Another circuit with some Formula 1 history received the pumped machines of the FIA World Rallycross Championship this weekend, as the Istambul Park, on Turkey, held the eleventh round of the 2015 season, with a hard-earned win to Timmy Hansen.
Came the Sunday and the first semifinal, and Andreas Bakkerud slingshot himself ahead of the opposition, while the current leader and reigning World Champion Petter Solberg saw his SDRX Citroën DS3 have a lot of problems right at the start. Behind Bakkerud, a battle royal between Mattias Ekström, Timur Timerzyanov and Tord Linnerud lasted for more than one lap, with sparks and bodywork parts flying everywhere.
Timerzyanov stayed in the worst position with a right rear wheel problem and a charging Anton Marklund getting closer. Both drivers started a team battle for terrain, as EKSRX’s Ekström and Marklund prevailed over Olsbergs MSE’s Timerzyanov going to second and third, although the other Olsbergs MSE car, driven by Bakkerud, saw the checkered first.
Second semifinal started and Reinis Nitiss and Robin Larsson pulled daring moves at the first corner, becoming first and second, while the third-placed driver Johan Kristoffersson was holding both Team Peugeot-Hansen drivers Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney. Later on, Hansen overtook Jeanney, but he still had a problem to deal with, or three problems to be specific.
On lap 5, Nitiss goes a bit overboard and lets the door open to Hansen, as problems hit the Latvian Ford Fiesta ST. All joker laps done, Hansen overtook Kristoffersson, but a collision between the two made another Swedish victim, as Robin Larsson spun and ended his participation. In the end, Team Peugeot-Hansen made a 1-2 finish with Hansen and Jeanney, while Kristoffersson ended third.
Results of the Turkey RX semifinals
After a long stop to prepare the cars, the Green light for the final was on, Hansen starts better and leads with Bakkerud behind while Kristoffersson overtakes Ekström. The EKSRX driver-owner had a moment of bad luck as Jeanney hit the back of the Swedish DTM driver, halting the progress of both.
Final laps came and all drivers made their jokers but Hansen, and he got out of the joker lap path, he saw a threatening vision of Bakkerud’s car in the left mirror. Then, Bakkerud started a series of inside moves to disrupt Hansen’s line, but the Swede kept his car glued to the inner path, denying Bakkerud’s attempts and winning his third event in the season.
Results of the Turkey RX final
In the drivers standings, Hansen now poses a threat to Solberg’s second title, as the Norwegian driver has 256 points against 237 of the Swede, with Kristoffersson as a posible outsider, with 201 points. Team Peugeot-Hansen leads the teams championship with 417 points, way ahead of the 338 of Olsbergs MSE.
The next World RX event will be at the Franciacorta circuit in Italy, which will have the debut of the new Kia Rio RX, as well the participations of Gigi Galli, Andrew Jordan and the former F1 driver Gianni Morbidelli.
PHOTOS: Team Peugeot-Hansen, Olsbergs MSE