Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel battle into semi-finals at Riga RX

Round 5 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship saw crowds gather for the first time of the 2020 season as bright, dry conditions greeted the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel today to kick off another doubleheader weekend. 


Both Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel drivers finished their first qualifiers in p2, with Doran in p7 and Bakkerud in p9 overall going into Q2. 


Having lined up together for their 2nd qualifier, luck turned for both drivers. Doran pushed into p2 off the start with Bakkerud in p3, from where the Norwegian jokered straight away to then overtake Timerzyanov when the Russian jokered. However, a broken damper saw Andreas being overtaken by Timur to finish in p3, pushing him into p11 overall. Meanwhile, the British Bomb had a good, clean run in p2 until disaster struck in the last lap when a broken suspension arm following contact resulted in him dropping into p4 of the race and p12 overall. 


Q3 presented the last chance to fight back ahead of the semi-finals with the Cartel facing one another on the grid for a second time. While Liam shot into p1 and had a clean run despite some small rear drive issues, taking the checkered flag and putting down the 5th fastest qualifier time to lift him up to p8, Bakkerud followed his team mate into p2, a position he held onto over the finish line, putting him in p9 overall. 


Significant contact in the 1st corner of semi-final 1 pushed Bakkerud out into the dirt and into p6, from where he fought his way back into p4, retaining position through the joker to finish the semi-final in 4th, missing out on a spot in the final by one position.


Meanwhile, Doran lost his rear drive off the start putting him on the back foot, resulting in him being pushed up into the barrier into turn one in semi-final 2, dropping him into p5 from where he jokered straight away but got stuck behind Timerzyanov. In lap 4, transmission problems saw him spin out, requiring him to retire from the race. 



P9 in Q1 / P14 in Q2 / P8 in Q3 

“Day 1 here in Riga is done and we came here with high expectations due to the good pre-event preparations we did but we lacked the consistent speed to be the ones spraying champagne at the end of the day. We are more regularly P7/P8, so that’s why we end up just outside the finals. We really need to dig deeper to find a bit more consistently high speed and hopefully we can make some overnight adjustments to help with that and some of the inconsistencies we have at the starts. The team is hard at work already, so all in for tomorrow.”, Andreas commented.



P7 in Q1 / P16 in Q2 / P5 in Q3

“For the first time this season, I feel like we showed some true potential with 2 top 10 times, which would’ve been 3 top 10 times if it wasn’t for the mechanical failure, one of which was a P5 and the fastest times across all GCK cars, which was nice. A bit of a rollercoaster of ups and downs as the problems in the semi-final were disappointing of course. There is obviously potential there, there has been at every event, and yet again we’ve shown it but we’re just lacking the required consistency at the moment, so this needs to improve tomorrow.”, Liam added.


A weekend with... Andreas Bakkerud


Follow the ups, the downs and all the behind-the-scenes moments with Andreas Bakkerud and the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel as they prepare for and compete in rounds 3 & 4 of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship in Finland in our second "Weekend with..." feature.


Bringing you right into the heart of the team, enjoy the rarely seen side of a World RX event from the perspective of Andreas and the team - including a lot of sneak peeks, exclusive clips and personal insight! 

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