The 2019 World RX runner-up came wheel-to-wheel with Timo Scheider as the German emerged from the joker lap at the end of lap five, and while Scheider was able to keep the Norweigian behind. On the last lap, Andreas saw a gap and went for the overtake on the inside of the German but in the short run to turn five, Scheider defended and squeezed him into the grass bank with significant impact, that tore the front-left corner off the GCK Mégane R.S. RX. He was immediately helped from the car by marshals and taken to the hospital for further evaluation, and was released on Sunday evening.
Scheider finished the semi-final in third-place, but was later disqualified by the FIA Stewards for "unsportsmanlike" behavior.
Bakkerud has not had the smoothest of seasons with GC Kompetition, but put his Renault Mégane in sixth-place overall after the three qualifiers, and progressed to the semi-finals where his weekend abruptly ended. He finished round 6 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in seventh overall.
"Today was really a day about consistency for us in Riga and the target was the podium for sure," Bakkerud said. "I felt we were strong in Q1 and Q2 especially, then we struggled a bit in Q3, got safely to the semi-finals, and saw a lot of action there."
The Norwegian talks us through what happened in the semi-final, including the heavy 120km/h shunt.
"First following the start which had us pushed out but then I caught up to Scheider twice and knew I had the opportunity to overtake him. I saw him break a little late to defend and I took a wider line, cut back to then take the inside line," he explained. "Then I just felt one big punch into the front side of my car that changed its direction entirely and hit the barrier on the left doing 120km/h at the time. There were parts everywhere and I literally just closed my eyes hoping that Marklund and Doran would avoid me."
"At that speed, you never know what can happen. The track medical team did a great job and the Riga hospital did a lot of tests on me, which I really appreciate."
"It’s moments like this that you appreciate the work we’ve done on our safety equipment in the Megane, the seatbelts, our hybrid device, the helmet, and so on - you sometimes take it for granted but now I’m just happy that we use safety equipment that is well proven and of great quality."
Written By - Junaid Samodien