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Latvia WRX: Kristoffersson leads as Solberg fails to make semi-finals

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Latvia WRX: Kristoffersson leads as Solberg fails to make semi-finals
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Oct 2, 2016, 9:40 AM

Johan Kristoffersson excelled in the wet conditions at Latvia to top the Intermediate Classification and draw level with Petter Solberg in the standings, as the Norwegian failed to make the semi-finals for the first time ever in World RX history.

While Kristoffersson set the fastest time in monsoon like conditions in Q3, by nearly six seconds over anyone else, Solberg led his race looking to fight back from disqualification from Q2 on Saturday afternoon after contact with title-rival Mattias Ekstrom.

However, with a misted up windscreen, Solberg hit the wall in the final corner of Q3, haemorrhaging time before losing the lead of the race to Niclas Gronholm in the final meters a lap later.

Eighth fastest time in Q4 wasn’t enough to lift Solberg into the top 12, he ends the event 17th overall and leaves Latvia without scoring a single point.

All of the drivers in the last race of Q4 stayed out of trouble, knowing a good time would secure them their semi-final positions and it was triple European Rallycross Champion Timur Timerzyanov who made the best start from the outside grid slot to win the race and set the fastest time of the day in the process.

The Russian fought back from problems on day one to end up sixth overall at the Intermediate Classification. 

Andreas Bakkerud is second at the Intermediate stage having been top on day one, while Timmy Hansen also remains inside the top three, despite contact with team mate Sebastien Loeb in Q3 causing both to spin into the wall at turn three.

In the incident, Loeb was marginally slowed by a misted up windscreen, with Hansen behind, but after hitting a patch of standing water heading out of turn two, Hansen lost control of his Peugeot 208 and slid into the rear of Loeb’s sister car.

The pair ran line astern in their Q4 race and finished just 0.003 seconds apart at the finish line, Hansen taking the win, good enough for second fastest time, despite a drying track aiding later races.

Loeb wound up fifth at the intermediate Classification, behind championship leader Mattias Ekstrom in fourth, who stands to gain a significant in the standings if he can make it into the final this afternoon. 

Also making it into the semi-finals is double DTM champion Timo Scheider in eighth overall, with home heroes Janis Baumanis and Reinis Nitiss both putting prior experience of the Bikernieku circuit to good use to qualify in seventh and 11th respectively.

Former JWRC driver Guy Wilks set a solid sixth fastest time in Q3 in the JRM Racing Mini but start line problems in Q4 ended his chances of making the semi-finals.

Contact between Gigi Galli and Ken Block at the start of their Q4 race forced both drivers into the first corner wall, Block retiring on the spot with broken steering while Galli finished but with a broken driveshaft. Block finished the event 16th, with Galli in 20th.

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Solberg disqualified from Q2 after clash with Ekstrom in Latvia

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Latvia WRX: Loeb seals maiden World Rallycross win

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About this article

Series World Rallycross
Event Latvia
Location Bikernieki Circuit
Author Hal Ridge