Heikkinen Controls Belgian Rallycross Stop
Topi Heikkinen captured Sunday’s World RX of Belgium, round six of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, at the wheel of a Marklund Motorsport run Polo RX Supercar.
Heikkinen is the sixth different World RX winner in six events. Team Peugeot Hansen driver Timmy Hansen finished second with Johan Kristofferson third in a VW Polo. After finishing fourth and collecting crucial points Petter Solberg is now Championship leader, three points ahead of Reinis Nitiss.
An estimated 25,000 spectators flocked to Mettet in southern Belgium this weekend to watch the latest round of the FIA’s newest World Championship. With mixed weather conditions and a brand new rallycross circuit to manipulate, the World RX drivers had little time to get to grips with the narrow, technical Jules Tacheny Circuit. Local hero and former WRC star Francois Duval was a popular addition to the World RX paddock this weekend demonstrating good pace in the VW Marklund Polo but not quite enough to make the final 12.
One driver who was consistent from start to finish, however, was Mettet RX winner Heikkinen.
“I’m very thankful to my team – they have made such a huge effort and the car is excellent,” said the 23-year-old Finn. “I’d like to thank Volkswagen Motorsport too for all of their help. Now we’re six events into the season I think I can catch up in the second half. We’re only a few points behind Reinis [Nitiss] and Petter [Solberg] now so it’s going to get really exciting.”
After a troubled start to the season, Team Peugeot Hansen turned a corner this weekend as Hansen took a well-deserved second place in the Peugeot 208 Supercar.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium but I’m really happy to be here – especially after such a hard weekend,” said Hansen. “The final didn’t go to plan, I think I was last on the first corner and then I made a mistake and dropped even further but the next few laps I just went flat out and was right behind Topi at the end. I have to thank my team for this – they have built a wonderful car.”
Securing the third step of the podium in Mettet this weekend was VW Polo driver Kristofferson, who stunned the crowds after a semi-final win in what was only his second World RX outing this year. The Swede was also crowned the winner of the third round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX).
“This is only the second race for us and I would have been happy just finishing in the semi-finals,” said Kristofferson who was awarded Monster Energy Super Charge Award after his rapid start. “To get to the final was amazing and to be on the podium is just the best feeling. We had a really good start in the final race as we were in pole position and I think that’s what really helped us get here. Hopefully we will be back for some more races in the second half of the season.”