The FIA World Rallycross Championship moves across the pond to North America for the third time ever, but still manages to avoid the US. For a couple of reasons the entry is down to 16 drivers, so this might be the round to enter for safe points.
Last time at Höljes was nothing but safe. The weather changed from sunny to pouring rain and back every five minutes, causing havoc with tire choices, qualifying times and spectator umbrellas. Hoonigan Racing driver Andreas Bakkerud once again found the pace with the Focus RS, and had that extra bit of luck required in Höljes to take the win. Peugeot-Hansen drivers Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen came second and third, while championship leader Mattias Ekström and runner-up Petter Solberg scored an equal amount of points. 5 points still separate the two, with Bakkerud now moving up to third overall ahead of Loeb and Kristoffersson.
In our Fantasy Game the Turbocharged Squirrel boosted all the way to the top with a huge 134 points, with AntMic and myself following quite far behind. I’m still leading overall, but more due to consistency than anything else. Once we start removing the worst rounds Lumpy44 and TurboSquirrel among others will move up the table.
In Canada WorldRX will once again visit the GP3R festival in Trois-Rivieres, right between Montreal and Quebec. The track features the longest straight on the calendar, and unlike the straight in Portugal everyone has to go the same direction on the first lap. The joker is on the back end of the track, right on a sketchy gravel section where lots of time can be lost. At first glance the track may seem similar to the ones used in the GRC, but it is a lot tighter in some sections. Those tight section led to disaster for Petter Solberg and Timmy Hansen last year, as a crash between the two title candidates forced the first time ever that Petter couldn’t qualify for a WorldRX final.
Length: 1351 m
Fastest Lap: 00:47.670 (Mattias Ekström)
Previous Winners: Petter Solberg (2014), Davy Jeanney (2015)
Since this is an overseas round to a continent where rallycross isn’t as common as in Europe, the entry is limited. Earlier years we’ve seen Canadian entries in Patrick Carpentier and LP Dumoulin, but they are nowhere to be seen this year. We’ve also seen the odd GRC entry in previous years, and Sebastian Eriksson and OlsbergsMSE were set to debut the Honda Civic this weekend. Sadly they initiated the homologation process too late, and we won’t see Sebastian here.
Another driver we won’t see in Canada is Liam Doran. After shocking behaviour at the Gatebil festival in Norway the “British Bomb” was dropped by JRM Racing, who were unable to find a new driver for Canada. Read more in the extensive report from Jalopnik. Danny Way was reported to enter with JRM for the latter half of the season, but things fell through.
Highlights of qualifying and live semifinals and finals will be shown live on Youtube on Sunday at 20:00 CEST. If you’re new to the fantasy game you can read the rules in detail here, and you can find everything you need to know about the series and the permanent teams here. I’ve also made a statistics spreadsheet if you want to do an in-depth analysis before making picks. All Supercar entrants are listed below.
VOLKSWAGEN RX SWEDEN - VOLKSWAGEN POLO
#3 Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) - Avg last 10: 18.40 - Avg CAN: 9.00
#92 Anton Marklund (SWE) - Avg last 10: 8.60 - Avg CAN: 15.00
EKSRX - AUDI S1
#5 Mattias Ekström (SWE) - Avg last 10: 22.50 - Avg CAN: 21.00
#57 Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen (FIN) - Avg last 10: 11.00 - Avg CAN: 19.00
WORLDRX TEAM AUSTRIA - FORD FIESTA
#6 Janis Baumanis (LVA) - Avg last 9: 8.33 - Avg CAN: N/A
#7 Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) - Avg last 10: 8.80 - Avg CAN: 12.50
TEAM PEUGEOT-HANSEN - PEUGEOT 208
#9 Sebastien Loeb (FRA) - Avg last 6: 17.67 - Avg CAN: N/A
#21 Timmy Hansen (SWE) - Avg last 10: 17.90 - Avg CAN: 16.00
HOONIGAN RACING DIVISION - FORD FOCUS RS
#13 Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) - Avg last 10: 19.00 - Avg CAN: 15.50
#43 Ken Block (USA) - Avg last 8: 6.75 - Avg CAN: N/A
ALL-INKL.COM MÜNNICH MOTORSPORT - SEAT IBIZA
#15 Reinis Nitiss (LVA) - Avg last 10: 6.30 - Avg CAN: 12.00
#77 Rene Münnich (DEU) - Avg last 10: 0.70 - Avg CAN: 0.00
OLSBERGSMSE - FORD FIESTA, HONDA CIVIC
#68 Niclas Grönholm (FIN) - Avg last 7: 2.29 - Avg CAN: N/A
#93 Sebastian Eriksson (SWE) - Avg last 1: 20.00 - Avg CAN: N/A#96 Kevin Eriksson (SWE) - Avg last 7: 9.86 - Avg CAN: N/A
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
#1 Petter Solberg (NOR), Citroën DS3 - Avg last 10: 21.90 - Avg CAN: 23.50
#4 Robin Larsson (SWE), Audi A1 - Avg last 10: 13.20 - Avg CAN: 0.00
#33 Liam Doran (GBR), JRM Mini - Avg last 10: 3.40- Avg CAN: 2.00