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From hunted to hunter

To mark the 50th anniversary of rallycross at the Lydden Hill Race Circuit, Mattias, Topi and Reinis experienced a weekend with several obstacles. “I started well and held third place consistently in the qualifying sessions behind the strong Polos,” said Mattias. “In the semi-final, things weren’t quite right, which is why I had to start the finale from the third row.” After making a good start and a thrilling battle with Sébastien Loeb, a tire failure dropped him down the order. At the end, Mattias finished fifth. “We have to be honest. Winning here was never on the cards, but a podium finish was. But to achieve this, everything would have had to run perfectly.”

Mattias also lost the overall lead in South East England. He had topped the standings for 253 days across two seasons. The former hunted has now become the hunter. “I’m only four points behind Johan Kristoffersson,” said Mattias. “In rallycross things can change very quickly. It’s possible to score 30 points on a weekend. We’ll be back and will attack from the word go at the next round in Norway.”

Topi qualified for the semi-final for the fifth time this season, but missed the final after finishing sixth. “The semi-final is always the minimum goal. It’s disappointing that it wasn’t quite enough again this time, but the engine failure on Saturday had me playing catchup immediately,” explained the Finn. Reinis fared much worse and as 16th overall was demoted to spectating after qualifying. “I’ll have to forget this weekend quickly and look forward. I have fond memories of Norway.” In Hell in 2014, Reinis at the age of 18 years and 181 days became the youngest driver to date to win a World RX round in the Supercar Class. The sixth round of the season is held on June 10–11.

FIA World Rallycross Championship 2017 – Round 5, Lydden Hill – Result Final

1. Petter Solberg (N) 4m 9.602s
2. Johan Kristoffersson (S) +1.690s
3. Andreas Bakkerud (N) +3.317s
4. Sébastien Loeb (F) +6.730s
5. Mattias Ekström (S) +14.156s
6. Timmy Hansen (S) +58.020s

Drivers’ standings FIA World Rallycross Championship 2017 (after 5 of 12 rounds)

1. Johan Kristoffersson (S) 124 points
2. Mattias Ekström (S) 120 points
3. Petter Solberg (N) 117 points
4. Timmy Hansen (S) 91 points
5. Sébastien Loeb (F) 81 points
9. Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) 46 points
12. Reinis Nitišs (LV) 38 points

Teams’ classification FIA World Rallycross Championship 2017 (after 5 of 12 rounds)

1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden 241 points
2. Team Peugeot Hansen 172 points
3. EKS 166 points