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15 May 2016

WRX: Mattias takes Mettet

Category: News, WRX Posted 15.05.16 18:56 by

Back to back wins: Mattias Ekström makes Mettet his with a two day TQ classification and a win in the final. Sebastien Loeb finishes second, Solberg third.

Can anyone stop Mattias Ekström? The Swedish Audi campaigner has had yet another impressive weekend in Mettet, taking the round win – following a TQ after four qualifying heats.

It feels a bit surreal,” said Ekström “To take back to back wins following on from Hockenheim is brilliant. The car was great all weekend, and I’m so happy” said Ekström.

 

erc4.com

Ekstrom leads the final, whilst Marklund’s flamboyant outside move earns him 4th overall. © JKR/ERC24

 

Both semi-finals were action-packed. Ekström was out ahead on pole in semi-final one, having endured a long wait on the start grid following a jump-start made by Timur Timerzyanov. Ekström was ahead into turn one upon re-start – avoiding the tight action into turn two. Jeanney appeared to be punted off over crest following contact from Janis Baumanis. Loeb meanwhile was progressing well. Jeanney’s car eventually succumbed to earlier damage and pulled off whilst Ekström continued to progress with huge pace. Baumanis looked to have bagged third behind Loeb as they eventually crossed the line – but a stewards decision ruled against the Latvian who was black-flagged for excessive force. Baumanis reflected post race:

It was for pushing local star Duval in first corner. I just think – was this the biggest push or hit in all race weekend in Belgium? Other guys had big contacts, broken rims and suspension, crashes and a lot of different other things and they didn’t got Black flags or warnings, so I’m disappointed about how it ended!”

 

erc24.com

Ekstrom leading semi-final one, with Baumanis pushing Duval resulting in a black flag. © JKR/ERC24

 

Local favourite Francois Duval who finished fourth with a solid performance was as result bumped to third position and gained a place in the final.

SF1 Results:

1. Mattias Ekström
2. Sébastien Loeb
3. François Duval

 

erc24.com

Baumanis mid-air following a connection with local driver Duval. © JKR/ERC24

 

Semi-final two saw yet more false starts. This time both Timmy Hansen and then Reinis Nitiss found themselves facing the prospect of two joker laps as the pair nudged as they held for the green light. Upon restart Solberg led with Hansen pushing hard and sideways. Solberg found clean air and pushed ahead – whilst the two Volkswagen RX Sweden drivers Kristoffersson and Marklund driving well. A great performance by Marklund secured a place in the final.

SF2 Results:

1. Petter Solberg
2. Johan Kristoffersson
3. Alexander Marklund

 

Three greats. Ekstrom, Loeb and Solberg celebrating post-final. © JKR/ERC24

Three greats. Ekstrom, Loeb and Solberg celebrating post-final. © JKR/ERC24

 

The final pitted three greats together in one race. Ekstrom on pole took the best line into turn one, with Loeb pushing through and Solberg tight. Marklund who started from the back took a brave outside lunge to make it to turn one first and holding up Solberg on the way. In the dust, Ekstrom emerged over the crest and pushed hard to gain valuable ground. Loeb was able to shut the door on Solberg – whilst Duval’s hopes of a podium finish in front of his home crowd was over with a puncture. Ekstrom held on to grab a fantastic weekend win.

 

erc24.com

Tight in Mettet. Ekstrom wins back to back World RX races. © JKR/ERC24

 

World RX Mettet – Supercar Final Results:

1. Mattias Ekström
2. Sébastien Loeb
3. Petter Solberg
4. Anton Olof Alexander Marklund
5. François Duval
6. Johan Kristoffersson

Top three Driver’s Standings:

1. Mattias Ekström
2. Petter Solberg
3. Johan Kristoffersson

 

 

The World championship returns to the home of Rallycross – Lydden Hill in two weeks time.