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30 Nov 2014

WRX: Solberg and OMSE

Category: News, WRX Posted 30.11.14 00:55 by

The WorldRX round of Argentina marked the Finale of the first ever FIA World Rallycross Championship and while Petter Solberg claimed his fifth series victory to underline his earlier title win it were Reinis Nitišs and Andreas Bakkerud who saved the teams championship for the Ford-OMSE squad.

 

Day 2 of the Argentinean WorldRX round started with Petter Solberg being the fastest driver in the Warm-up sessions, with a time of 48.482s he was almost half a second quicker than Reinis Nitišs (48.911s). Third fastest time was clocked by Andreas Bakkerud (49.051s), while OMSE youngster Kevin Eriksson (49.595s) finished fourth, Toomas Heikkinen (49.918s) fifth and Timmy Hansen (49.972s) sixth.

 

World Champion Petter Solberg dominated WorldRX of Argentina in San Luis. © PSRX/ERC24

World Champion Petter Solberg dominated the WorldRX round of Argentina in San Luis. © PSRX/ERC24

 

The World Rallycross Team Champions Reinis Nitišs and Andreas Bakkerud congratulate Petter Solberg to his overall victory. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

The WRX Team Champions Reinis Nitišs and Andreas Bakkerud congratulate Petter Solberg to his overall victory. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

 

Heat 3 brought the worst result for the reigning World Champion, two driving mistakes dropped ‘Hollywood’ down to 14th place among the total of 17 starters. Toomas Heikkinen claimed his best result of the weekend here, setting the fastest time ahead of Olsbergs MSE youngster Kevin Eriksson and the older of the Solberg siblings, Henning. In Heat 4 Petter Solberg fought back and made another fastest time his, followed by compatriot Andreas Bakkerud and 2014 RX Lites Champion Kevin Eriksson. After the qualification had been done the Intermediate Classification had Petter Solberg topping the order, Reinis Nitišs was second, Andreas Bakkerud third, Toomas Heikkinen fourth, Kevin Eriksson fifth and Timmy Hansen sixth.

 

After Reinis Nitišs had claimed runner-up to Petter Solberg he was hailed as FIA World Rallycross Team Champion. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

After Reinis Nitišs had claimed runner-up to Petter Solberg he was hailed as FIA World Rallycross Team Champion. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

 

The usually six laps long Semi-Finals were shortened to four laps in Argentina, as claimed “due to Force Majeure reasons [amount of fuel reserve]”. The first one saw a never disputed win of Petter Solberg who eventually reached the chequered flag with an advantage of almost nine seconds over Andreas Bakkerud. OMSE boss Andréas Eriksson’s offspring Kevin proved his skills once more, his third place here paid him the ticket for the all-decisive Final. Semi-Final 2 lost Timur Timerzyanov very early, due to technical problems with his Peugeot 208. A furious Manfred Stohl had to give up after a jump start and a wild battle with Timmy Hansen that eventually saw the Austrian smashing the second Citroën DS3 of PSRX against a pile of track marking tyres. Reinis Nitišs claimed victory over Toomas Heikkinen and Timmy Hansen to extend the OMSE lead of the team’s championship.

 

The Sweden-based Olsbergs MSE squad claimed the first FIA World title for Rallycross teams. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

The Sweden-based Olsbergs MSE squad claimed the first FIA World title for Rallycross teams. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

 

The last Final of the season was also shortened to four laps. Petter Solberg won the run to the first corner, followed by the OMSE teammates Reinis Nitišs and Andreas Bakkerud. However, things changed and after Bakkerud went off the track during the third lap 40-year-old Solberg, who eventually claimed his fifth overall victory of the 12 rounds long first WRX series, was joined on the winners podium by the two 18-year-old OMSE drivers Nitišs and Eriksson. When the points for the team titlechase were counted the final result saw Ford Olsbergs MSE (404 points) taking the Championship win from Volkswagen Marklund Motorsport (394 points) and Team Peugeot-Hansen (351 points).

 

The biggest surprise of the WRX round of Argentina was the third place overall of 2014 RX Lites Champion Kevin Eriksson. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

The biggest surprise of the WRX Argentina was the third place overall of 2014 RX Lites Champion Kevin Eriksson. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

 

Grinning Petter Solberg after the event: “This is a dream come true. We started the season with a win in Portugal, and to finish with another win in Argentina feels really amazing. This Championship has so many talented drivers and I am extremely impressed with the high standard of driving we have had this year – especially from the younger guys. Now I’m looking forward to Doha for the FIA Awards Ceremony, but I will be back and fighting for more seasons to come. I’d like to thank my whole team for working so hard throughout this year – there will be a big party tonight, that’s for sure!”

 

OMSE boss Andréas Eriksson's offspring Kevin impressed by making it to the podium in his first WRX round. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

OMSE boss Andréas Eriksson’s offspring Kevin impressed by making it to the podium in his first WRX round. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

 

Team World Champion Reinis Nitišs commented: “I am so proud of my team – to win this trophy with Olsbergs, who have worked so hard all year, is such a good feeling.” Anton Marklund said: “It’s always disappointing to be second, but actually our aim at the start of the year was to finish in the top three so this is something we must all remember. I think we have learned a lot for next year and we will be back and fighting hard. ‘Topi’ [Heikkinen] finished second in the drivers’ standings and to finish the year with two second places is something our whole team are really happy with.”

 

Andreas Bakkerud drove his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST SuperCar to fourth place in San Luis. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

Andreas Bakkerud drove his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST SuperCar to fourth place in San Luis. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24

 

Final results to be found here.

 

Top photo: Olsbergs MSE celebrating the win of the first ever FIA World title for Rallycross teams. © OMSE/QBA/ERC24