Sat 19 Aug 2023

Honours even on opening day of title fight at Estering

Isak Sjökvist and Nils Andersson are tied on points in the intermediate classification at the end of the opening day of RX2e action at Germany’s Estering, but it is Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky who goes into the final day of the season with the momentum on her side...

Isak Sjökvist and Nils Andersson are tied on points in the intermediate classification at the end of the opening day of racing in the FIA RX2e Championship at Germany’s Estering today (19 August), but it is Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky who goes into the final day of the season with the momentum on her side.


All three title protagonists had to give best to another dominant performance by flying Finn Tommi Hallman, who set the pace in Qualifying Practice and both heats to comfortably top the table, as he bids to maintain his 100 per cent record in the FIA World Rallycross Championship feeder series after triumphing on his debut at Lydden Hill last month.


Sjökvist was the SET Promotion star’s closest rival in heat one – pipping Andersson to the chequered flag by barely a tenth-of-a-second – before his countryman turned the tables in heat two, but both were then displaced by Åhlin-Kottulinsky, who sped to the second-fastest time after conceding ground in heat one when she was tipped into a first corner spin.


World RX podium-finisher Klara Andersson was rapid on her RX2e return in fifth for CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment, but stablemate Niclas Grönholm found himself out of luck, colliding with Höljes winner Ole Henry Steinsholt in heat one before picking up a puncture in heat two, leaving the Finn rooted to the tail-end of the order.

In the FIA European Rallycross Championship, champion-elect Anton Marklund leads the way in Euro RX1 as he zeroes in on a fourth career crown. The Swede was fastest in heat one, but had to battle back from a clash with Patrick O’Donovan in heat two.


That session was topped by series returnee Peter Hedström, whose superb run saw him slot into second overall behind the wheel of his Hyundai i20, with Jānis Baumanis best-placed in the battle for the championship runner-up spot just behind in third. Enzo Ide occupies fourth spot ahead of seasoned campaigner Ulrik Linnemann and reigning British Champion O’Donovan.

It is advantage Espen Isaksætre in Euro RX3. The Norwegian adopted a cautious approach that saw him playing second fiddle to compatriot Jens Hvaal in both races, as the Škoda driver produced an impressive effort to cement his position at the summit of the standings.


Isaksætre sits second overall, with Martin Kjær going well in third, but championship leader Damian Litwinowicz languishes down the order in eighth following a first heat collision with Volland Racing team-mate Nils Volland, for which the German received a reprimand.


The Estering action continues tomorrow (Sunday, 20 August), with the remaining two heats, semi-finals and all-important finals, at the end of which, three champions will be crowned. Tune in live on Rally.TV!

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