11 May 2019
The RX Cartel duo of Andreas Bakkerud and Liam Doran ended Timmy and Kevin Hansen’s unbeaten run in qualifying this year at World Rallycross made its debut at Spa-Francorchamps.
Bakkerud topped Q1 after taking a comfortable victory in his heat race ahead of Timu Timerzyanov. Overall he beat Anton Marklund, Krisztian Szabo, and Timo Scheider to the top spot, with Joni Wiman rounding out the top five in what was his first top-level rallycross start since the 2016 Global Rallycross season finale. He is also driving one of two GRX Hyundai entries this weekend with Niclas Gronholm sidelined with appendicitis
In Q2 it was Doran who prevailed, again beating Timerzyanov on the track, with Janis Baumanis, Cyril Raymond, Wiman, and Scheider in the top five. Bakkerud finished Q2 as the ninth fastest driver, behind Timerzyanov, Guerlain Chicherit, and championship leader Kevin Hansen. He finished his Q1 heat in fourth, but comfortably set a top-10 time despite the result.
Timmy Hansen meanwhile won his Q1 heat, but a close battle with Doran cost both time, meaning that Hansen could only manage the sixth fastest time in the frist part of qualifying. His Q2 heat was even tougher, with Doran, Timerzyanov, and his brother Kevin all beating him.
The results mean that Doran, who took seventh Q1, heads into Sunday as provisional top qualifier, with Bakkerud in second. Wiman’s impressive performance on his return means that he currently sits in third, ahead of Scheider and Szabo.
Baumanis currently holds sixth spot, with Raymond seventh and Timerzyanov eighth. Anton Marklund and Barcelona winner Timmy Hansen complete the top 10, while Kevin Hansen and Mattias Ekstrom – who is making a one-off return for this weekend – hold the last two transfer spots.
Currently missing out on semi-final spots are Guerlain Chicherit, who is currently 13th, Guillame De Ridder, Oliver Bennett, and Francois Duval who is replacing Rokas Baciuska in the ES Motorsport Skoda Fabia this weekend.
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