Silverstone World RX: Solberg leads Ekstrom after Saturday
Petter Solberg sits top of the order at the end of day one in Silverstone’s first World RX event.
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:
|1||11||Petter Solberg||Volkswagen Polo R||50||42||92||16|
|2||5||Mattias Ekström||Audi S1||45||45||90||15|
|3||21||Timmy Hansen||Peugeot 208||37||50||87||14|
|4||13||Andreas Bakkerud||Audi S1||39||40||79||13|
|5||9||Sébastien Loeb||Peugeot 208||42||37||79||12|
|6||1||Johan Kristoffersson||Volkswagen Polo R||40||38||78||11|
|7||71||Kevin Hansen||Peugeot 208||36||39||75||10|
|8||68||Niclas Gronholm||Hyundai i20||38||36||74||9|
|9||96||Kevin Eriksson||Ford Fiesta||33||34||67||8|
|10||74||Jérome Grosset-Janin||Renault Megane RS||32||35||67||7|
|11||7||Timur Timerzyanov||Hyundai i20||35||31||66||6|
|12||24||Tommy Rustad||Volkswagen Polo||31||33||64||5|
|13||4||Robin Larsson||Ford Fiesta||28||32||60||4|
|14||6||Janis Baumanis||Ford Fiesta||30||30||60||3|
|15||36||Guerlain Chicherit||Renault Megane RS||29||28||57||2|
|16||134||Mark Higgins||Peugeot 208||34||20||54||1|
|17||92||Anton Marklund||Volkswagen Polo||23||29||52||0|
|18||102||Tamas Karai||Audi A1||27||25||52||0|
|19||66||Grégoire Demoustier||Peugeot 208||26||26||52||0|
|20||42||Oliver Bennett||BMW Mini Cooper||25||24||49||0|
|21||177||Andrew Jordan||Ford Fiesta||20||27||47||0|
|22||84||Herve Knapick||Citroen DS3||22||23||45||0|
|23||58||Ma Quinghua||Ford Fiesta||24||0||24||0|
Russian star Timerzyanov faces UK visa issues again
Silverstone World RX: Kristoffersson survives Solberg crash to win