Jeanney wins Canadian lottery


First time crossing the Atlantic this season, and the FIA World Rallycross Championship arrived at Trois-Rivieres, Canada, and the North American round had some illustrious competitors, like Tanner Foust, switching from his Andretti Beetle to a Marklund Polo, and the ex-IndyCar racer Patrick Carpentier, giving a helping hand in the JRM Mini project.

The qualifying heats had a French-Swedish domination as both Team Peugeot-Hansen drivers, Davy Jeanney and specially Timmy Hansen, doing strong runs and battling fiercely with Petter Solberg and Mattias Ekström for the top spots. With Hansen and Ekström as top-2 drivers in half of the heats, the revival of a Höljes battle would likely occur.

Came the first semifinal, and Hansen and Solberg went until the limits of their cars at the first corner, but an unexpected encounter right after resulted in contact, which made the SDRX driver spin and left the Höljes runner-up with a broken suspension. Hansen tried to carry on, but instead of it he made contact with Reinis Nitiss after a jump, making the race of both drivers end in the tire barrier.
While the carnage eliminated half of the grid including the fastest guy and the World Champion, Tommy Rustad brought Münnich Motorsport and his Audi  S3 to an unbelievable lead given the strength of his opponents. Followed all the time by Toomas Heikkinen and Tanner Foust, the situation didn’t change until the finish line, even though Solberg tried everything he could do to reach qualification to the finals.
After the race, Solberg had to hear a clearly unpleased Hansen as they discussed about the incident that took both out of a possible Final. While that, questioned about how Rustad achieved his victory, the Norwegian driver replied: “I think I won the lottery this time”.

In the second semifinal things were a bit calmer, with Davy Jeanney in the lead with Andreas Bakkerud in a lone second place, while Manfred Stohl and Mattias Ekström fought for the third place, which had Ekström taking the position after a bit more effort. After the jokers, Ekström was second while Bakkerud had a charging Stohl behind him, but his enthusiasm to pass the Olsbergs MSE driver unfortunately ended in the tire barrier as he missed the apex in a turn. In the end, Jeanney, Ekström and Bakkerud ended 1-2-3 without problems.

In the Final, Jeanney again had the lead with him while holding Heikkinen and with Tanner Foust following them closely. The other half of the grid that took the joker at the first lap came closer of Foust, and Ekström sent Bakkerud to the barriers to get the fourth place, although he would pay later for that move, spinning in the gravel-to-tarmac transition, going down to last and without any chance to recover any places.
Last laps came and Jeanney went for the joker and had his mirrors full of Finland as Topi Heikkinen attempted to take the first place. The Marklund Motorsport driver tried what was possible, but seeing Jeanney’s back was all that he got. Behind them, Foust came third to get his first podium of the season, and Rustad got the best result for Münnich Motorsport in 2015.
Check out all the results of the World RX of Canada, from heats to final.
Being eliminated in the semifinals didn’t affected Solberg’s lead in the Drivers Championship, as he is with 176 points against the 130 of Andreas Bakkerud and the 124 of Johan Kristoffersson. Between the teams, Olsbergs MSE is still in the lead with 239 points, but the good weekend for Peugeot-Hansen made the gap between the two teams go to only two points. Behind them, SDRX sits third with 201 points.

The World RX action returns only in two weeks, when the drivers go to Hell, Norway, starting the second string of European events of the season.

PHOTOS: Team Peugeot-Hansen, Olsbergs MSE