Marklund Motorsport target #WRX podium in Germany

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Swedish FIA World Rallycross Championship team Marklund Motorsport are aiming for a podium finish at the fifth round of World RX at the Estering in Germany next week (20-21 June).

Located outside the town of Buxtehude on the Este River in Northern Germany, the Estering is one of the traditional rallycross venues on the World RX calendar. Marklund Motorsport have shown race-winning pace from both the Volkswagen Polo RX and drivers Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen and PG Andersson in the opening four rounds of the season, with each event being held in mixed weather conditions. The team suffered a number of technical gremlins at the last event in Great Britain and have been back to their base in Sweden, done their homework and are targeting a fight back, starting in Germany.

Finnish star Heikkinen won the third round of World RX in Belgium, and was in the final at the Estering last season. “In Hockenheim (round two) we were fourth, then in Belgium we won and in England we didn’t make it to the semi-finals. This season has been quite different to last year, we’ve had some problems with the car but we know we have the speed. I think that Buxtehude can work for our cars,” said Heikkinen. “It’s hard to overtake there, and the first corner is really tight. It’s an old school rallycross track and it’s more about the driver than the car. It’s really technical and you need to push really hard to make a good lap time. I think we are well prepared.”

Two-time Junior World Rally Champion PG Andersson switched to rallycross for 2015 and has been in the final in two of the four events so far. “In general the season has been quite good. It started out well in Portugal and sure when get a place in the final at the first event you want to reach the final at each event. I think we would have been able to do that without our small issues. Things are running ok, we are not where we want to be yet but after this short break we will come out much stronger,” said Andersson. While most of the tracks on the calendar are totally new to the Swede, he does have previous experience of the Estering circuit. “We haven’t been able to show our potential 100% yet – I think there is more to come from what we have. I like the track in Germany. We will come back fresh, I think we can have a good result there.”

Joining Marklund Motorsport at the event will be FIA European Rallycross Championship driver Tommy Rustad, competing in the second round of the Euro RX championship in a Volkswagen Polo RX run in conjunction with HTB Racing. Rustad is currently second in the European Championship standings. “I hope I can have the same speed that I had in Belgium, in Germany. I’ve had good results there before; I finished third in 2006 and went well last year. It seems to suit me well so I’m looking forward to it,” said Rustad, who was unlucky to retire from the final in Belgium with accident damage. “I scored quite good points in Belgium but we need to push harder and survive all the heats and try to be on the podium in every single race. That’s important.”

FIA World Rallycross Championship drivers’ standings:

1 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3) 112
2 Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo) 83
3 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta) 77
4 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) 63
5 Reinis Nitiss (Ford Fiesta) 61
6 Toomas Heikkinen (Volkswagen Polo RX) 59
7 Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) 59
8 PG Andersson (Volkswagen Polo RX) 47

FIA World Rallycross Championship teams’ standings:

1 Ford OlsbergsMSE 138
2 SDRX 132
3 Team Peugeot-Hansen 110
4 Marklund Motorsport 106
5 Volkswagen Team Sweden 105
6 EKS 76
7 World RX Team Austria 26
8 Munnich Motorsport 1

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