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Silverstone World RX: Solberg leads Ekstrom after Saturday

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Silverstone World RX: Solberg leads Ekstrom after Saturday
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May 26, 2018, 6:21 PM

Petter Solberg sits top of the order at the end of day one in Silverstone’s first World RX event.

Andreas Bakkerud, EKS Audi Sport
Johan Kristoffersson, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
Andreas Bakkerud, EKS Audi Sport
Johan Kristoffersson, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
Mattias Ekström, EKS Audi Sport
Guerlain Chicherit, GC Competition
Kevin Eriksson, Olsbergs MSE
Timmy Hansen, Team Peugeot Total

Fastest in Q1 on a drying circuit, the PSRX driver set the fastest lap of the weekend until that point on his third tour to beat former World Rally rival Sebastien Loeb on track, the Peugeot driver having hassled Solberg’s Polo in the opening laps of the race.

Solberg then raced Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom for victory in Q2 but was just pipped by the former DTM driver, who had taken an earlier joker.

Although he won the race of the former World RX champions, Ekstrom’s time wasn’t good enough to beat Timmy Hansen’s effort, the Peugeot driver saving a big sideways moment on the entry to the last corner joker section to stop the clocks first in Q1.

Twice second on the timesheets, Ekstrom is second overnight with Hansen third, while a consistent day of being fifth and then fourth fastest in Q1 and Q2 leave’s Ekstrom’s teammate Andreas Bakkerud fourth.

Loeb meanwhile lost time in a close battle for track position in the last World RX race of the day and finished just behind points-leader Johan Kristoffersson on the road and was seventh fastest.

Coupled with being third in Q1, round three winner Loeb is fifth, one place ahead of Kristoffersson, who is still yet to set a fastest qualifying time in 2018.

Peugeot’s third driver, Kevin Hansen gave his older brother Timmy both respect and racing room in the opening corners of their Q2 race, avoiding contact and was fifth quickest to be seventh in the Intermediate Classification.

Russian Timur Timeryzaov did make it to Silverstone despite last-minute concerns over securing a visa to enter the country and is 11th at the end of day one.

Triple British Rally Champion Mark Higgins was tenth quickest in Q1 on his World RX debut but retired from his Q2 race after sustaining damage to his Peugeot 208’s rear suspension on landing from the circuit’s jump.

The same fate had befallen compatriot Andrew Jordan in Q1, the British Touring Car ace then setting 17th time in Q2.

Volkswagen tops Americas Rallycross sessions

The first round of the new-for-2018 Americas Rallycross Championship is also taking place at Silverstone this weekend.

Volkswagen Andretti teammates Tanner Foust and Scott Speed shared the spoils in the three qualifying sessions on the opening day, Foust quickest in Q1 and Q2, Speed recovering from being pushed off in Q2 to be fastest in Q3.

Former Subaru WRC driver Chris Atkinson rolled his Subaru USA WRX STI at turn two of Q2 but with the car landing on its wheels, the Australian was able to complete the race distance.

Leaderboard after Day 1:

Cla#DriverChassisQ1Q2QPIP
1 11 norway Petter Solberg  Volkswagen Polo R 50 42 92 16
2 5 sweden Mattias Ekström  Audi S1 45 45 90 15
3 21 sweden Timmy Hansen  Peugeot 208 37 50 87 14
4 13 norway Andreas Bakkerud  Audi S1 39 40 79 13
5 9 france Sébastien Loeb  Peugeot 208 42 37 79 12
6 1 sweden Johan Kristoffersson  Volkswagen Polo R 40 38 78 11
7 71 sweden Kevin Hansen  Peugeot 208 36 39 75 10
8 68 finland Niclas Gronholm  Hyundai i20 38 36 74 9
9 96 sweden Kevin Eriksson  Ford Fiesta 33 34 67 8
10 74 france Jérome Grosset-Janin  Renault Megane RS 32 35 67 7
11 7 russia Timur Timerzyanov  Hyundai i20 35 31 66 6
12 24 norway Tommy Rustad  Volkswagen Polo 31 33 64 5
13 4 sweden Robin Larsson  Ford Fiesta 28 32 60 4
14 6 latvia Janis Baumanis  Ford Fiesta 30 30 60 3
15 36 france Guerlain Chicherit  Renault Megane RS 29 28 57 2
16 134 Mark Higgins  Peugeot 208 34 20 54 1
17 92 sweden Anton Marklund  Volkswagen Polo 23 29 52 0
18 102 hungary Tamas Karai  Audi A1 27 25 52 0
19 66 france Grégoire Demoustier  Peugeot 208 26 26 52 0
20 42 united_kingdom Oliver Bennett  BMW Mini Cooper 25 24 49 0
21 177 united_kingdom Andrew Jordan  Ford Fiesta 20 27 47 0
22 84 france Herve Knapick  Citroen DS3 22 23 45 0
23 58 china Ma Quinghua  Ford Fiesta 24 0 24 0
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Silverstone World RX: Kristoffersson survives Solberg crash to win

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About this article

Series World Rallycross
Event Silverstone
Location Silverstone
Author Hal Ridge