Finally back to Europe, the FIA World Rallycross Championship competitiors arrived at Hell, Norway, for the eighth round of the 2015 season, and after the lottery that was the Canadian round, one thing hasn’t changed: the Team Peugeot-Hansen still has the guys to beat on the grid at the moment, as victory only had a driver change, as Timmy Hansen dominated the Norwegian round.
The qualifying heats saw Timmy Hansen do excellent performances and get the lead, even though SDRX’s Petter Solberg tried to make everything to give the local fans something to be proud of.
In the first semifinal, both Team Peugeot-Hansen cars dictate the rhythm of the two routes, being on joker or not, but Davy Jeanney ran wide at the exit of the joker and loses positions. In the other group, Hansen gets a confortable lead, while Robin Larsson and Anton Marklund battle for the second place, with Larsson getting the best side.
While Hansen kept going to na easy win, the other two final spots were decided between four drivers, and in the final lap, when second placed Larsson went to the joker, Jeanney appears out of nowhere and passes him to stay as it is. Even though Reinis Nitiss and Marklund tried to catch up with Larsson, he continued in third until the finish line.
Second semifinal comes and Petter Solberg loses ground on the first corner, opening the way for the battle between the surprise Alx Danielsson and Andreas Bakkerud. Both drivers then go for the joker, and Per-Gunnar Andersson joins the party to not let the lead go away.
After that, na absurd eliminitation process began, as Petter Solberg retires with a punctured tire, and Bakkerud retires too with a bent wheel. With Andersson and Danielsson getting the first two spots, the third place was still in open battle, and while Mattias Ekström lost the back of his car and had punctured tire, Timur Timerzyanov fought against a roll, a crash with Ekström and a demolished car to salvage the final spot.
Between the semifinal finish and the start of the final, the Olsbergs MSE boys started a battle against time to make sure Timerzyanov’s Ford Fiesta had minimal conditions to race, getting a spare front bumper and fitting it in the car with loads of duct tape.
Green flag for the final and again Hansen and Jeanney stay in front of everybody with Timerzyanov right behind, just to see the Russian driver retire as his car called it a day. Even though Jeanney had a punctured tire, he carried on until the finish like nothing happened.
With both Peugeot-Hansen cars on their respective positions and Robin Larsson appearing in third, there were no place changes until the checkered flag, repeating the finish of the first semifinal, and meaning that Timmy Hansen finally got his first win in the season after being demoted to second place at Höljes after being penalized for reckless driving according to the stewards. After the Peugeot 1-2, Robin Larsson the first podium of the season for na independent team.
Also worth notice is the fact that Danielsson repeated the best finish of the season for AllInkl.com Münnich Motorsport, achieving a fourth place finish like Tommy Rustad made on Canada in his one-off race with them.
Too much results to watch, so check out:
In the drivers standings, Petter Solberg still leads with 193 points over 152 of Hansen, 140 of Bakkerud and 139 of Jeanney, going to a possible second world title. Between the teams, Peugeot-Hansen finally steals the lead of Olsbergs MSE, with 291 points against 262. SDRX appears with 218 points, and with five rounds left, we can say the battle is still open to take Olsbergs crown.
In two weeks the action is back, as the next World RX commitment will be on the famous Loheac circuit in France, which brought 70.000 spectators last year, and will count with the return of Guy Wilks to the JRM Mini RX and with a one-off entry of WTCC champion Yvan Muller.
PHOTO: FIA World Rallycross Championship