FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
RD6: RIGA RX - LATVIA
Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel leave Riga with a bang
Day 2 of this season’s 3rd double header and Round 6 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Riga, Latvia, had the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel ready to put down a fight to build on yesterday’s results but came to a sudden end in a tumultuous semi-final that put Bakkerud into the track barrier at 120km/h.
Following a quick, 2-lap morning warm up, Andreas Bakkerud took pole position for his first qualifier and despite a good start, was pushed into P3 following turn 1. He jokered straight away, chasing down the pack to outrace Scheider and overtake the German to cross the finish line in 2nd, putting down a solid 6th fastest time of the qualifier.
The 2nd qualifier saw Andreas build on this further as he managed to race ahead into the lead, from where he pushed the GCK Megane R.S. RX around the track to take the checkered flag, putting him in P3 overall going into final qualifier of the day. Q3 wasn’t to be quite so smooth for the Norwegian as significant contact into the first turn pushed him into P4, dropping him into P6 overall going into the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Liam Doran faced a battle in his first qualifier that saw him pushed out wide into the first turn, from where he raced his way back, only to be stuck behind Timerzyanov to finish in P3 and P12 overall.
The 2nd qualifier saw Doran put down some good lap times as he took the joker in the first lap to chase his way back up from there. A broken boost pipe in the last lap cost him some time and he retained his P12 overall going into Q3.
While struggling with some technical issues, a big send around the outside throwing the car around at the last minute saw Doran take the lead of Q3, outracing the pack and jokering in the last lap to take the checkered flag and retaining his semi-final spot in P12 overall.
Both Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel drivers faced one another in semi-final with Bakkerud on row 2, and Doran on row 3.
A bold move by Doran saw him push into P3, however, contact into turn 1 had the Cartel drivers in P4 and 5. While Doran followed Marklund to finish closely behind in P5, Bakkerud managed to chase down Scheider twice and seeing a gap in the last lap, he went to overtake the German on the inside but was pushed into the grass bank with significant impact, tearing the front side of the GCK Megane R.S. RX apart and resulting in medical support required for Bakkerud. The Norwegian has since been released from hospital following a full check up. Round 6 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship finished with Bakkerud in P7 and Doran in P12 overall.
P3 IN SEMI-FINAL 2
P6 in Q1 / P3 in Q2 / P10 in Q3
“Today was really a day about consistency for us in Riga and the target was the podium for sure. I felt we were strong in Q1 and Q2 especially, then we struggled a bit in Q3, got safely to the semi-finals and saw a lot of action there. First following the start which had us pushed out but then I caught up to Scheider twice and knew I had the opportunity to overtake him. I saw him break a little late to defend and I took a wider line, cut back to then take the inside line. Then I just felt one big punch into the front side of my car that changed its direction entirely and hit the barrier on the left doing 120km/h at the time. There were parts everywhere and I literally just closed my eyes hoping that Marklund and Doran would avoid me. At that speed, you never know what can happen. The track medical team did a great job and the Riga hospital did a lot of tests on me, which I really appreciate. It’s moments like this that you so appreciate the work we’ve done on our safety equipment in the Megane, the seatbelts, our hybrid device, the helmet and so on - you sometimes take it for granted but now I’m just happy that we use safety equipment that is well proven and of great quality.”, Andreas commented
P5 IN SEMI-FINAL 2
P12 in Q1 / P13 in Q2 / P9 in Q3
“I’ve had another up and down day here in Riga, it seems like it’s a constant rollercoaster ride for me. The car had issues throughout the day and I didn’t get a real opportunity to show the pace of the car nor me really I don’t feel. Nonetheless, we got to the semi-final and had a good start, which was going to plan and got through to P3 but then got binned out of the track and dropped back to last. To be honest, it’s so hard to come back from last in the semi-final. You can come out of a fight in the first corner but throughout the race it’s hard because everyone has got great pace. I’m a bit frustrated with myself for giving up a little too soon then - I didn’t really fight with Marklund for P5 and then realised in the last lap there was still reason to fight and sped up again. We got in the semi-final so it’s a step forward but overall of course, not how we wanted to end the day.”, 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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