Reigning World RX champion Mattias Ekstrom won round 2 of FIA World Rallycross Championship today in Portugal, extending his lead in the standings. The EKS team owner marked his second straight win of the season to accumulate a total of 58 points. Sebastian Loeb finished second in a Peugeot 208 WRX while Johan Kristoffersson claimed the final spot on the podium in a VW Polo GTI. .
For Petter Solberg’s team, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, both Kristoffersson and Solberg managed to reach the finals – enough to extend the team’s lead in the championship to 86 points. Kristoffersson is second in the standings behind Ekstrom whose EKS team is second in the teams’ standings.
Ekstrom admitted that the Audi S1 lacked proper pace throughout the weekend, but they focused on staying ahead despite appearing vulnerable to drivers like Loeb. In 10 days Ekstrom will have a double job at Hockenheim where he will compete in both World RX and DTM for Audi.
Kristoffersson on the other hand won the first two qualifying sessions but he failed to take a joker lap in Q3 after some misunderstanding with the tower. A 30s penalty proved hard to overcome but a P3 finish was more than enough for the Swede. Elsewhere, Timmy Hansen placed his Peugeot 208 WRX in fourth place overall, ahead of the other EKS car driven by Reinis Nitiss. Solberg finished the weekend in sixth, a puncture during the final slowed down the former World RX champion.
Ekstrom and Solberg won semi final 2 and 1 respectively, Bakkerud won Q4 but the Hoonigan driver suffered a suspension damage during semi final 2. Ken Block finished fifth in semi final 1.
Next up is one of the most interesting rounds of the season, the Hockenheim round which combines a plethora of racing series including the DTM season opener.