FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
RD8: BARCELONa-CATALUNYA RX
A sudden stop to Barcelona battle for Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel
Hoping for a repetition of yesterday’s good start to the day, Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel Liam Doran and Andreas Bakkerud took to the start line together for their first qualifier of round 8 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Following some contact into turn 1, Doran dropped into p4 and jokered straight away while Bakkerud followed Ekstrom in p2. Doran chased down August and overtook her in the last lap to finish in p3, putting him in p13 overall following Q1. Meanwhile, Bakkerud maintained position and finished in p2, with a promising 5th fastest time overall.
Taking on Bennett, August and Guillerme in his second qualifier, Doran’s race finished unexpectedly. Having led the pack for all 4 laps despite some engine issues from lap 1, Doran struggled to keep control into the last corner ahead of the chequered flag due to repeated misfires, resulting in him ending up in the wall and spinning around before crossing the line in p2. While the British Bomb was p12 following the last qualifier, the engine issues were too significant to get fixed ahead of Q3 leading Doran to retire from his race weekend in Barcelona.
Following a great start for Bakkerud in his 2nd qualifier, he kept the inside line to take p2 ahead of Kristofferson. Jokering straight away, Bakkerud chased down the pack, managing to overtake Kristofferson and Gronholm when both jokered. Taking on Timerzyanov when the Russian jokered, Andreas took the win of his 2nd qualifier, moving up to p4 overall.
Bakkerud lined up for Q3 for the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel framed by Ekstrom, Kristofferson and both Kevin and Timmy Hansen. He shot ahead into the lead and jokered in lap 3, overtook Ekstrom upon return to the track to successfully take the chequered flag and bag a front row pole position in semi-final 2.
Taking on the semi-final battle against Timmy Hansen, Anton Marklund, Niclas Gronholm, Timur Timerzyanov and Enzo Ide, Bakkerud put down a good start jumping into the lead followed by Hansen and Marklund.
He jokered in lap 3 and joined the pack in 2nd, overtaking Gronholm when the Finn jokered to finish the race in 1st.
Having beat Johan Kristofferson to pole position for the final race of the day, Bakkerud had another good start and raced toward turn 1 but was squeezed into the tire barrier, spun around into the air and crashed into by follow-up traffic behind, ending the race very suddenly for the Norwegian.
P6 IN FINAL
“Generally, I’m really really happy about the result this weekend. Who would’ve thought after the difficulties we faced at the start of the season that we would be here today, on pole position in the final ahead of Johan Kristofferson. We even had Johan on reaction time at the start of the final! The squeeze came really suddenly and Robin had nowhere to go but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I wanted this win really badly and I’m not giving up now. We did everything we could this weekend and I’m really proud of the entire team and everyone involved both here and back at home. Thank you!”, Andreas commented.
“It’s been a frustrating day for me in Barcelona. The car felt good and I felt in control until the engine issues reared their head and unfortunately there was no way to continue. Having made some mistakes yesterday that cost us to now have an early finish today is frustrating but there’s nothing to do about it really, it’s motorsport.”, Liam added.
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