After one month stopped, the FIA World Rallycross Championship finally came to Argentina to end the 2015 season, in a weekend that had a bit of everything: interruptions due to the dusty track conditions, tricky points varying from dusty to slippery, surprise contenders, as well Robin Larsson as the winner. In the middle of the things that happened at Rosario, Petter Solberg claimed his second straight World RX title.
In fact, Solberg conquered a title that was already certain as only a miracle would revert the title to Timmy Hansen, still in the qualifying heats, when the fourth heat was cancelled and results were decided by the third heat. Also, praise goes to World RX novice Janis Baumanis as well Kevin Hansen, the younger brother of Timmy Hansen, advancing in his debut in a World RX supercar.
In the first semifinal, Robin Larsson started better while the rest of the pack fought in the middle of the dustcloud of the first corners of the Rosario circuit. Being able to see something ahead was a challenge, and Andreas Bakkerud judged badly the exit of the turn before the joker lap and smashed the barrier. Although disappointed, the Olsbergs MSE driver left out unscathed.
Larsson was still in the lead while followed by his fellow countrymen Mattias Ekström and Johan Kristoffersson. On lap 4, Kevin Hansen closed in Kristoffersson and it didn’t take long to overtake him and get the third place. Robin Larsson won the race while Ekström followed him in second and a surprise third place was in the hands for the younger of the Hansen clan.
Few minutes passed and the second semifinal started with Timmy Hansen holding Petter Solberg in the first corner, just to being overtaken by the SDRX driver some corners later, with Davy Jeanney and Janis Baumanis getting second and third place.
The race was good for Solberg, but then Hansen charged back to front pack and stole Solberg’s win, leaving the Norwegian driver with the second place while Baumanis surprised everyone being third and putting his car and the World RX Team Austria squad in the final. A worrying detail in this race was the severe contact that Anton Marklund had with the barriers, as a good chunk of his car was destroyed. Even though he was out of the race and with a smashed Audi, he was OK and climbed out of his car by himself.
The last final of the 2015 season went green and Timmy Hansen and Robin Larsson were side by side from the go to almost the whole first lap, but behind was Mattias Ekström, who took advantage of the mess and sneaked into second place, starting a pursuit to Larsson, leaving Hansen in third place. Then problems from off-track excursions to any other sort of misfortune hit the older of the Hansens on track, retiring in the middle of the race. Janis Baumanis was doing an outstanding job holding Solberg, but experience prevailed and the World Champion went to third.
Seeing that Larsson would leave no room, Ekström went to the joker on lap 5, just to be surprised by Solberg in the other side of the track, and then they had a side by side contact that threw Solberg’s Citroën some meters away.
Now it was the last lap and Larsson’s time to go to the joker lap, and he came with all the care possible to not slide more than needed in the gravel section. Thankfully to Larsson, the tarmac section of the joker lap helped him to get that extra push and traction to beat Ekström at the finish line, the first win for Larsson in the 2015 season.
Solberg ended the championship with 301 points while Timmy Hansen finished with 275, meaning that the Team Peugeot-Hansen driver posed a stronger challenge to Petter than in the 2014 season. Now, they all go to the off-season, and Solberg still needs to confirm if he will stay in World RX, as his Citroën DS3 RX and his team truck was on sale.
PHOTOS: FIA World Rallycross