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07 Jul 2013

RX: BabyBlue grabs Höljes

Category: ERC, News Posted 07.07.13 23:58 by

Andreas “BabyBlue” Bakkerud won Round 6 of the FIA European Rallycross Championship in front of a record crowd of almost 30,000 spectators in the small 150 inhabitants village of Höljes in Sweden’s so-called Finnwoods.


Day 2 of the Swedish RallycrossRX round started with more bad luck for Petter Solberg. The PS RX team had changed the engine of his Citroën DS3 SuperCar during a night shift with the result, that the Norwegian had already 15 championship points lost from his tally. But in the warm-up session it became certain that they had replaced one evil with another, as the new powerhouse also made problems. While Solberg missed out the third heat his crew changed the engine again, and now he had already 30 series points on his debit side. However, the car was ready in time for Heat 4 in which “Hollywood” drove to the 13th fastest time, but that was still good enough for a place in one of the two six-car Semi-Finals. “Engine still struggles. I am desperate to reach the next round. Crossing all fingers here,” was the short comment from inside the PS RX camp.

In his Semi-Final the 2003 World Rally Champion made it to third place behind Mattias Ekström and Timmy Hansen, despite later claiming “I had no brakes”, thereby reaching a place in the all-decisive Final. Here he was for two laps second behind Andreas Bakkerud, till the next bad luck blow came. “The gearbox exploded just when I pushed for the win. I am so, so sad for letting down my home crowd. But big congrats to Andreas Bakkerud – you deserved this one,” stated Solberg after the last race of the weekend.

Andreas Bakkerud finished the qualification in second place behind his compatriot Alexander Hvaal, the Hansen Motorsport team member eventually finished fifth in Semi-Final 1. Bakkerud’s heat results were not really impressive, but rather steady. Taking 15 championship points into the finals “BabyBlue” claimed another 6 by winning SF2, plus 6 more for his Final win. Thereby the youngster from Bergen collected 27 championship points at Höljes, just one point short of the 28 maximum. “I was pushing so hard all race, I’m so proud of myself and the whole team. We have worked really hard for this, and to do it in front of all my supporters is amazing,” said Bakkerud afterwards.

After Petter Solberg having won Heat 1 and Tommy Rustad Heat 2 the Sunday became the day of Audi’s DTM factory driver Mattias Ekström. The son of the 1990s Rallycrosser Bengt Ekström had quickly found to speed with the second VW Polo Mk5 SuperCar of Marklund Motorsport and enjoyed the event in his native Sweden a lot. In Heat 3 he hurled the 560bhp Polo to a fantastic 3:03.526m, thereby marking a new Höljesbanan track record. In 2009 it was Norwegian Ludvig Hunsbedt who had done four laps in 3:04.79m with his Volvo S40 Mk2, the very car now owned by Swede Mats Öhman. However, the new record did not last for long, since Johan Kristoffersson powered his KMS VW Scirocco to 3:03.458m in Heat 4. But Ekström immediately striked back, driving the VW Polo to 3:02.703m in the last race of the fourth heat. After the all-rounder made it to runner-up in the Final one should pay full respect to the Audi man, his achivement at Höljes was no less impressive than Bakkerud’s first overall victory in the SuperCars category.

Timmy Hansen was very happy about his third place. “I had one of my best races of the weekend in the final,” Timmy said later. “I opted for the Joker on the first lap and then drove my heart out to catch the leading Bakkerud and Ekström. As they came back from the Joker I was on the lead for a while, but a small mistake by me in the velodrom opened up for them to pass me again. Getting on the podium on my home event is just amazing especially as it is my first race here ever.”

In Super1600s Dane Ulrik Linnemann claimed his second win of the season, taking home the maximum of 28 championship points. The Final here was led for almost all the way to the finish by Reinis Nitišs, but when the Latvian played his Joker in the final lap the Peugeot campaigner grabbed the lead and won ahead of the Renault driver and Russian Škoda man Vadim Makarov.

In TouringCars it was a similar case, Irishman Derek Tohill bagged 16 points in qualification plus twice 6 points for winning his Semi-Final and eventually the Final. Swede Daniel Lundh became the runner-up here, third place went to Czech Roman Častoral.

2012 cup winner Kevin Hansen won the JRX category, his first win of the season came at his home event. He was joined on the podium by William Nilsson and Magda Andersson. Norwegian Viktoria Sandberg, the 15 years old daughter of ex-Rallycrosser Roger Sandberg, was refused by the Stewards of the Meeting to participate here, due to having no valid racing licence.


More Höljes pictures to be found here in our Gallery.


Official SuperCars final results to be found here.

Official Super1600s final results to be found here.

Official TouringCars final results to be found here.


The highlights of Day 2.