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Road America
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WEC
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Latvia WRX: Loeb seals maiden World Rallycross win

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Latvia WRX: Loeb seals maiden World Rallycross win
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Oct 2, 2016, 1:59 PM

World Rally legend Sebastien Loeb won the Latvian WRX round by winning the first semi-final ahead of top qualifier Johan Kristoffersson and dominating the final having made the best start from the front row of the grid.

As he did for much of his WRC career, Loeb led from the front, setting a series of fastest laps of the day to secure his first ever World RX win in his maiden first full season of rallycross, and was joined on the podium by teammate Timmy Hansen, who had to fight back from a slow start in his semi-final.

DTM star Mattias Ekstrom, who had extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship points just by qualifying for the semi-finals as season-long rival Petter Solberg finished 17th overall in a torrid event, finished over two seconds back from Loeb after the Frenchman took his joker on lap five and maintained his advantage through the final tour.

Ekstrom is now 27 points in the lead of the standings, while Kristoffersson climbed to second thanks to his points haul from Latvia.

Suffering from food poisoning overnight, Kristoffersson wasn’t able to maintain his qualifying race winning pace in the final.

On the second lap of the main event, Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud made a mistake on the loose section, allowing Kristoffersson to draw alongside and pass his closest challenger in the points race, as the pair crossed the circuit’s largest jump.

However, Kristoffersson ran wide at the following hairpin, allowing both Bakkerud and Hansen up the inside, before immediately taking his joker lap.

Bakkerud, who had picked up damage in a close fight with Davy Jeanney and DTM champion Timo Scheider in semi-final two, finished fourth in the wet conditions, with Kristoffersson finishing further back in fifth. 

Russian driver Timur Timerzyanov finished second to Ekstrom with an accomplished drive in semi-final two to start on the second row for the final, and tried a move around the outside into the first chicane, but in the wet conditions carried too much speed and slid into the outside wall at speed, bringing his race to a premature end.

Latvian driver Janis Baumanis battled with Loeb for second place on the first lap of semi-final one but crashed out when he spun and hit the wall after the circuit’s second jump, putting him out of his home round. 

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Loeb set to remain in World Rallycross in 2017

Loeb set to remain in World Rallycross in 2017
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About this article

Series World Rallycross
Event Latvia
Location Bikernieki Circuit
Author Hal Ridge