UPDATED: Round 5 of the European Rallycross Championship at the Lånkebanen near Trondheim in Norway fell prey to American Tanner Foust (SCs), Dane Ulrik Linnemann (S1600s) and homeboy Lars Øivind Enerberg (TCs).
American Olsbergs MSE driver Tanner Foust has won the Norwegian round of the European Rallycross Championship. Tanner Foust led the SuperCars A final from a hard-fought pole position and clung onto his early lead in a tight battle with British driver Liam Doran who finished second – his highest finish of the year. Hansen Motorsport driver Timur Timerzyanov finished third. His car was hampered by a puncture, and the Russian amazingly held on to third position for the remaining three laps with a flat tyre and a broken clutch. He continues to lead the championship standings at the mid-point of the 2012 season, and his grit and determination is perhaps a sign of a future champion.
Tanner Foust led the A final off the line and surged forward accompanied through the first bend by Liam Doran and local driver Daniel Holten. The remaining drivers entered the Joker Lap section from the outside with Timerzyanov the first driver to exit back to the top three. With Holten forced to suddenly pull out of contention, the remaining drivers (Hvaal, Lysen, Walfridsson and Pailler) moved up the rankings. Leading driver Foust was next to take his Joker Lap. The American made a quick exit and re-joined the race only narrowly behind Liam Doran. Doran took his Joker during the next lap, and re-joined the front pack behind Foust and in front of Timerzyanov. Foust held on to his lead in the remaining lap and crossed the line spiralling into an ecstasy of ‘doughnuts’. Liam Doran was next followed by Timerzyanov, Stig-Olov Walfridsson, Mats Lysen, Alexander Hvaal (who also nursed his car around the track due to a puncture) and Jean-Luc Pailler who used his years of experience to join the A final after winning the SuperCars ‘C’ and finishing second in the ‘B’.
Foust highlighted his content with the win and his love of the European Championship: “Wow, that was awesome! This weekend has been amazing and the car has been great all weekend. It has been a difficult challenge, and we made many small changes to the Fiesta because of the constantly changing nature of the track – so the preparation of the car was key. The heats were especially interesting because we had to risk everything to beat Timur. We had a big battle on our hands in the third heat, and I pushed really hard to beat Timur. It is a shame that I cannot compete next weekend, but I’ll for sure take this weekend win,” said Foust.
The SuperCars points standings currently place Tanner Foust seven points off Timerzyanov, Alexander Hvaal third and three points behind Foust and Liam Doran fourth and two points behind Hvaal.
Ulrik Linnemann took a surprising win in the Super1600s. The Dane managed to outrun home favourite Andreas Bakkerud, after he was forced to exit his race with a puncture. Ildar Rakhmatullin finished second, with German driver Clemens Meyer finishing in third.
“I was very lucky because ‘Mr Baby Blue’ got a puncture, and I was able to take the lead. I think my pressure on Andreas from behind may have caused the puncture – I am just happy to get the win here at this great track. Now we have to have a good race in Sweden, and continue to challenge Andreas – it is very possible to beat him and I have to do this in order to take the title out of his hands,” replied the Danish driver.
Although Linnemann’s win has faced criticism by some drivers. Second place finisher Ildar Rakhmatullin argued that Linnemann’s attack was too forceful and that the Dane unfairly pushed his car. There have also been separate investigations made by the Set Promotion team of accusations of a false start by one driver in the Super1600s A final, both claims have yet to be confirmed by race officials.
Andreas Bakkerud continues to lead the S1600s points standings with 74. Linnemann with 70 (2nd), Leppihalme (3rd) with 59.
Lars Øivind Enerberg was the winner of the TouringCars class. The Norwegian drove a sublime performance, dominating his class for most of the event this weekend. Irishman Derek Tohill came close, but in the end settled for second place. Swedish competitor Daniel Lundh picked up the last podium position.
Derek Tohill made an early move off the line to take the lead, chased closely by Enerberg. Marklund who started from third remained in the latter pack held up in separate battles with Pauwels and Tånevik. Enerberg ‘jokered’ on his second lap and pursued Tohill untill the penultimate lap – when the Irishman was forced to take his Joker Lap.
“It is great to get back to the championship and win at home. We will drive next weekend and perhaps in Germany, but for the foreseeable future we are not sure, unless a pot of money drops from heaven we have no chance of driving a full season,” commented Enerberg.
UPDATED 19:49h: The result of the Super1600s A final has changed after the Stewards meeting investigated an incident between Linnemann and Rakhmatullin, prior to the final. As a result Rakhmatullin has been awarded the win and Linnemann moved down to second place.
Linnemann released this statement: “Under strange conditions, our first place has been taken away from us… Due to a complaint made by an unnamed competitor, we will have to settle for second position this weekend, and conclude that FIA European Rallycross is not always settled on the racetrack, I am very disappointed,” said Linnemann.