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201621 Apr



Norway’s Petter Solberg started his World Championship title defence in the best possible way by winning Bompiso Rallycross of Portugal, the opening round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.  After a sensational drive in his privately run Audi A1 Supercar, Robin Larsson took the runner-up spot with EKS RX driver Topi Heikkinen rounding out the top three in his Audi S1 EKS quattro.


Andreas Bakkerud narrowly missed out on a podium spot, and ended the event fourth in his Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Focus RS Supercar.  Nine-time WRC Champion Sebastien Loeb impressed on his World RX debut after he finished fifth in his Team Peugeot-Hansen run Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar.  The Frenchman was knocked out of podium contention following a transmission issue.


Q1 winner Johan Kristoffersson [Volkswagen RX Sweden] was awarded the coveted Monster Energy Super Charge Award after beating his competitors to the first corner of today’s final. Last year’s Montalegre RX winner was unable to repeat his 2015 victory, however, following an on-track collision with Solberg which broke a driveshaft in his VW Polo.


EKS RX leads the Teams’ Championship: the Swedish squad accrued 38 points thanks to Heikkinen’s podium and Mattias Ekstrom finishing TQ [Top Qualifier] at the end of the event’s four qualifying sessions.


“I’m really happy - my team have put in countless hours working on the car in the factory recently and this win is for them,” explained event winner Solberg, who now tops the drivers’ standings. “At the end of Q2, I was seventh – I’ve been in worse positions but we had a team meeting and we made some set-up changes. Today started well but we had a faulty launch control system so I had to do a manual start.  For the final, we had the same problem but actually I managed okay, sometimes the old fashioned way can work! Last year we had eight different winners throughout the season and in 2016, we have three or four extra drivers who are very capable of winning events so it’s not going to be easy that’s for sure!”


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