Tuesday 15 July 2014
Heikkinen is the sixth different World RX winner in six events. Team Peugeot Hansen driver Timmy Hansen finished second with Johan Kristofferson third in a VW Polo. After finishing fourth and collecting crucial points Petter Solberg is now Championship leader, three points ahead of Reinis Nitiss.
An estimated 25,000 spectators flocked to Mettet in southern Belgium this weekend to watch the latest round of the FIA’s newest World Championship. With mixed weather conditions and a brand new rallycross circuit to manipulate, the World RX drivers had little time to get to grips with the narrow, technical Jules Tacheny Circuit. Local hero and former WRC star Francois Duval was a popular addition to the World RX paddock this weekend demonstrating good pace in the VW Marklund Polo but not quite enough to make the final 12. One driver who was consistent from start to finish, however, was Mettet RX winner Topi Heikkinen. “I’m very thankful to my team – they have made such a huge effort and the car is excellent,” gushed the 23-year-old Finn. “I’d like to thank Volkswagen Motorsport too for all of their help. Now we’re at the half-way point I think I can catch up in the second half. We’re only a few points behind Reinis [Nitiss] and Petter [Solberg] now so it’s going to get really exciting!”
After a troubled start to the season, Team Peugeot Hansen turned a corner this weekend as Timmy Hansen took a well-deserved second place in the Peugeot 208 Supercar.Securing the third step of the podium in Mettet this weekend was VW Polo driver Johan Kristofferson who stunned the crowds after a semi-final win in what was only his second World RX outing this year.
In the TouringCar category, Belgium’s Filip Baelus took a home win in front of an ecstatic home crowd at the wheel of a Volvo C30. After a heat and semi-final win, Anders Braten finished runner-up with Torleif Lona third. At the season’s half-way point Daniel Lundh leads Lona by 11 points. Following two heat wins and a semi-final victory Latvia’s Janis Baumanis took his second win in the Super1600 category this season. Timur Shigaboutdinov and Janno Ligur were second and third respectively. Sergey Zagumennov continues to lead the Super1600 standings with a total of 145 points. Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director for IMG Motorsport, concluded: “We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting opening half to the season for our inaugural year as a World Championship. We’ve had six different winners with four different manufacturers and now only eight points separate the top three drivers. It’s also been fascinating to witness three different Championship leaders already this year and now we have round one winner Petter back at the top of the standings proving once again that points matter just as much as winning races. Volkswagen Marklund’s outstanding performance this weekend has also seen the outfit close in on Ford Olsbergs in the overall battle of the teams. It’s been a pleasure to visit Mettet this weekend – the team in Belgium have done a terrific job and played a crucial role in attracting more than 20,000 fans to the circuit this weekend. It’s been wonderful to be involved in the growing popularity of World RX over the past six months – we’re extremely lucky to have what I believe are some of the most talented drivers in the world and with more broadcasters starting to televise our Championship, the future of the sport is looking very bright indeed.”
After completing four races in five weeks, the World RX crews will now have a short break before the season’s second half resumes in Canada for round seven at Trois-Rivieres, home to the famous GP3R, next month (7-8 August).