FLASHBACK FRIDAY RECALLING THE FIRST FINNISH WORLD RX EVENT
Friday 24th of July 2020
The FIA World Rallycross Championship returns to Finland and the Kouvola circuit this year, for rounds three and four in August. This Flashback Friday looks back to the so-far only World RX event held at the circuit, in 2014.
Thanks to victory at the previous round in Norway, Latvia’s Reinis Nitiss entered round four of the 2014 season in the lead of the World RX Drivers’ Championship, but after a weekend of mixed weather conditions it was America’s Tanner Foust who took victory for the Marklund Motorsport team in the final, in pouring rain.
Following an inter-team Ford OlsbergsMSE battle on lap one between Nitiss and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud, it was Bakkerud who finished second and Nitiss third, the reigning Super1600 champion maintaining the World Championship points lead. LD Motorsports’ Krzysztof Skorupski, from Poland, finished P4 and Sweden’s Anton Marklund, who was TQ (top qualifier) on day one, in P5. Finland’s Joni-Pekka Rajala retired during the race, like he had in the semi-finals, and he only made it into the final after major drama in the semis.
Nitiss won semi-final one as both Team Peugeot-Hansen drivers, Sweden’s Timmy Hansen and Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov, retired. But in semi-final two, in heavy rain, Great Britain’s Liam Doran, Finland’s Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen and Ireland’s Derek Tohill all came together at the second corner, spinning out of the race. Norway’s Petter Solberg was also involved, crashing into Doran’s stationary Citroen DS3.
Solberg was the only one of the four drivers to make it to the grid for the race restart, after frantic work from his mechanics in pre-grid, and he crawled through to finish third and qualify for the final. However, the PS 110% AB team decided to try and repair Solberg’s DS3 further ahead of the final, but ran out of time, meaning Rajala was able to take Solberg’s place on the final grid as the reserve starter.
Watch the full race here.