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26 May 2014

WRX: BabyBlue claims RX cradle

Category: News, WRX Posted 26.05.14 02:00 by

Norwegian Andreas ‘BabyBlue’ Bakkerud wins the British WorldRX round at the cradle of Rallycross from Swede Robin Larsson and Brit Andrew Jordan who both impressed the 10,000+ spectators with their great performance.

 

Sunday morning at the Lydden Hill Race Circuit saw Tanner Foust finishing the Day 2 Warm-up session ahead of Petter Solberg, Andrew Jordan, Jérôme Grosset-Janin, Andreas Bakkerud and Robin Larsson. After the fire on Saturday Frode Holte was not able to fix his all-new Hyundai i20 SuperCar at the venue and decided to throw in the towel. For reigning European champion Timur Timerzyanov the Sunday ended soon, his defective Peugeot 208 was put aside after Warm-up.

In Heat 3 Toomas Heikkinen drove his VW Polo Mk5 to the fastest time (3:00.122m), reigning French champion Grosset-Janin (3:01.445m) finished in second and Timmy Hansen (3:01.683m) in third place. Petter Solberg and Tanner Foust were both on their way to very fast times, but forgot to do their Joker Laps and, therefore, got a 30 seconds time penalty each to drop them down to 30th and 32nd place respectively.

 

Lydden Hill Race Circuit offered a lot of spectacular races, the venue is loved by most of the drivers. © JKR/ERC24

Lydden Hill Race Circuit offered a lot of spectacular races, the venue is loved by drivers and fans alike. © JKR/ERC24

 

The WorldRX round was the first event for the new race control tower, named after the legendary commentator Arthur Debenham. © JKR/ERC24

The WRX round was the first event for the new race control tower, named after legendary commentator Arthur Debenham. © JKR/ERC24

 

A lot has changed since its first owner Bill Chesson prepared the Kentish venue for the first ever Rallycross in 1967. © JKR/ERC24

A lot has changed since its first owner the late Bill Chesson prepared the Kentish venue for the first ever Rallycross in 1967. © JKR/ERC24

 

In Heat 4 Solberg and Foust were back to the top again, the Norwegian fastest with 2:59.427m and the American his runner-up with 3:01.067m. Swede Robin Larsson claimed the third fastest time with 3:01.245m. After his competitors had launched their cars poor Timmy Hansen had to park his machinery beside of the starting grid, a strange noise from the Peugeot 208 SuperCar left the Swede with no other choice than to give up. Hansen was qualified for Semi-Final 1, but it was Frenchman Fabien Pailler who took over Hansen’s place on the starting grid instead.

Semi-Final 1 was marked by a tough fight of Andreas Bakkerud and Petter Solberg, the Norwegians changing their positions not just once, but when the chequered flag was dropped it was ‘Topi’ Heikkinen who had made victory his. For Tanner Foust in 4th place the weekend was over, at least for the next couple of minutes.

Latvian Reinis Nitišs won Semi-Final 2 from Robin Larsson, while Andrew Jordan eventually snatched third place from Anton Marklund. However, as the Ford Fiesta of Nitišs faced electrical problems prior to the Final it was Tanner Foust who was all of a sudden back in the game again, the Volkswagen driver being allowed to be the stand-in for the Ford campaigner.

 

SuperCar rookie Robin Larsson and Rallycross returnee Andrew Jordan really proved their skills. © JKR/ERC24

SuperCar rookie Robin Larsson and Rallycross returnee Andrew Jordan really proved their skills. © JKR/ERC24

 

2012 and 2013 Lydden winner American Tanner Foust missed the chance to claim a hattrick victory. © JKR/ERC24

2012 and 2013 Lydden winner American Tanner Foust missed the chance to claim a hattrick victory. © JKR/ERC24

 

When the all decisive Final got its GO! it was Robin Larsson who immediately shot himself into the lead, and it looked till the last of the six laps as if the EuroRX driver would be able to beat all the WorldRX regulars here. However, that was all but in the interest of ‘BabyBlue’ Bakkerud who eventually outraced the jokering Swedish Audi driver to make the Lydden victory his. Andrew Jordan ending the event in third place, ‘Topi’ Heikkinen finished fourth overall.

“This is a dream come true,” gushed an emotional Bakkerud during the later press conference. “We didn’t make a mistake, we had a clean run and it was a close fight until the end. I even won the Monster Energy Super Charge Award and to have two trophies feels good! But now I’m concerned… I promised Norway’s biggest broadcaster that I would grow a moustache for my home round in Hell next month if I was leading the championship after Lydden, so now I must stick to my promise and grow a moustache!”

 

The prize giving ceremony in SuperCars turned once again into a wet affair. © JKR/ERC24

The prize giving ceremony in SuperCars turned once again into a wet affair. © JKR/ERC24

 

The winner takes it all, the loser promises to do better next time. © JKR/ERC24

The winner takes it all, the loser promises to do better next time. © JKR/ERC24

 

The RX Lites rostrum with (from left) Richard Göransson, Mitchell DeJong and Daniel Björk. © JKR/ERC24

The RX Lites rostrum with (from left) Richard Göransson, Mitchell DeJong and Daniel Björk. © JKR/ERC24

 

Robin Larsson – who makes the transition from TouringCars to SuperCars in 2014 – was bewildered at the end of day press conference. “I’m actually very surprised to be here and in second place,” said the 21-year-old whose Audi A1 SuperCar made its international debut in Great Britain this weekend. “The car has been fantastic and apart from a broken gearbox, it’s gone perfectly. We had a good start in the final and I couldn’t believe I was leading for most of the race. It’s been an awesome weekend!”

Englishman Andrew Jordan joined Larsson and Bakkerud on the podium to round off what had been a near-perfect weekend for the newly-turned 25-year-old. “If you’d told me at the start of the weekend that I’d be on the podium today then I would have been smiling from ear to ear. I was driving like a bit of an idiot in the heats and then I had to reign it in. I started off the back of the grid for the Final, but then I had a good, clean race. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Elsewhere, a final race tussle between Foust and Solberg saw the duo end the weekend fifth and sixth respectively. “We kept on pushing and pushing each other as everything was so close, but then we knocked each other out of winning the race. But that’s Rallycross and that’s how it goes, it’s been a good weekend,” Solberg explained.

 

When the last chequered flag drops down the WorldRX circus is heading towards the next country. © JKR/ERC24

When the last chequered flag drops down the WorldRX circus is heading towards the next country. © JKR/ERC24

 

1997 European Rallycross Champion Ludvig Hunsbedt from Norway visited his two compatriots Alex Hvaal and Petter Solberg. © JKR/ERC24

1997 European Rallycross Champion Ludvig Hunsbedt from Norway visited his two compatriots Alex Hvaal and Petter Solberg. © JKR/ERC24

 

After two heat victories and the final race win Russian Sergey Zagumennov (Škoda Fabia Mk2) took his second S1600 victory in a row and now leads the Super1600s category by nine points. Second place was claimed by Dane Ulrik Linnemann, with Lithuanian Kasparas Navickas taking the third step of the podium.

In the TouringCars category Swede Daniel Lundh clinched the victory in his Volvo C30/4 RWD. Norwegian Anders Bråten – who worked with Petter Solberg in his Swedish Torsby workshop over the winter – bagged second place, with his fellow-countryman Tom Daniel Tånevik finishing in third place.

Mitchell DeJong made a sensational debut in round two of the RX Lites Cup, the support category of WorldRX. The 16-year-old American won two of the four heats and had a dominant Final to finish his first race on European soil top of the class. “It was awesome to be able to come here. For my first international race I was just hoping to learn from the other drivers and maybe get a podium, so to come out with a win feels amazing,” stated the promising youngster.

 

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

 

Final results of the SuperCars category to be found here.

Final results of the Super1600s category to be found here.

Final results of the TouringCars category to be found here.

Final results of the RX Lites category to be found here.

 

 

Top photo: The Lydden SuperCars podium with Robin Larsson, Andreas Bakkerud and Andrew Jordan. © JKR/ERC24