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08 Jun 2013

RX: Doran on top after Day 1

Category: ERC, News Posted 08.06.13 21:58 by

Liam Doran, who arrived as the last competitor at Kouvola, is the first of the following order after Saturday’s two qualifying heats, in which the Briton set a fastest and a third fastest time.

 

Liam Doran, who had crashed his Citroën DS3 SuperCar badly in Nyirád, thereby produced a hellish lot of work for his crew. His mechanics worked like lunatics to get the car ready for Kouvola, with success at the eleventh hour. The team just made the trip from England to Finland in time, arriving at the Tykkimäen Moottorirata on Saturday morning. Doran had got the prior permission to present his car till 12.00h for the scruteneering, and eventually all went well after a 10 hours drive and a 30 hours ferry boat crossing.

While sporadic RallycrossRX contender Tanner Foust stormed to the fastest time in free practice, ahead of Timmy Hansen and Toomas Heikkinen, Liam Doran made the first qualifying heat his. Here the Briton was half-a-second quicker than the American, Russian Timur Timerzyanov finished in third place. After Doran claimed the third fastest time in the second runs he found himself with 4 points on top of the board. “All the hard work to fix the car after Hungary to make it to Finland is definitely paying off, sitting first after Heat 1 and 2. Now I’m ready for tomorrow,” stated the Citroën campaigner later.

Troubled in the first three championship rounds by a mysterious misfire of his engine Petter Solberg decided after Hungary to fly his engine builder Julian Godfrey as well as his systems engineer François Regnier into Torsby and his team’s workshops. After much investigations the cause of the troubles was found in a defective sensor. However, for Finland the DS3 was equipped with a brand new engine while the original unit went to England for an overhaul. In Kouvola “Hollywood” started Round 4 with the fourth fastest time in practice, his first run in qualification resulted in a fifth fastest time. In Heat 2 all went well and the 2003 World Rally Champion was unbeatable, leaving second and third place to homeboy Topi Heikkinen and Liam Doran, both with almost the same 1.4s difference behind. Solberg later: “First time all season with a perfect car in Heat 2. Win by 1.5 seconds. Now I’m having fun!”

After winning the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship opener at Lydden Hill in England American Tanner Foust returned to the RallycrossRX series in Finland and featured in two clean qualification runs, setting the second fastest time in Heat 1. During Heat 2 the OlsbergsMSE man competed in the fastest race of the day, finishing third behind Petter Solberg and Liam Doran, with the result that he and the Norwegian are now sharing second place with 6 points each.

Tanner Foust is no longer the only American in the European series, since his compatriot Brian Deegan is racing in Kouvola this weekend. In practice the OMSE Ford Fiesta Mk7 campaigner impressed a lot of people by setting the sixth fastest time, being quicker than the likes of Liam Doran, Frenchman Davy Jeanney and even reigning Eurochamp Timur Timerzyanov. But with a flat tyre in Heat 1 and being held up by multiple Finnish Rallycross Champion Atro Määttä in Heat 2 the ‘Metal Mulisha General’ had a pretty hard debut, finishing Saturday in poor 17th place.

Anton Marklund jumped the start in the first heat and, therefore, was send into a second Joker Lap. But the Swede was still quick enough to set the ninth fastest time. In his second run the center diff made problems, hampering the VW Polo driver of being fast enough to finish better than tenth overall. Peter Hedström faced engine problems in Heat 1, resulting in his 16th place. Heat 2 turned out better, the Škoda Fabia driver made it to 9th place here. Mats Lysen could only do the 11th time in Heat 1, in Heat 2 his rear-diff gave up and the Renault Clio driver had to throw in the towel. Bad luck also for his make-colleague Stig-Olov Walfridsson who ended Heat 2 after crashing into the barriers, in Heat 1 “Stecka” had finished in 19th place. Andreas Bakkerud in the evening: “Day one is done. Twice a sixth time put us on 7th place overall. A new day and more points to fight for tomorrow.”

Swede Eric Färén (Heat 1) and Russian Ildar Rakhmatullin (Heat 2) were setting the fastest times in Super1600s, but after Saturday’s racing was done it was Russian Vadim Makarov who squeezed himself between the two heat winners in the intermediate standings. In TouringCars it was a clearer situation, after Irishman Derek Tohill claimed twice the fastest qualification times he leads the following order with 2 points and a clean slate.

 

 

More pictures to be found in our Gallery here.

 

Situation in SuperCars after Day 1 here.

Situation in Super1600s after Day 1 here.

Situation in TouringCars after Day 1 here.

 

 

Day 1 video highlights.