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07 Jul 2014

WRX: From scratch to victory

Category: News, WRX Posted 07.07.14 01:00 by

Swede Mattias Ekström finished Day 2 of the ‘Magic Weekend’ at Höljes in great style, claiming a convincing victory over the two Norwegians Andreas Bakkerud and Petter Solberg while championship leader Latvian Reinis Nitišs finished fourth.

 

With the by the organising club Finnskoga MK announced 34,400 spectators attending the event Höljes broke its 2013 record (29,200 spectators) by over 5,000 people.

The warm-up sessions on Sunday morning ended after the usual 60 minutes, Johan Kristoffersson being able to mark the fastest time with 43.625s here. Second fastest time was set by Andreas Bakkerud in 43.923s, Mattias Ekström’s 44.325s were good for third place.

 

Ekström was over the mon after making WorldRX Höljes his. © JKR/ERC24

Ekström was over the moon after making WorldRX Höljes his. © JKR/ERC24

 

Sebastian Eriksson lost the Swedish WorldRX round due to the broken suspension of his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST. © JKR/ERC24

Sebastian Eriksson lost the Swedish WorldRX round due to the broken suspension of his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST. © JKR/ERC24

 

The SuperCars winners podium with Bakkerud, Ekström and Solberg. © JKR/ERC24

The SuperCars winners podium with Bakkerud, Ekström and Solberg. © JKR/ERC24

 

Fireworks for winner Ekström at the end of the 6-laps Final. © JKR/ERC24

Fireworks for winner Ekström at the end of the 6-laps Final. © JKR/ERC24

 

Heat 3 saw Petter Solberg racing to another first place with 3:01.077m, followed by Mattias Ekström in 3:01.861m and Andreas Bakkerud in 3:02.090m. However, Ekström had not enough with two second places and one third place in the qualifying runs; in Heat 4 he topped his qualification result with a fastest time of 3:01.527m. OMSE protégé Swede Sebastian Eriksson showed once again top form by doing four Höljesbanan laps in 3:02.428m, Daniel Holten’s 3:02.804m secured the Norwegian a third place here.

Semi-Final 1 fell prey to Ekström, reigning European champion Timur Timerzyanov lost his ticket to the all decisive final early in the tough battle. When first Pontus Tidemand and later Daniel Holten spun their cars it was Reinis Nitišs and Liam Doran who earned second and third place respectively to make it with a bit of luck up and into the last race of the weekend.

 

Andreas Bakkerud made it eventually to runner-up. © JKR/ERC24

Andreas Bakkerud made it eventually to runner-up. © JKR/ERC24

 

Petter Solberg lost second place of the event to Bakkerud, but replaced him as second of the series. © JKR/ERC24

Petter Solberg lost second place of the event to Bakkerud, but replaced him as second of the series. © JKR/ERC24

 

Liam Doran finished the Höljes WRX round in fifth place overall. © JKR/ERC24

Liam Doran finished the Höljes WRX round in fifth place overall. © JKR/ERC24

 

In Semi-Final 2 Sebastian Eriksson shot himself straight into the lead, dog-hounded by Petter Solberg. Tord Linnerud was the first driver to retire, while just a little later Timmy Hansen had to throw in the towel because of problems with his engine. When Toomas Heikkinen did his Joker Lap it was Andreas Bakkerud who nicked the Finn his third place.

The Final looked for some laps as if Sebastian Eriksson would run away with a surprising victory, but after a harsh jump-landing the 21-year-old faced a suspension problem that soon cost him the lead and eventually dropped him down to sixth and last place. Ekström took advantage from Eriksson’s misfortune, grabbed first place and subsequently started to run away from his competitors. Liam Doran was down on power during the most important race, eventually finishing in fifth place. Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud were fighting like cat and dog, although both were hampered by flat tyres none gave in for a centimetre. When Bakkerud crossed the finish line just a car lenght ahead of Solberg it was Reinis Nitišs who had almost passed the two squabblers in sight of the chequered flag.

 

More bad luck for Timmy Hansen in his native WorldRX event. © JKR/ERC24

More bad luck for Timmy Hansen in his native WorldRX event. © JKR/ERC24

 

Problems, problems, problems, the one-off comeback of Ludvig Hunsbedt came to an early end. © JKR/ERC24

Problems, problems, problems, the one-off comeback of Ludvig Hunsbedt came to an early end. © JKR/ERC24

 

Frenchman Davy Jeanney had more expected from his guest drive with Doran Motorsport than 23rd place. © JKR/ERC24

Frenchman Davy Jeanney had more expected from his guest drive with Doran Motorsport than 23rd place. © JKR/ERC24

 

“If I could write a book and create my dream story I would pretty much write what happened here in Höljes today. This is the best story of my life,” grinned Ekström, who finished runner-up to Andreas Bakkerud in the Swedish 2013 ERC round. “In December we didn’t have anything in terms of a Rallycross team and we have been late to enter this year, but everything has fallen into place. Our ultimate goal is to become World Champions, but obviously because of my full-time career in DTM right now that is difficult. But I could definitely be part of a World Championship winning team as the team boss. I’ve never actually been to a FIA prizegiving and I would certainly love to do that.”

 

Two Russians and one Czech made it up the S1600 rostrum.  © JKR/ERC24

Two Russians and one Czech made it up the S1600 rostrum. © JKR/ERC24

 

Tom Daniel Tånevik drove his Mazda RX-8 to overall victory in the TouringCars category. © JKR/ERC24

Tom Daniel Tånevik drove his Mazda RX-8 to overall victory in the TouringCars category. © JKR/ERC24

 

The first three in RX Lites happy on the rostrum. © JKR/ERC24

The first three in RX Lites happy on the rostrum. © JKR/ERC24

 

After winning both his Semi-Final and the S1600 Final Russia’s Sergey Zagumennov made good use of his Škoda Fabia Mk2 to take his third victory in the Super1600 category. Second place was awarded to Czech Ondřej Smetana with Russian Nikita Misyulya finishing in third place. In TouringCars Norwegian Tom Daniel Tånevik clinched the victory in his Mazda RX-8 while his compatriots Fredrik Salsten and Per Magne Røyrås took second and third respectively. Multiple Junior Rallycross Champion Kevin Hansen missed out on his second RX Lites Cup win in a row after a final lap tussle with series leader Kevin Eriksson knocked the 16-year-old son of 14-times ERC winner Kenneth Hansen back to second; third place was awarded to STCC driver Richard Göransson.

 

34,400 people made it to Höljes for the 2014 'Magic Weekend'. © JKR/ERC24

34,400 people made it to Höljes for the 2014 ‘Magic Weekend’. © JKR/ERC24

 

Once again Höljes has made it to a great success with competitors and fans alike. © JKR/ERC24

Once again Höljes has made it to a great success with competitors and fans alike. © JKR/ERC24

 

More images from Höljes 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: Mattias Ekström and his Audi S1 SuperCar claimed the victory of WorldRX Round 5 at Höljes. © JKR/ERC24

 

The highlights of Day 2.