|PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media.|
The Norweigan found pace overnight to claim wins in both qualifying heats, and his pace continued as he booked a slot on the front row of the final. With a good start, he leapfrogged Timmy Hansen into turn one and held the lead, but with an early joker lap strategy, Hansen made the overtake when Andreas opted to take his joker lap with two laps remaining. The final ended with the top two split by only a car-length.
“This sucks. Obviously, I had a great pace today, it felt very very good," he said. "In the semi-final, we suffered from some issues with the handbrake, so every time I pulled the handbrake the car stalled, and then obviously I was driving without the handbrake in both the semi and the final.”
Despite the handbrake issues, Bakkerud admits to trying everything in the handbook to try an hang onto the race lead.
“I tried to do everything I could, I tried to use every trick I had in the book to be able to go fast, and I think the guys could see that I had some issues, especially in turn seven and going into the joker here is so tight, so you need a handbrake here to make a rotation," said Bakkerud. "Obviously, I didn't have that. Today, it feels like a big bummer because we were very close in Belgium, but Belgium was okay because I didn’t have the speed for Timur [Timerzyanov], this weekend I really do feel we had the speed to win.”
"I felt I had it almost in my pocket today, and then when I saw 'the Timmy' [Hansen] coming around the outside after I exited the joker, I was like argghh..... if you see my onboard, I was actually shaking my head into turn two because he was driving so defensively, I was like ‘oh come on!' This is boring not racing, no rallycross, no push-to-pass."
The Monster Energy RX Cartel driver finds some positives after missing out on the race win in Silverstone.
"Great starts. KYB doing a great job with dampers. RX Cartel once again on the podium, four in a row which is really, really cool both cars in the final, so from a team principal perspective once again very happy," he said.
While he showed strong pace, Bakkerud is hoping to continue the run at his home event in Hell, Norway next month.
"That's going to be one hell of a race, that is for sure," he said. "We go to Norway with high expectations as always do and as long as my name is on the entry list I’m there to win and hopefully, we can give the guys a run for their money.”
"The championship is really, really great this year. Obviously, coming from the back from Abu Dhabi, it has been some great events. We have been on the podium. It just sucks to stink like champagne and not be happy. So, I just want more in Norway and we keep on pushing and hopefully, the win is nearby."
TEXT - Junaid Samodien