Saturday 17 October 2020

Icecool Kristoffersson is World RX top qualifier again at Barcelona

Johan Kristoffersson survived an incident in Q2 to continue his strong run of form and claim the top qualifiers spot in the seventh round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Barcelona. 

After dominating in Q1 by 3.137 seconds over Timmy Hansen, and topping Q3, the Swede fought back in Q2 after being pitched onto two wheels at turn one in an incident deemed to be caused by Robin Larsson who squeezed across the front of Marklund and Kristoffersson. 

For the incident, 10-points were deducted from Larsson's Q2 classification, which saw him drop to the tail end of the field. The Swede felt that the penalty was quite harsh: "It was a rough Q2. Got a 10 point penalty after turning into the first corner. I don't know how we are supposed to race. Then something broke after the jump."

Larsson currently misses out on a spot in the semi-finals by a single point but could make the cut should JC Raceteknik withdraw Enzo Ide. 

Reigning champion Timmy Hansen finished second in the intermediate classification showing that Team Hansen's recent tests and upgrades have assisted in solving their traction issues. Whilst his 2019 rival, Andreas Bakkerud finds himself in third-place overall. 

While Bakkerud's GCK Renault Megane R.S. RX was being rebuilt following his crash in Latvia, the Norweigan got behind the wheel of Marklund's supercar to test some tweaks and improvements which has proven to work this weekend.

"Very, very happy that we scored my first qualifying heat win with the Renault Megane. So, absolutely very happy with the boys and the girl's work from the team. I think we did a great development since Riga and we are looking better now," Bakkerud said. 

Kevin Hansen, a bit under the radar this weekend with fourth-place overall. While championship contender Mattias Ekström in fifth overall after battling with clutch issues throughout the three qualifying sessions.

"Again we are struggling with the clutch. We haven't found the issue yet," the Swede said having won his Q3 heat race. 

A dejected Niclas Grönholm leads the GRX Taneco duo in sixth with Timur Timerzyanov in seventh. 

"It's been quite difficult. It's not getting any better. It's quite disappointing not to have the speed and also the car is not easy to drive," Niclas said.

Anton Marklund, Timo Scheider, and Liam Doran complete the top 10 with Oliver Bennett, and Enzo Ide also advancing to the semi-finals. 

Doran was reprimanded by the FIA Stewards for not respecting a car on the left-hand side in Q3. 

As mentioned earlier, Larsson might not advance to the semi-finals should JC Raceteknik allow Enzo Ide to take his spot on the grid. 

Tamas Karai, Patrick Guillerme, and Mandie August have also failed to progress semi-finals and will return for more tomorrow morning 

Written By - Junaid Samodien

No comments:

Post a Comment