Norway World RX: Kristoffersson ahead of Loeb on Day 1
Points leader Johan Kristoffersson dominated the opening day of the Norwegian World Rallycross Championship round at Hell, setting the fastest time in both Q1 and Q2 to head the order.
As has been the case for most of the season so far, Kristoffersson was handed a less-than-ideal outside grid slot from the Q1 draw, but made the best launch in his race and took the lead from the start to set the best time, the rear bodywork on his Volkswagen Polo smoking after contact to the rear in the first corner.
Starting from pole position in the final race of the day, Kristoffersson held off a challenge from Sebastien Loeb to again set the fastest time and sit top of the standings.
Loeb, who has finished on the podium at each of the four rounds so far this season, braked early on the entry to turn one in Q2 to duck into the standard lap behind Kristoffersson and is second at the close of play on the opening day in Norway.
But, second fastest in Q2 was reserved for Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom, who could only manage eighth in Q1 after a last lap fight for the lead with Kevin Hansen.
Petter Solberg was second and then fourth in the first two qualifiers to hold third overnight, with Ekstrom fifth ahead of Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin.
Timmy Hansen gained a position when Ekstrom was forced wide in the post-joker lap battle in Q1 with Kevin Hansen, the older brother (Timmy) then holding off a strong challenge from Andreas Bakkerud for much of the pair’s race in Q2, before Ekstrom took the lead after the joker laps played out.
Producing yet another solid performance, GRX driver Niclas Gronholm held his ground against Bakkerud at the joker merge on the last lap of their Q2 race and was seventh fastest, the Finn holding eighth overall.
His teammate, triple European rallycross champion Timur Timerzyanov was fourth fastest in Q1, using an exuberant outside move at the first corner to gain ground, but a similar move in Q2 didn’t pay off, he hit the wall on the exit of the corner and retired.
Alex Wurz had a challenging first day in his maiden rallycross event. He jumped the start in both of his qualifying races in MJP Racing’s Ford Fiesta and is 20th overnight.
|1||1||Johan Kristoffersson||Volkswagen Polo R||50||50||100|
|2||9||Sébastien Loeb||Peugeot 208||45||42||87|
|3||11||Petter Solberg||Volkswagen Polo R||42||40||82|
|4||5||Mattias Ekström||Audi S1||36||45||81|
|5||21||Timmy Hansen||Peugeot 208||38||39||77|
|6||71||Kevin Hansen||Peugeot 208||39||38||77|
|7||13||Andreas Bakkerud||Audi S1||37||36||73|
|8||68||Niclas Gronholm||Hyundai i20||35||37||72|
|9||96||Kevin Eriksson||Ford Fiesta||33||35||68|
|10||4||Robin Larsson||Ford Fiesta||34||34||68|
|11||92||Anton Marklund||Volkswagen Polo||31||31||62|
|12||7||Timur Timerzyanov||Hyundai i20||40||20||60|
|13||24||Tommy Rustad||Volkswagen Polo||27||32||59|
|14||60||Joni-Pekka Rajala||Ford Fiesta||30||29||59|
|15||74||Jérome Grosset-Janin||Renault Megane RS||23||33||56|
|16||6||Janis Baumanis||Ford Fiesta||32||24||56|
|17||36||Guerlain Chicherit||Renault Megane RS||24||30||54|
|18||42||Oliver Bennett||BMW Mini Cooper||28||26||54|
|19||64||Kjetil LARSEN||Volkswagen Polo||25||27||52|
|20||32||Alexander Wurz||Ford Fiesta||26||25||51|
|21||77||René Münnich||Seat Ibiza||29||20||49|
|22||66||Grégoire Demoustier||Peugeot 208||20||28||48|
|23||31||Max Pucher||Ford Fiesta||22||0||22|
Solberg, Kristoffersson deny conflict rumours amid recent crashes
Norway World RX: Kristoffersson takes dominant victory