Saturday 22 August 2020

Ekstrom fights back to take TQ in Holjes.

Mattias Ekstrom took the quickest time in Q2 at the first round of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship to take the top qualifiers position.

On a drying track in Q2, the 2016 World Champion Ekstrom took the lead in Race 4 ahead of Johan Kristoffersson, but with smart team tactics, Robin Larsson was able to push his way ahead of Kristoffersson to lead into the joker. 

With Kristoffersson right behind Larsson throughout the race, we weren't able to see the double world champions true pace in the session, but Ekstrom capitalized on this and set consecutive fastest laps to have a clear gap when he eventually took his joker lap to emerge in the lead ahead of Larsson and Kristoffersson. 

Third in the current order after Q2 is Swede Anton Marklund who won both of his qualifying races, and is the fastest GC Kompetition driver by far, with KYB Team JC's Robin Larsson hot on his hills. 

Finn Niclas Gronholm is comfortable in his GRX Taneco Hyundai i20 Supercar, while his teammate Timerzyanov got his weekend off to a bad start with a right front wheel suspension issue in Q1. 

Defending World RX Champion Timmy Hansen has not had the best starts thus far and is currently seventh in the overall standings after Q2 with younger brother Kevin Hansen right behind in eighth. 

The real shocker thus far is seeing 2019 runner-up Andreas Bakkerud in thirteenth overall after stalling in Q1, and a bad start in Q2, but the Norweigan will fight back. Bakkerud's teammate Liam Doran was unable to start the Q2 after his Renault Megane R.S. RX caught fire in the paddock at the end of Q1. 

One qualifying session remains followed by the semi-finals and finals for the first round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship double-header in Holjes. 

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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