Solberg has taken his first British round of his rallycross career when the
Norwegian held on by a thread to win the World RX of Great Britain despite
Ekstrom won Heat 4 at the wheel of the Audi S1 EKS RX Quattro, the two Semi
Final grids were split with Solberg, Hansen, Nitiss, Kristoffersson, Linnerud
and Larsson battle it out in Semi Final 1 while Ekstrom, Jeaney, Bakkerud,
Jordan, Wilks and Stohl made it through to Semi Final 2
Semi Final 1:
As the lights went out, with Solberg and Kristoffersson in the front row,
Kirstoffersson bolted towards the joker on the first lap, closing the door on
Linnerud and Larsson who followed him. Meanwhile Solberg was leading away with
Hansen and Nitiss on his tail. Solberg, over the next 4 laps, drove with
perfection at every corner to draw a hefty gap between him and Kristofferson
for his Joker on the final lap. Solberg just made it out in front of
Kristofferson when he jumped off the exit of the joker to keep his lead and
finish 1.3 seconds ahead. Reinis Nitiss finished 3rd in the first
Semi Final to make it to the Supercar Final sending Hansen, Linnerud and
Semi Final 2:
With Ekstrom and Bakkerud on the front row, at the drop of the flags, Guy
Wilks, the British driver who was racing for the first time in WRX in his Mini
from JRM Racing dived into the Joker on the first lap with Manfred Stohl. Wilks
drove tremendously to close in the gap to the highly experienced drivers in
front, therefore when Davy Jeanney took his jokey, Wilks managed to come out
ahead of the French driver in 3rd place. Mattias Exstrom flew away
with a hefty lead to wiin the Semi Final Heat over Bakkerud who finished 2nd
almost 3 seconds behind. Less than a second behind in 3rd with the drive of the
weekend was Guy Wilks in his Mini who had only driven a single test before
heading out against the best of the best in the sport to make it into the
Supercar Final in his first run. Jeanney, Jordan and Stohl completed the final
scoring positions after finishing 4th, 5th, and 6th
The Final saw
Solberg line up next to Ekstrom, while Kristofferson and Bakkerud stood on row
2 and Nitiss and Wilks completed the top 6 on the 3rd row.
Unfortunately for Wilks, the Brit was forced to retire on the first lap after
facing a terrible left front puncture. At the front Solberg chose to joker on
the final lap with barely enough gap between him and already jokered Ekstrom
who was gaining on him. As Solberg came out of the joker inches ahead of the
Ekstrom, the Norwegian held on for dear life in his 1st place with
Eksrtom breathing down his neck. Solberg’s Citreon DS3 from the SDRX team started
showing signs of problems with the drive shaft while also suffering a puncture
on the left front. Despite the gremlins, the reigning World RX finished .04
seconds ahead of Eksrtom to win LyddenRX for the first time in his career.
Kristofferson took the final spot on the podium with Bakkerud and Nitisss
respectively finishing 4th and 5th.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend: good weather,
a lot of people, a fantastic atmosphere and some really close racing,” grinned
race winner Solberg, who also wins a Rebellion Timepieces Wraith Drive
Rallycross watch plus the coveted Monster Energy Super Charge Award for being
quickest off the line during the final. “We had some issues with the car’s
engine this morning but everything was working well for the semis and then I
just pushed really hard in the final. I
pushed so hard that I even got a puncture on the last corner, I was driving at
my limit! A lot of my mechanics are English, which makes this win at Lydden
even more special – not just for me, but for the whole team.”
Round five of
the FIA World Rallycross Championship will take place at Estering in Germany from June 19 - 21, 2015.
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