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22 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Fifth place for Heikkinen at World RX
of Germany; second in overall standings

2014 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Germany: Heikkinen

It was a mixed two days for Marklund Motorsport at the ninth round of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship in Germany over the weekend of 20-21 September. The Swedish team fielded three Polo RX Supercars, with regular drivers Anton Marklund and Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen being joined by German Ronny Wechselberger.

Former WRC ace Petter Solberg won the event – his fourth victory of the season – while second place was taken by Mattias Ekström. Heikkinen finished fifth in the Supercar final, moving him up the overall drivers’ leaderboard to sit under Solberg who currently leads the standings.

Marklund and Wechselberger were victims of the ever-changeable and unpredictable wet conditions at the Estering near Buxtehude, both knocked out in the preliminary heats. Wechselberger drove the car that Patrick Carpentier used to make the final at the seventh round of the series in Canada.

Overall, Marklund Motorsport remains in second place in the team standings, trailing the leaders by just ten points. The tenth of the twelve events in the 2014 calendar will take place in Italy at the new Franciacorta RX track in Brescia over 27-28 September.

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Petter Solberg, 212

2 Toomas Heikkinen, 160

3 Reinis Nitiss, 158

4 Andreas Bakkerud, 136

5 Timur Timerzyanov, 128

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Ford Olsbergs MSE, 294

2 Volkswagen Marklund, 284

3 Team Peugeot-Hansen, 250

4 PSRX, 204
5 Monster Energy World RX Team, 81

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08 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Zut alors! Mixed result for Marklund Motorsport at World Rallycross of France

2014 Volkswagen Polo RX, World Rallycross of France: Heikkinen

It was a mixed result for the Polo RX-powered Marklund Motorsport team at the World Rallycross of France at the 1.1km-long Circuit de Lohéac in Brittany, over 6-7 September. Reporting difficulties in getting its powerful Polos set-up, both Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinnen and Anton Marklund made it through the semi-finals but failed to qualify for the Supercar final itself, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

A difficult first day saw engineers tweak the set-up of Heikkinen’s Polo and he finished fourth at the overnight point. Speaking on day two of the event, the Finn said: ‘There was a bit of traffic in the first two heats yesterday, but things were not as good as we expected with us, too. We were a lot slower yesterday. We changed the whole setup on my car – it was a big change so it was a risk, but it has worked.’

2014 Volkswagen Polo RX, World Rallycross of France: Marklund

But it didn’t work enough. The truncated action saw Heikkinen slip down the overall drivers’ standings to third place, nine points behind Reinis Nitiss. Marklund meanwhile remains fifth overall.

There was no shortage of thrills and spills for the 70,000-strong crowd, though, as former WRC ace Petter Solberg took a sensational victory at the eighth round of the 2014 season at the home of French rallycross. Round nine of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship will take place at Estering in Germany on 20-21 September.

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Petter Solberg, 185
2 Reinis Nitiss, 157

3 Toomas Heikkinen, 147

4 Andreas Bakkerud, 126

5 Anton Marklund, 124

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11 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Marklund takes majestic World Rallycross Championship podium place in Canada

2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship, World RX of Canada: Marklund

The Marklund Motorsport team’s trip overseas to the seventh round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship over the weekend of 9-10 August was rewarded with a second place for Anton Marklund and his Polo RX Supercar.

The young Swede has been consistently fast this season but has rarely translated the speed into results. That all changed last weekend. The 21 year-old Swede finished in the top five in all his heats, and won his semi-final to line-up against Petter Solberg on the front row of the grid of the final.

‘This has been a lot of fun,’ grinned Marklund. ‘I’ve managed to score points all day and driving down the long straight at speeds of around 190kmph is just amazing. Usually rallycross events are over two days so this has been a big challenge for my team to work over one day and they have done an amazing job.

‘It’s also really good for Volkswagen to have three out of four cars in the final and now we’re tied with Olsbergs MSE in the manufacturer standings too – it’s been a great weekend for the whole team.’

Marklund Motorsport had another success at WorldRX Canada, too. The 1.3km Trois-Rivières circuit Canada has a 59 per cent asphalt and 41 per cent gravel mix, which suited Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikinnen well – the other regular driver for the Swedish team scoring a fifth place finish.

He now moves to second place in the drivers’ championship points table, while Marklund’s podium placing consolidates his fifth place.

The team fielded four Polo RXs at the event, with two for regular drivers Marklund and Heikinnen, and one each for Global Rallycross Championship driver Tanner Foust and former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Patrick Carpentier.

Carpentier made his RX debut in the event. The French Canadian proved a natural talent despite having only one short test ahead of the race. ‘I can’t explain how happy I am to have made it to the final. Before today my only aim was to reach the semis and to be in the final on my RX debut is more than I could ever have hoped for,’ he beamed.

Foust, who has appeared at previous rounds of the championship earlier in the season, suffered bad luck at Trois-Rivières. His Polo RX had driveshaft failure in practice and heat one, and the Marklund Motorsport team ran out of spares for his car.

The Rockstar Energy Drink-liveried Polo was the same car Foust drove in the Finnish round of the championship. It repeatedly suffered from driveshafts popping out when the US driver landed after heavy jumps, yet his team-mates cars were frustratingly trouble-free.

‘I’ve watched the other guys (Carpentier, Heikkinen and Marklund) hitting the jumps twice as hard as I was with no problems, so we really don’t know why it has been doing it,’ said a disappointed Foust. The Top Gear USA presenter also confirmed he may be appearing at another European round of the series.

Norway’s Petter Solberg took a sensational lights-to-flag victory at the World RX of Canada to become the first driver to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship held outside of Europe.

Round eight of the series is the World RX of France which will be held in Lohéac on 6 and 7 September.

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Petter Solberg, 155
2 Toomas Heikkinen, 135

3 Reinis Nitiss, 133

4 Andreas Bakkerud, 113

5 Anton Marklund, 111

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 = Ford Olsbergs MSE, 246
1 = Volkswagen Marklund, 246

3 Team Peugeot-Hansen, 185

4 PSRX, 147

5 Monster Energy World RX Team, 83

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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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08 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

2014 World Rallycross Championship semi-finals for Heikinnen in Höljes

2014 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Sweden: Kristoffersson

Volkswagen Marklund Polo RX driver Toomas Heikkinen narrowly missed out on the final at the fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Höljes last weekend (5-6 July), the Volkswagen Rallycross of Sweden. The 23-year old took fourth place in the 600bhp Polo RX Supercar in the semi-final. The Finn needed a third place finish to qualify for the final at the 1.2km Swedish circuit.

Team-mate Anton Marklund was also unfortunate at Höljes Motorstadion, missing out on reaching the semi-final by a very narrow margin. One heat victory, two heat second-place finishes and a breakdown caused by suspension and differentials failure was sadly not enough to qualify for the final race as one of the fastest six drivers.

Overall, though, Heikkinen is still in fourth place on 88 points in the championship standings, thanks to his four top 10 heat times, proving that consistent finishes can be just as important as winning races. Marklund is fifth on 64 points. Double DTM Champion Mattias Ekstrom won the event overall in his first outing, taking victory in the newly-developed Audi S1 Supercar.

Local Swedish rallycross stars Ole Christian Veiby and Johan Kristoffersson of Kristoffersson Motorsport also added to the Polo count, by putting their Local Dealer Team Polo RX Supercars through their paces.

The next races in the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held on 12 and 13 June at the Circuit Jules Tacheny, in Mettet, Belgium. There will be more Volkswagen interest, too: rallycross star Francois Duval will appear in another Marklund Motorsport-prepared Polo RX Supercar.

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Reinis Nitiss, 112
2 Petter Solberg, 103
3 Andreas Bakkerud, 90
4 Toomas Heikkinen, 88
5 Anton Marklund, 64

2014 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Ford Olsbergs MSE, 211
2 Volkswagen Marklund, 152
3 Team Peugeot-Hansen, 123
4 PSRX, 117
5 Monster Energy World RX Team, 45

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