Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel put down promising performance in Barcelona

Round 7 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship and day 1 of this season’s last double header saw the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel race into the final with Bakkerud finishing in p6 while Doran’s race day finished in the semi-final. 


The first qualifier at the famous motorsport venue in Barcelona saw Liam Doran line up together with Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel team mate Andreas Bakkerud to take on a slippery track, which was slowly warming up thanks to the Spanish autumn sun.


Following a jump start by both Doran and Ekstrom, resulting in an additional penalty joker for each of them, Doran shot wide and into the lead into turn 1 followed by Bakkerud.

Liam jokered straight away and re-joined the pack in p3 while Andreas took over the lead. Bakkerud, who lost power steering in lap 3, raced through until the last lap which saw both him and Doran take the joker, overtaking Ekstrom in the process to take p1 and p2 of the race, and p7 and p9 of the first qualifier.


Liam lined up on the inside of his 2nd qualifier against Ekstrom, Bennett and Ide. Following some contact off the start line, he squeezed ahead into the lead but was overtaken when jokering to finish in 2nd, putting him in p9 overall. 


Meanwhile, Andreas’ Q2 saw him take on Timerzyanov, Gronholm and Kevin Hansen. Bakkerud dropped into p2 off the start but took the inside line into the first corner to jump ahead into the lead. He pushed the GCK Megane R.S. RX to create a considerable gap and easily took the race win as well as winning the qualifier, putting him in p2 overall.


On pole for Q3 alongside Kristofferson, Hansen and Scheider, Bakkerud avoided contact into the first corner and pushed into p2 behind Kristofferson. He was overtaken by Hansen when jokering to finish the race as well as the qualifier in p3, putting him in p3 overall and the first row of the first semi-final. 


Taking on Ekstrom, Timerzyanov and Kevin Hansen for his third qualifier, Doran pushed into the front but a nudge following the first corner saw him drop into p4. Jokering in lap 3, the British Bomb finished in p4, putting him in p11 overall and earning him a 3rd row grid spot in the semi-finals. 


Liam’s semi-final didn’t end quite as well as his day had started. Having dropped to the back due to stalling in the first corner, Liam tried to make up for lost time but lost his line over the jump. While managing to regain car control, he lost time and remained in p6 despite racing hard to catch up the pack. In turn 8 of lap, a broken driveshaft resulted in Doran losing drivability of the car and ended in a DNF for the British driver.


Having put down a good start in his semi, Bakkerud followed Kristofferson into p2 but was squeezed into p3 by Ekstrom when the Norwegian joined the track following his joker to finish his race in 3rd putting him on the 3rd row of the final. 


Bakkerud dropped into p5 following the start but overtook Gronholm in turn 2 to move into p5. He jokered in lap 2, resulting in him getting stuck in traffic behind Gronholm to finish Round 7 of the Championship in 6th overall. 



“The final didn’t quite go our way today; We had an issue with the power steering that we were fighting and there was no way of outracing the others once I was at the back of the pack. I would’ve loved to end up on the podium following the strong pace and performance we showed today. I’m very satisfied with the development we’ve been able to make since Riga and look forward to another race day tomorrow to push all the way to the podium.”, Andreas commented 



“All day the car has been performing great off the start and feels really fun to drive. We made some changes ahead of the semi-finals to get some more traction and it worked a little too well unfortunately. I then messed up the first corner by stalling and dropped to the back. Another small mistake ahead of the jump saw me hit the barrier and spat me out the jump the wrong way, which I just managed to save. It’s frustrating to make mistakes for sure, especially as we had a good start to the day, which then didn’t end quite as well but we go again tomorrow and try to build on today’s pace.” Liam added.

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