Swedish rallycross team Marklund Motorsport had a weekend of mixed emotions at the fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Great Britain, where strong pace on the opening day was offset by technical problems on day two, ruling the team out of a place in the semi-finals with the Volkswagen Polo RX.
Double Junior World Rally Champion PG Andersson was fifth at the end of day one, with Toomas â€˜Topiâ€™ Heikkinen â€“ winner of the Belgian round of World RX just a week previously â€“ in seventh. Unfortunately for the team, both cars suffered technical problems on the second day and finished the event thirteenth and fifteen.
â€œThe weekend started really well. We were really fast in practice and the first heat, then in the second heat we were struggling a bit with the dust, but it was still quite good. Sunday was a day of really bad luck for us, we broke the manifold in the last heat and dropped out of the semi-finals. There are positives though, the speed was good and we just need to work on some of the little details so they donâ€™t happen again,â€ said the Finn.
PG Andersson drove in his usual spectacular style throughout the British event at Lydden Hill in his Volkswagen Polo RX, but made some mistakes in the second heat before having bad luck on day two. â€œThe first heat was good and in the second heat I was struggling a little bit with my driving, but still was in a good position,â€ said Andersson. â€œIn the third heat I was in the lead with two laps to go and I had problem with turbo boost but we were still in the fight for the semi-finals. Then I had a puncture on the last lap of the fourth heat which put us out. Weâ€™ve just had no luck at all this weekend.â€
American Top Gear star Tanner Foust also raced for Marklund Motorsport at Lydden Hill, but succumbed to problems on day one. With the Volkswagen Polo RX running well on day two, Foust was forced to run in damp track conditions and despite making no mistakes was unable to set a time good enough to make the semi-finals. â€œI really feel for the whole team. I think that Topi and PG were having some good results and Topi winning the last round was really positive. I was also pretty ambitious coming to Lydden having won here before, but itâ€™s so competitive in World Rallycross now that if you have some problems, you are out of it.â€
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held at the Estering, Germany where Marklund Motorsport will also be joined by FIA European Rallycross Championship contender Tommy Rustad for his second event of the season.
Great Britain World Rallycross Final Result:
1 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3)
2 Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1)
3 Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo)
4 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta)
5 Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta)
6 Guy Wilks (Mini RX)