18 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Heikinnen claims World Rallycross win in Belgium; record Polo field

2014 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Belgium: Heikinnen

He’s the sixth different winner in as many rounds, but no matter, Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikinnen drove his Polo RX Supercar to victory at the Belgian round of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Mettet. The young Finn showed consistently strong driving at the 1km-long Circuit Jules Tacheny over the weekend of 12-13 July.

Heikinnen and his 600bhp four-wheel drive Polo were third after the opening two heats, while team-mate Anton Marklund held first. But, during the final race, Heikinnen pulled out all the stops, to claim the top spot on the podium, with Marklund in fifth.

‘Topi’ was more than pleased with performance: ‘I am absolutely over the moon. It is my first World Rallycross Championship win and I hope now that this is just the start of a fantastic second half of the season.’

Victory in Belgium had added benefits for Heikinnen as he climbed one position in the World Championship standings. The Finn now lies third with 117 points. Marklund is currently fifth with 85 points.

Team Peugeot Hansen driver Timmy Hansen finished second with Johan Kristofferson third in another Polo – one of a pair run by the Volkswagen Dealer Team / Kristofferson Motorsport outfit in Sweden. Kristofferson’s podium position was only his second World RX outing this year, and 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 also awarded the 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.’

Other Polos in action over the 31 per cent gravel and 69 per cent circuit included local driver Francois Duval who lives less than 30 miles from Mettet. Piloting another Polo RX run by Marklund Motorsport, Duval is the only Belgian driver to win a round of the World Rally Championship.

He has a strong track record in rallycross after winning the Belgian round of the European Rallycross Championship when it was held at Maasmechelen back in 2010. ‘The car seems to be performing well and I’ll be aiming for a good result,’ explained Duval before the event. In the end, the Belgian set a good pace in the Belgian VW Club / Gordon and Raemaekers Polo RX, but finished the event out of the top twelve rankings.

The Polo S1600 of Christian Petrakovits finished fifth in Heat 4 of the Super 1600 category, while the Polo of Patrick Mertens came home fifth in the first semi-final of the Touring Car classification.

The next round of the championship will take place at the Circuit Trois-Rivières in Canada between 7-8 August.

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Petter Solberg, 125
2 Reinis Nitiss, 122

3 Toomas Heikkinen, 117
4 Andreas Bakkerud, 99

5 Anton Marklund, 85

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Ford Olsbergs MSE, 221

2 Volkswagen Marklund, 202

3 Team Peugeot-Hansen, 154
4 PSRX, 117

5 Monster Energy World RX Team, 60

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