Driver

WORLD RX TEAM BY TEAM REVIEW - MONSTER ENERGY GCK RX CARTEL

Friday 1st of January 2021

Team: Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel

Car: Renault Megane RS RX

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

Teams’ Championship Points: 150

Teams’ Championship Position: 4th

 

The Monster Energy RX Cartel squad and its drivers, Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud and Great Britain’s Liam Doran switched cars and operating teams for 2020, moving to race GCK Renault Megane RS RXs and form the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel team. It was a turbulent season for the RX Cartel, especially for Doran, but Bakkerud was part of the leading contenders at Catalunya-Barcelona, until a first corner crash in round eight ended his podium hopes.

 

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

 

Quickest Qualifying Times:

AB 2 – 0 LD

Bakkerud took the team’s two fastest qualifying times of the season in what would be the final weekend of the year, at Catalunya-Barcelona, including in the very last qualifier of the season in round eight. Like the Peugeot 208 Bakkerud had battled against for the 2019 Drivers’ title, the Megane RS RX didn’t have the pace of the leaders in the first races of 2020. Doran endured incidents and reliability problems and his best qualifying times of the year were in round four in Kouvola-Finland, with P5, and the same result in Q3 in Riga-Latvia during round five. Doran’s best Intermediate Classification position of the season was P8 in round five. Bakkerud was P3 in rounds two and seven, and P2 in round eight.

 

Semi-final starts:

AB 7 – 3 LD

The 2020 season got underway in difficult manner for the RX Cartel pair, Bakkerud missing out on a place in the semi-finals, but it would be the only time the Norwegian didn’t make the top 12. He finished P3 in the semis during round four at Kouvola-Finland, when Finland’s Juha Ryktonen was given a penalty. The semi-final in Riga-Latvia, round six, didn’t go so well though. During a battle for P3 and a place in the final, Bakkerud was forced into the tyre wall by Timo Scheider and even though Bakkerud was classified third he wasn’t able to progress to the final with the Megane heavily damaged. In the last round of the year, Bakkerud won his semi-final. Doran made the semi-finals three times and took a best result of P5 in round six.

 

Final starts:

AB 4 – 0 LD

Bakkerud was the only RX Cartel driver to make the final during 2020, which he did four times. On the first three starts, in Holjes-Sweden (round two), Kouvola-Finland (round four) and Catalunya-Barcelona (round seven) he finished P6, but in the last final of the season, he started on pole position for the final and was on course to fight for at least a podium if not victory, but contact with Johan Kristoffersson at turn one, and then with an unsighted Robin Larsson, ended Bakkerud’s race at the start.

 

Championship:

AB (7th) 121 points – LD (13th) 29 points

Seventh in the World RX Drivers’ Championship was Bakkerud’s worse of his World RX career, but if the season had continued for the planned rounds after Catalunya-Barcelona, he may have finished higher up with the Megane RS RX coming on form. Doran was 13th, scoring 92 points less than Bakkerud.

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