Sat 05 Aug 2023

Belevskiy outpaces title-chasing quartet on Euro RX1 debut

Making his return to the paddock for the first time since finishing runner-up to Johan Kristoffersson on his World RX debut at the Nürburgring in 2021, Yury Belevskiy starred again at Mettet today...

Returning to the paddock for the first time since finishing runner-up to Johan Kristoffersson on his FIA World Rallycross Championship bow at Germany’s Nürburgring at the end of 2021, Yury Belevskiy starred again at Mettet today (5 August), as he saw off the Euro RX1 title protagonists to grab the overnight lead.

Driving for Volland Racing – the team with which he lifted the Euro RX3 laurels two years ago – Belevskiy made the most of drying conditions in the last race of heat one to grab the fastest time of the session, before proving that stellar start was no flash in the pan by holding off Höljes winner Patrick O’Donovan for the third-quickest run in heat two, duly cementing his spot at the summit of the intermediate standings.

Championship leader Anton Marklund sits second, mastering the tricky track surface on dry-weather rubber in heat two to fend off a charging wet tyre-shod Sivert Svardal by a scant 0.081s in a thrilling photo-finish, with the Norwegian – who triumphed on home soil in Hell in June – impressing again behind the wheel of his privately-run Volkswagen Polo to slot into third overall.

The second of the four pretenders to the crown – Jānis Baumanis – is tied on points with Svardal in fourth. The RX Team Latvia ace came out of the blocks on fine form with a faultless performance to go second-quickest in heat one, but lost out in the first corner in heat two when a move to the outside failed to pay off.

O’Donovan was the model of consistency as he placed fourth in both heats – despite last lap contact with Belevskiy in the second of them – to occupy fifth position in the classification, just ahead of seasoned campaigners Ulrik Linnemann and René Münnich, with the German finding his charge compromised by traffic.

There were worse fortunes for home hero Enzo Ide, who damaged his Audi’s suspension with an ‘off’ in heat one, sending him plummeting to the tail-end of the order. The Belgian – currently second in the championship chase – posted the fifth-best time in heat two to climb to 12th, but he has work to do tomorrow to get back on terms with his title rivals.

The racing continues on Sunday with heats three and four, the semi-finals and all-important final. Every moment of the action will be broadcast live on RX+ from 10:30 CET.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM