Sunday 19 November 2017

A selection of the TOP 40 photographs from the 2017 Gumtree World RX of South Africa

Below you will find a selection of the TOP 40 pictures captured at the 2017 Gumtree World RX of South Africa. Enjoy them!

Johan Kristoffersson jumping the PSRX Volkswagen Polo GTi.
Ken Block taking the jump in his Hoonigan Division Racing, Ford Focus RS.

J.P. Smith (Alderman of Cape Town), Ashley Haigh-Smith, Petter Solberg, Mattias Ekström and Mark Cronje in the Press Conference.

Andreas Bakkerud dialing in some angle on his shakedown lap.
Kornel "CSUCSU" Lukacs completing shakedown laps ahead of the Cape Town RX.

The Silver Falcon's aerobatic display.
Peugeot-Hansen's driver gear being prepared.
Ken Block's, Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS being prepared.

Timerzyanov leading Baumanis and Demoustier.
Sebastien Loeb being interviewed.
British RX2 driver Dan Rooke dialing in some angle in the chicane.
Andreas Bakkerud clipping the barriers while Johan Kristoffersson goes on to win the qualifying round.
Mark Cronje retiring from the lead due to prop-shaft failure.
Toomas Heikkinen and Hansen battling for the lead. 
Timo Scheider clips the barrier trying to hunt down Loeb and Ekström.
Kristoffersson with damage in the qualifying round. 
The Saturday TOP 3: Janis Baumanis (left), Ken Block (centre) and Timmy Hansen (right)
Ashley Haigh-Smith flying over the jump.
Cyril Raymond, RX2 driver catching some air.
RX2 driver Gryazin climbing the kerbs.
LIGHTS OUT and away they go!
RX2 driver, Nilsson completing the qualifying round without bodywork.
MSA Rally action on track.
Terry Grant driving the full length of the rallycross circuit.
Terry Grant running away from his spinning V8 midget to prepare for a stunt.
A South African cross country rally Toyota Hilux going sideways in a demonstration run.
South African driver Ashley Haigh-Smith leads fellow countrymen Mark Cronje but it all goes wrong with a broken steering arm.
Mark Cronje goes on to win the qualifying round while his stranded countrymen watches on. 
Timerzyanov catching some air trying to chase down Timo Scheider. 
LIGHTS OUT and away they go for the 2017 Gumtree World RX of South Africa FINAL. Kevin Hansen retires moments later.
Kristoffersson leads through Turn 2.
Ekström and Solberg battling for second place in the championship.
Timmy Hansen congratulates Mattias Ekström on clinching second in the FIA World RX championship.
Johan Kristoffersson with the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship trophy and Pernilla Walfridsson (Solberg's wife) accepting the Teams' Championship trophy. 
Timmy Hansen pouring some champagne on Johan Kristoffersson. 
RX2 PODIUM: Sondre Evjen (left), Cyril Raymond (Race Winner) and Tanner Whitten (right)
The 2017 Gumtree World RX of South Africa: TOP 3 - Timmy Hansen, Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekström.
The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Champion - Johan Kristoffersson

Backman's RX2 car being prepared.

Photographs By: Junaid Samodien
[All action photographs were captured from behind two fences] 

Thursday 16 November 2017

Kristoffersson dominates the Inaugural World RX event in South Africa

Johan Kristoffersson leading second place Mattias Ekström. 

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver, Johan Kristoffersson signed off the 2017 FIA World Rallycross championship in spectacular fashion by winning the inaugural 2017 Gumtree World RX of South Africa and entered the record books to become the first ever World RX driver to win an FIA sanctioned event in South Africa. It did not just end there for Kristoffersson; he set a new World RX record by winning seven out of 12 World RX events this season.

“It’s fantastic to wrap up the teams’ and drivers’ championship and to also take a win at the final round of the season,” says Johan Kristoffersson, 2017 FIA World Rallycross champion.

RX2 driver Cyril Raymond leading his Qualifying round.
The World RX event was not the only action on track. Frenchman Cyril Raymond won the RX2 season finale rounding off a near-perfect season by taking his sixth (of seven rounds) win of the season. British RX2 driver Dan Rooke rolled his car on lap two, causing the final race to be red-flagged. Rooke climbed out of his car unaided. Despite the rollover Rooke secured second in the RX2 Championship. Sondre Envjen and Tanner Whitten finished second and third in the finale at the Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town. Guillaume De Ridder claimed third in the 2017 RX2 championship.

The Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town was filled to near capacity for the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship event with more than 27 000 fans witnessing the season finales of both the World RX and RX2 Championships.

“I think we’ve won over a lot of new support during our first time in South Africa and the crowd really helped make this weekend a memorable event,” says Paul Bellamy, World Rx Managing Director for IMG.  

The 2016 FIA World RX champion, Mattias Ekström praised the enthusiasm of the South African fans. “The grandstands were full this weekend and the atmosphere and support from everyone here was amazing,” says Mattias Ekström.

Ashley-Haigh Smith stranded while Mark Cronje continues his charge.
South Africa had representatives in the inaugural FIA World RX event - Ashley Haigh-Smith and Mark Cronje. Cronje has extensive karting and rally experience but has limited experience in rallycross. Ashley Haigh-Smith amassed plenty of experience in the Junior World Rally Championship, and he is the only South African driver to have done so.

Mark Cronje and Ashley Haigh-Smith received incredible support on their World RX debuts but neither driver made the semi-finals. Ashley Haigh-Smith and Mark Cronje suffered with issues throughout the weekend. Mark Cronje retired from the lead of his race in Q2 on Saturday, due to propshaft failure while Ashley Haigh-Smith lead into Turn 2 on Sunday in Q4 but immediately retired due to a broken steering arm.

Kornel "CSUCSU" Lukacs on what would be his only run of the weekend.
Kornel “CSUCSU” Lukacs only took part in the Friday shakedown session in his lime green Kia Rio RX supercar and did not take part in any other session. The team were trying to prepare his Kia Rio RX supercar for qualifying on Saturday and Sunday, but it was not to be for the Hungarian driver.

South African fan favourite Ken Block topped qualifying on Saturday and said that his Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RX supercar suits the Killarney International Raceway circuit layout. Block launched off the line in the semi-final round and after some bumping and barging he led into Turn 2. Block entered the jump with significant damage to the front end of his Ford Focus RX. He won the semi-final round but was later DISQUALIFIED for being underweight; this would see him being replaced in the final by Peugeot-Hansen driver Kevin Hansen.

Drivers made their way to the grid for the FINAL in the Gumtree World RX of South Africa. Johan Kristoffersson started on pole position. The three green lights went out; Johan Kristoffersson had a perfect launch seeing him clear of the pursuing pack, with Mattias Ekström and Petter Solberg fighting for second in the FIA World RX Championship. Kevin Hansen retired at the start of the final with transmission issues.

As the laps ticked down Peugeot-Hansen’s driver Timmy Hansen played the right strategy and took the joker lap. He came out second ahead of Mattias Ekström and Petter Solberg.

Mattias Ekström held off a charging Petter Solberg to finish 3rd, Solberg finished 4th and Timo Scheider 5th in the final race of the season. 

The 2017 Gumtree Wolrd RX of South Africa - TOP 3 celebrating with champagne.
The 2017 Gumtree World RX of South Africa race winner, Johan Kristoffersson said: “I got a really good launch in the final and when I got clear space I was able to manage the gap back from Timmy (Hansen) and Mattias (Ekström), as well as manage the tyres well.”

TICKETS for the 2018 Gumtree World RX of South Africa are NOW ON SALE. The final round of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross championship will run from 24-25 November, 2018. To avoid any disappointment book your tickets early.

Written By: Junaid Samodien
Photo's By: Junaid Samodien

Sunday 12 November 2017

Hoonigan Racing bids farewell to the FIA World Rallycross championship

Ken Block, Hoonigan Racing Division Team Driver

Round 12 of the 2017 FIA Rallycross Championship takes place at Killarney International Raceway from 11 to 12 November 2017. This weekend is set to be Hoonigan Racing Divisions final race in the Championship. 

The Hoonigan Racing Division Team made its debut at the 2016 FIA Rallycross Championship with drivers: Andreas Bakkerud and Ken Block. Ken Block had two previous outings in 2014 at the Hell RX and Loheac RX.

Ken Block ended Q2 in the Gumtree World RX of South Africa on the top of the timesheets with a 2:52.023 in his Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS ahead of Janis Baumanis and Johan Kristoffersson. 

Hoonigan Racing Division driver, Ken Block #43 said: "I’m pretty stoked to be on top, this track just really suits this car so we knew from the beginning that it was going to be pretty strong here. Our car works best when there is good grip and long corners and this track actually has a lot of good grip and even a lot of the gravel has quite good grip so our car has been really accelerating out of the corners. It’s been fun for me today driving this track, I’ve really enjoyed it,”

He later went on to say that some circuits have not suited his Ford Focus RS and the team have had issues with the chassis' work and set-ups but he (Ken Block) aims to end his FIA World Rallycross career on a high. 

Ken Block leading his teammate Andreas Bakkerud in Qualifying 2 for the FIA World Rallycross, Cape Town.

Written By: Junaid Samodien
Photo's By: Junaid Samodien

Saturday 11 November 2017

Mark Cronje's Qualifying Two comes to a premature end

Mark Cronje retires from Q2

South African World RallyCross driver Mark Cronje retired with "PROPSHAFT failure" while leading the field in his Qualifying 2 round. 

The THREE lights went out and away they went... Mark Cronje with an incredible start launches to the front of the field. The South African fans went absolutely crazy in salute of what looked like an incredible win. But sadly that was not to be his run came to a premature end. The team will have his car prepared to head out on track tomorrow. 

Mark Cronje said that the only positive from Saturday running was his "incredible starts".

Mark Cronje salutes the crowd

Mark Cronje inspecting his Albatec Racing Ltd - Peugeot 208 WRX

Written By: Junaid Samodien
Photo's By: Junaid Samodien