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24 May 2014

WRX: Bakkerud leads Lydden

Category: News, WRX Posted 24.05.14 23:23 by

Day 1 of WorldRX Round 2 at the ‘Home of Rallycross’ Lydden Hill ended with Andreas Bakkerud heading the intermediate point standings in SuperCars, followed by Tanner Foust, Toomas Heikkinen and Petter Solberg.

 

Lydden Circuit, where the sport of Rallycross was born on February 4 1967, hosted its first ever ERC round on September 15 1973, won by Austrian VW Beetle campaigner Franz Wurz, father of ex-F1 driver Alexander Wurz. Today, four decades later, the rural venue at Wootton in the County of Kent celebrated its entry into a new era of its own motorsport breed with Round 2 of the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship. With a total of 37 state-of-the-art SuperCars gathering here it is no new quantity record for the history books of the ERC/WRX series yet, but the high quality of the entry is surely beyond question.

 

34 of the 37 present SuperCars lined up for an impressive Lydden Hill 2014 image. © IMG/ERC24

Down ‘Hairy hill’: 34 of the 37 present SuperCars lined up for an impressive Lydden Hill 2014 image. © IMG/ERC24

 

Homeboy Liam Doran dominated the Free Practice sessions. © JKR/ERC24

Homeboy Liam Doran dominated the Free Practice sessions. © JKR/ERC24

 

Of the 38 SuperCar entries only Englishman Kevin Procter did not show up with his Ford Fiesta Mk7, engine issues prior to the event were the cause of his absence. The Saturday started with the usual Free Practice, homeboy Liam Doran setting the fastest time here. Second fastest was – yep, Tanner Foust! The 2012 and 2013 British ERC round winner quickly adapted to the Marklund Motorsport VW Polo Mk5 SuperCar, available to him as 2014 Lydden wildcard starter. Reigning European champion Timur Timerzyanov was third fastest, while 2013 British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan was the last of the quartet that was able to do a Lydden lap in less than 44 seconds. For Swede Anton Marklund the warm-up became rather a hot-up, his VW Polo Mk5 caught an engine bay fire, but was subsequently repaired in time for the qualifying heats.

 

Frode Holte missed Heat 2 after his new car caught fire in Heat 1. © JKR/ERC24

Frode Holte missed Heat 2 after his new Hyundai i20 SuperCar caught fire in Heat 1. © JKR/ERC24

 

American Tanner Foust has a realistic chance to produce a hattrick by winning at Lydden once more. © JKR/ERC24

American Tanner Foust has a realistic chance to produce a hattrick by winning at Lydden once more. © JKR/ERC24

 

Foust is racing a wildcard VW Polo Mk5 of Marklund Motorsport. © JKR/ERC24

Foust is racing a wildcard VW Polo Mk5 of Marklund Motorsport. © JKR/ERC24

 

Heat 1 was claimed by Andreas Bakkerud, with his time of 2:59.850m the Norwegian remained the only driver to race four laps in less than three minutes. Second fastest was Toomas Heikkinen, the Finn stopped the clock at 3:00.846m. Timur Timerzyanov needed 3:01.317m for the four laps; Tanner Foust did his four in 3:01.321m. Robin Larsson surprised with a time of 3:02.137m for his fifth place, the Swede is racing his all-new Audi A1 SuperCar for the second time only.

 

Swede Robin Larsson impressed many people with his speed in his all-new Audi A1 SuperCar. © JKR/ERC24

Swede Robin Larsson impressed many people with his speed in his all-new Audi A1 SuperCar. © JKR/ERC24

 

Swedish WorldRallycrosser Timmy Hansen and Norwegian EuroRallycrosser Tommy Rustad battle it out. © JKR/ERC24

Swedish WorldRallycrosser Timmy Hansen and Norwegian EuroRallycrosser Tommy Rustad battle it out. © JKR/ERC24

 

Heat 2 saw Petter Solberg hurling his Citroën DS3 in 2:58.996m over the Lydden soil, thereby claiming FTD. The second fastest time went to Tanner Foust who reached the chequered flag after 2:59.283m. Robin Larsson pressed on even harder than during Heat 1, now his time was 3:00.912m. Rallycross returnee Andrew Jordan, a former protégé of 1992 European Rallycross champion Will Gollop, proved that he can still be very fast on mixed surface. The 2007 British Rallycross Championship runner-up set the fourth fastest time with 3:01.184m, followed by reigning Global RallyCross Champion ‘Topi’ Heikkinen with 3:01.313m.

“I’m very happy to be in this press conference, it’s always a good start to the weekend,” beamed 23-year-old Andreas Bakkerud at the end of day. “My win in the first heat was a result of a good start off the line, mixed with a very good car and some luck thrown in. Now I want to be flat out tomorrow, and my aim is to be in this press conference at the same time tomorrow, but with an even bigger smile on my face!”

“The first heat was really disappointing as I’m sure we could have been in the top six but the puncture dropped us to 11th,” explained Andrew Jordan who is also celebrating his 25th birthday today. “The second heat though was a good race. My target was always to make the top 12 and thus qualify for the semi finals – so overall it’s so far, so good.”

 

Brazilian ex-F1 star Nelson Piquet Jr. is a guest driver in RX Lites at Lydden. © JKR/ERC24

Brazilian ex-F1 star Nelson Piquet Jr. is a guest driver in RX Lites at Lydden. © JKR/ERC24

 

The RX Lites drivers are not afraid to fight for every centimetre of the Lydden Hill soil. © JKR/ERC24

The RX Lites drivers are not afraid to fight for every centimetre of the Lydden Hill soil. © JKR/ERC24

 

While the support category RX Lites was scheduled to do three qualifying heats on Saturday, the drivers of the Super1600s as well as the TouringCars had all their four heats to complete, before they race in their Semi-Finals and Finals tomorrow. After winning the Heats 2 and 3 Swede Sebastian Eriksson is topping the overnight following order of the Lites with 142 points, American youngster Mitchell DeJong is in second position with 130 points and the Heat 1 victory on his tally. On top of the TouringCar point standings is Norwegian Kjetil Larsen (Škoda Fabia Mk1 RWD) to be found, while his Russian make-colleague Sergey Zagumennov (Škoda Fabia Mk2) is leading the Super1600 intermediate standings.

 

Fourfold European Rallycross champion Olle Arnesson has shipped his 700bhp Audi Sport quattro S1 for demo runs to Lydden. © JKR/ERC24

Fourfold European Rallycross champion Olle Arnesson has shipped his 700bhp Audi Sport quattro S1 for demo runs to Lydden. © JKR/ERC24

 

Arnesson, who recently made it to 60 years of age, knows Lydden Circuit very well from his own racing days. © JKR/ERC24

Arnesson, who recently made it to 60 years of age, knows Lydden Circuit very well from his own racing days. © JKR/ERC24

 

Master of the house Pat Doran faced very bad luck when his 800bhp Ford RS200 E2 went up in flames. © JKR/ERC24

Master of the house Pat Doran faced very bad luck when his 800bhp Ford RS200 E2 went up in flames. © JKR/ERC24

 

More Lydden Hill images to be found here in our Gallery.

 

Situation in SuperCars after Day 1 to be found here.

Situation in Super1600s after Day 1 to be found here.

Situation in TouringCars after Day 1 to be found here.

Situation in RX Lites after Day 1 to be found here.

 

Top photo: Andreas “BabyBlue” Bakkerud is leading the overnight standings with 88 points. © JKR/ERC24