04 Aug 2019
Andreas Bakkerud finally claimed his first win of the 2019 World Rallycross season at Circuit Trois-Rivières in Canada after a number of near-misses this season.
The Norwegian has been in the thick of the championship battle all season, but hasn’t won a final since in the 2016 season finale in Argentina.
Bakkerud led from lights to flag, fending off pressure from Timur Timerzyanov on the opening lap, then a charge from Janis Baumanis who secured his best ever finish in World RX with second.
Baumanis himself faced a challenge for second from Kevin Hansen. Hansen made his way through to podium contention after starting from the back row of the grid but after he made contact with Anton Marklund on his joker merge, the championship leader was left with what appeared to be driveshaft damage, preventing him from making any further progress.
With Hansen struggling, Timerzyanov made his way through to third and comfortably beat Guerlain Chicherit who finished fourth despite fighting gearbox issues. Hansen eventually finished fifth, ahead of Marklund who failed to make it to the finish after his coming together with his compatriot.
Despite topping qualifying, Niclas Gronholm failed to make it to the final after being passed by Kevin Hansen in the first semi-final. Also missing out was Rokas Baciuska and Cyril Raymond, while Liam Doran, Krizstian Szabo and Timo Scheider didn’t advance from the second semi-final.
Bakkerud’s win along with the trouble for the Hansen brothers has blown the title fight wide open. Kevin Hansen now holds a mere seven-point advantage over Bakkerud with just three rounds remaining while Timmy Hansen, who is the only driver to win multiple events this season, is a further nine points back after failing to advance from the qualifying stage in Canada.
After missing multiple events due to appendicitis earlier in the season and not making the final this weekend, Niclas Gronholm remains a championship outsider in fourth on 115 points.