired in the restarted race with a mechanical problem, and even though Kristoffersson also had dramas after the finish line, the Swede made it to the final grid and won his third event from the first four rounds of the season. EKS Audi Sport’s Bakkerud and Team Peugeot Total’s Sebastien Loeb also finished on the podium.
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