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14 Jul 2014

WRX: Topi wins, Hollywood leads

Category: News, WRX Posted 14.07.14 03:00 by

It looked as if Petter ‘Hollywood’ Solberg would be able to win his second WorldRX round after Portugal. But in sight of the chequered flag it was Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen, Timmy Hansen and Johan Kristoffersson who eventually all passed the Citroën driver, that limped to the finish with broken rear suspension of his DS3 SuperCar.

 

With his fastest time in the early morning Warm-Up session Robin Larsson (38.840s) showed once again that he is a very skilled driver and that his Audi A1 SuperCar is well prepared. Second fastest was Reinis Nitišs (39.150s) here, followed by Toomas Heikkinen (39.221s), Johan Kristoffersson (39.323s), Petter Solberg (39.338s) and the unexpected quick Rallycross newbie Edward Sandström (39.514s).

In Heat 3 championship leader Nitišs claimed the fastest time with 2:44140m, Petter Solberg was second fastest with 2:44.226m, while Toomas Heikkinen finished in third place with 2:45.467m. Bad luck for Andreas Bakkerud again who didn’t see the finish flag of the third heat after more technical problems with his Ford Fiesta.

 

Overall winner in SuperCars, Finn Toomas Heikkinen. © JKR/ERC24

Overall winner in SuperCars, Finn Toomas Heikkinen. © JKR/ERC24

 

Timmy Hansen made it to runner-up in SuperCars. © JKR/ERC24

Timmy Hansen made it to runner-up in SuperCars. © JKR/ERC24

 

After his victory in Belgium 'Topi' is third of the overall standings. © JKR/ERC24

After his victory in Belgium ‘Topi’ is third of the overall standings. © JKR/ERC24

 

Timmy Hansen bagged his best 2014 WorldRX result so far. © JKR/ERC24

Timmy Hansen bagged his best 2014 WorldRX result so far. © JKR/ERC24

 

Johan Kristoffersson drove a great event and made it to third place. © JKR/ERC24

Johan Kristoffersson drove a great event and made it to third place. © JKR/ERC24

 

Heat 4 saw in Timmy Hansen the fourth different driver setting a best qualifying time with 2:52.582m. Toomas Heikkinen claimed his top qualification result of the weekend when crossing the finish line with the second fastest time, 2:55.233m, securing himself the 16 championship point’s maximum for the leader of the Intermediate Classification. Johan Kristoffersson finished in third place with his 2:55.368m.

Later on Kristoffersson won the start of Semi-Final 1 from Heikkinen, the Finn then decided for an early Joker Lap and lost second place to Timmy Hansen. Johan K. was able to stay ahead of Hansen, the Peugeot driver being in second place for more than half of the distance to the finish. When Hansen had played his Joker and Kristoffersson jokered at the end of the last lap, it was Heikkinen who was for a very short moment in front of the Swedish make-colleague. But the momentum of the higher speed turned the tables in favour of Kristofferson again, who made victory his with a tiny advantage of just 0.026s. For Robin Larsson, Reinis Nitišs and Peter Hedström in fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively the Mettet weekend came to its end here.

 

Pontus Tidemand drove the EKS Audi S1 into the Final to finish sixth. © JKR/ERC24

Pontus Tidemand drove the EKS Audi S1 into the Final to finish sixth. © JKR/ERC24

 

For Andreas Bakkerud the Belgian weekend was a disappointment. © JKR/ERC24

For Andreas Bakkerud the Belgian weekend was a disappointment. © JKR/ERC24

 

Robin Larsson did well in Mettet, but got stuck in Semi-Final 1. © JKR/ERC24

Robin Larsson did well in Mettet, but got stuck in Semi-Final 1. © JKR/ERC24

 

Liam Doran and Davy Jeanney have joined forces, but retired both in Semi-Final 2. © JKR/ERC24

Liam Doran and Davy Jeanney have joined forces, but retired both in Semi-Final 2. © JKR/ERC24

 

Anton Marklund was in the lead of Semi-Final 2 till he took the Joker Lap detour at the end of lap three. For the following two laps it was Pontus Tidemand who held first place. But when the EKS driver came out of his Joker Lap he found himself in second place behind Petter Solberg who then took the chequered flag first. Timur Timerzyanov finished in fourth place while the two teammates Liam Doran and Davy Jeanney retired very early.

Toomas Heikkinen was in the lead of the all decisive Final for two laps, before doing his Joker Lap quite early. Now it was Petter Solberg’s turn, the Norwegian raced quite safely ahead of his competitors till he broke the rear suspension of his Citroën DS3. Nevertheless, ‘Hollywood’ pressed on regardless till the finish line was just a stone throw away, but he still had to play his Joker. When the 2003 World Rally Champion came out of the detour slope it was Topi Heikkinen, Timmy Hansen as well as Johan Kristoffersson who made it to the podium, while Solberg had to be satisfied with fourth place. However, the at Mettet scored championship points lifted the Norwegian back into the lead of the championship. Solberg has currently 125 points, Nitišs 122 and Heikkinen is in third position with 117 points.

 

For Rallycross returnee Tommy Rustad the season is not running according to plans. © JKR/ERC24

For Rallycross returnee Tommy Rustad the season is not running according to plans. © JKR/ERC24

 

Frenchman Jérôme Grosset-Janin finished the Belgian WRX round in 18th place overall. © JKR/ERC24

Frenchman Jérôme Grosset-Janin finished the Belgian WRX round in 18th place overall. © JKR/ERC24

 

Following two heat wins and a Semi-Final victory Latvia’s Jānis Baumanis took his second win in the Super1600 category this season. Russian Timur Shigaboutdinov and Estonian Janno Ligur were second and third respectively. Sergey Zagumennov from Russia continues to lead the Super1600 standings with a total of 145 points. In the TouringCar category Belgium’s Filip Baelus took a home win in front of an ecstatic home crowd at the wheel of his Volvo C30. After a heat and Semi-Final win Norwegian Anders Bråten finished runner-up with his compatriot Torleif Lona third. At the season’s half-way point Swede Daniel Lundh leads Lona by 11 points.

 

Jānis Baumanis made victory in Super1600s his. © JKR/ERC24

Jānis Baumanis made victory in Super1600s his. © JKR/ERC24

 

The podium of the Super1600s class with (from left) Shigaboutdinov, Baumanis and Ligur. © JKR/ERC24

The podium of the Super1600s class with (from left) Shigaboutdinov, Baumanis and Ligur. © JKR/ERC24

 

The TouringCar rostrum was conquered by (from left) second Anders Bråten, winner Filip Baelus and third Torleif Lona. © JKR/ERC24

The TouringCar rostrum was conquered by (from left) second Anders Bråten, winner Filip Baelus and third Torleif Lona. © JKR/ERC24

 

 

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.

 

For more images please visit our Flickr gallery here.

 

Top photo: Heikkinen won the Belgian WRX round while Solberg grabbed the lead of the series. © JKR/ERC24

 

Day 2 Final highlights.

 

Day 2 highlights.

 

Post Final press conference.