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Event

Welcome To Happy Street

3rd July 2018 — by Dan Fegent

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Last weekend the 2018 World Rx series descended on the woods of Holjes at the Motorstadion circuit in Sweden for the ‘Magic Weekend’.

However, I’m not here to talk to you about the racing, which you can already guess was incredible. I’m here to take you on a tour of Happy Street…


What is Happy Street? Well picture this, 52 thousand rallycross fans descend on a venue in the woods. Its a two day event, so they need somewhere to stay… TADA! Happy Street is the solution.

Now just to add to this scene I’m setting, the event is a Saturday & Sunday. However these people are invested, they have been here since Monday of the week leading up to it, Thats right, the camping is an event all by itself that climaxes with the actual rallycross round taking place… epic.

Happy Street is a straight road running alongside the circuit. It is lined with camping ground space & in my opinion is some of the most organised mayhem I have seen in a long time.

One of my favourite sites was the clearly marked border between Norway & Sweden. A place where dance offs between representatives of the two nations are a frequent occurrence.

On our wander through this magic land, we came across several long standing members of happy street. A prime example is the heated pool fondly known as ‘chlamydia pool’, yep you did read that right.

We also found the indestructible table. Honestly this thing would just not break no matter how many people tried jumping up & down on it.

The mood is brilliant, the atmosphere is fantastic. There is no anger or hatred among the fans, there is just happy people having a good time.

What amazed me however above was the amount of absolutely awesome American machinery that lined this campsite…

The Scandinavians from my experience are huge fans of American cars & there was a fantastic variety on show among the trashed caravans & party tents.

Honestly I have never seen anything like this, even at the legendary campsites of Gatebil Rudskogen don’t have this level of yank tank automotive epicness.

Along with the huge quantity of American machines there is a wide selection of Volvos (of course). Still extremely cool to an outsider in their own way.

This was my first time going to World RX Sweden & experiencing ‘Happy Street’. In the past I was always told ‘If you know, you know’. well I’ve seen it now & it is a thing of beauty. I hope this small glimpse into it all gives you some insight into the good times that forest & street is for so many people.

Event

The MX5 Takeover- Barrel Sprint Round 3

10th June 2018 — by Fueltopia Events

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As dawn broke over Santa Pod Raceway a field of eager drivers set themselves up for a day of head to head battles. The new random barrel orders was drawn and this weekends see drivers take the course as 2 1 2 3 before the sprint to the finish.

With half of this weekends RWD field made up of MX5’s it seems to be becoming the popular choice of many to navigate the barrels. Its proving to also be very competitive against its higher powered rivals. It benefits from being small and nibble, to work its way along the confines of 14m wide track.

When the Barrel Sprint started back in 2010 the Mazda was not a considered a competitive machine for the competition but as the years have gone on a new generation of drivers have brought the cheaper route into motorsport to the top of the table.

The mornings practice session gave plenty of seat time and see times dropping in all classes with drivers regular checking the Icaris timing screen to check they were ahead of their rivals and we got to see some excellent driving by the field.

The AWD class were pushing each other all day but unfortunately after clutch issues, Michael Irwin who had been storming through practice setting one of the fastest times of the day, qualified 4th. He only continued into the finals hoping one of his competitors would make a mistake and a possible DNF.

Unfortunately for Irwin no mistakes were made and the other 3 drivers pushed each other to the limits to secure the top 3 podium places.

Jonathan ‘Bucky’ Buck seems to really be getting to grips with his Subarus new Nankang tyres and lead on both runs by 1 second over Andrew Stevens and secured his second top step podium win of the season.

In the U1 class the Biddles GBS Zero suffered some mechanical issues and Andy was unable to complete all his 4 qualifying runs. However this didn’t stop him taking the top qualifying position which sent him straight into the finals.

Nick Biddle and Mark Elder fought it out to go against Andy and with both making mistakes it wasn’t the cleanest fight but Mark was victorious. Andy and Mark lined up for the final and with setting his own PB of the day Mark took the win by 0.8 seconds. After missing round 1 that brings him that little bit closer to the brothers in the fight for the championship.

Our RWD competition see Top 16 battles bring Team Japs husband and wife fight it out on the asphalt, Terri is still getting to grips with her new S14 and had some troubles earlier in the day but did not give Mark an easy ride into the top 8.

A close battle was drawn between 14 year old Owen Dodwell and Robert Peat. Both new to the series for 2018, they are taking both the pressure and the course demands in their stride. A close battle see Dodwell take the win by 1.5 seconds over the 2 runs.

The closest battle of the top 8 see Neal Beagley in his MX5 push Mark Youngs S14 to the limit in both runs and only 0.6 seconds split the 2 drivers over both runs of the course. Young took the win to be the only non MX5 in the top 4 battles. Neals determination and performance over the day was noted by staff who awarded him with the Hardcharger award.

The top 4 of current Championship leader Ryan Milton and second place Mark Young were joined by Spencer Peacock and Richard Tickner for whom this was his first time in the top 4 battles.

Milton and Young lined up against each other in the top 4 battle and a barrel order mistake from Mark almost see him DNF. Although he realised before it was too late it was not enough to catch up with Ryan and see him face off with Tickner in the battle for 3rd. Tickner took the win making it a top 3 all driving MX5s.

Milton was joined by Spencer in the final after he took the win against Tickner. Ryans winning streak was not about to be broken however and he took a convincing win and another Samcosport trophy home for the cabinet!

Catch the next round in front of the Santa Pod crowds at Ultimate Street Car on August 4th.

RESULTS
AWD qualifying
  1. Jonathan Buck 27.661
  2. Dmitrij Sribnyj 28.519
  3. Andy Stevens 29.229
awd battles
  1. Jonathan Buck
  2. Andrew Stevens
  3. Dmitrij Sribnyj

u1 qUALIFYING
  1. Andy Biddle 29.452
  2. Nick Biddle 29.934
  3. Mark Elder 30.05
u1 battles
  1. Mark Elder
  2. Andy Biddle
  3. Nick Biddle

rwd qualifying
  1. Ryan Milton 29.902
  2. Richard Tickner 30.425
  3. Spencer Peacock 30.618
rwd battles
  1. Ryan Milton
  2. Spencer Peacock
  3. Richard Tickner

Thanks to series sponsors for your continued support:

Samcosport, Icaris Race Solutions, JELF Motorsport, CTRL, HPI racing, Syclone signs and graphics, Aireshelta, Hel Performance and Ruislip Tyre Service

Photos : Craig Toull

Event

Motorsport abandons UK circuits and heads to the street

7th June 2018 — by Fueltopia Events

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There is literally nothing more exciting than watching Motorsport royalty head out onto the open roads. All the cars seem even more ridiculous in every which way, from giant aero, decibel barking exhausts and that sweet aroma of race fuel on over run. It’s Motorsport taking it back to the people, it’s a new movement and we’ve already got our membership card stamped.

Motofest, is hosted on Coventry’s inner ring road and over the past few years its really developed into a highlight of the motoring calendar. This year, the Motofest team have managed to bring a timed sprint to the main ring-road that spans an impressive four junctions that for this weekend is the place to see everything from Supercars to classics

Not only did Fueltopia head along to soak up the atmosphere, the full events team were party to taking over the Moat Street car park under the main flyover. Formula G, would showcase Gymkhana to the visiting public and the drivers from the series brought a wall-tapping, smoke show that ‘wow’ed’ the onlooking public.

As the Formula G drivers went to head-to-head battles, it was billed as the “Champions of Champions” round; where only the leading drivers got to enter. The arena was tight and you’d need to be inch perfect to make sure that you kept you car free from damage.

As this was the “Champion of Champions” round – each class winner (RWD, AWD, U1 & FWD) would go on to compete against one another. Ryan Milton eventually took the crown in his nimble Mazda MX5, taking the win against the big power Subaru Impreza piloted by Jonathan Buck and a title that will give him a firm target on his back next year.

Not only was Formula G the main show at Moat Street, fresh from touring with Fast and Furious Live, Michelle Westby brang her own unique drift show to the action arena. Michelle decided it was time to give back and invited audience members to join her on track and take part in some ride along challenges whilst she entertained the crowd in her S14.

The crowds had chance to get up close and personal to a range of vehicles around the city that the Motofest had to offer but Formula G also threw open the doors to the arena for all to meet and greet the drivers as well as providing a spectacular burnout display to close the action arena on Sunday afternoon.

Part of what makes Coventry so great is that it’s free, open to people to discover motorsport. All too often our events are hidden behind big price tickets and it makes it risky for the general public to risk not enjoying the racing that they might not really know about. The circuits could learn a lot from events like this, get involved, come out from behind the fences and bring a taster to the public that want to see that motorsport is still alive and well in the UK

Photos by Craig Toull

Event

World Rallycross Championship Round 4 – Silverstone

6th June 2018 — by Steve White

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What is it they say about the best-laid plans? It haD been my intention to FIT A NUMBER OF World Rallycross events into MY CALENDAR this year, but THE UK ROUND wasn’t one of those ON MY ORIGINAL list.

After planned excursions to both Belgium and Norway went awry, a last minute opportunity to get to Silverstone for the second day of Speedmachine was impossible to decline.

Anton Marklund Volkswagen Polo Marklund Motorsport Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Thankfully conditions were much more pleasant than my first visit to Silverstone earlier this year, when relentless snow and driving wind had prohibited me from using my camera for any more than a few minutes.

After spectating at the opening British round, my biggest critique of the new Silverstone rallycross circuit was that the average speed seemed rather low. The weather at the time had obviously contributed to that issue and blue skies this time around meant a dry track, the result of which was a noticeable increase in pace.

Johan Kristoffersson Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Consider the results from the first two rounds of this year’s World Championship and you could be forgiven for thinking that we were about to see another season of dominance from PSRXVW, however it was the exclusion of Mattias Ekstrom that had handed Johan Kristoffersson the win in Spain and appalling weather conditions – coupled with a tactical error from EKS RX – that had played into the hands of Kristoffersson in Portugal.

Peugeot Sport broke the PSRXVW winning streak at round three in Mettet, with Sebastian Loeb taking the win from Petter Solberg. Meanwhile Championship leader Johan Kristoffersson had to settle for fifth and, although his point lead remained unchanged, it was surely reassuring for the rest of the field to see that the young Swede could be defeated.

Kevin Hansen Peugeot 208 Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

With victory the last time out and previous success at Silverstone earlier in the year, Peugeot Sport were my top pick for putting a driver on the top step of the podium at round four. The 2018 specification Peugeot 208 looks formidable, Loeb is a proven event winner, Timmy Hansen unquestionably has race winning pace and Kevin Hansen, despite having the disadvantage of using older machinery, has qualified in the top twelve at every round this year.

However, after finishing off the podium for the first time in almost a year at round three, everyone was expecting Kristoffersson to be on maximum attack at Silverstone.

Petter Solberg Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

It would be Kristoffersson’s PSRXVW team mate Petter Solberg who would fare best on the opening day of action at Silverstone, with first and third in qualifying one and two respectively placing him top of the overnight standings.

Fastest times in both qualifying three and four saw Kristoffersson rocket up the order and it was Johan who took the top qualification spot ahead of Sebastien Loeb and Solberg. As per the pre-race prediction, Kristoffersson was clearly on the offensive.

Mattias Ekstrom Audi S1 EKS Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Both of the EKS RX drivers qualified well and, although neither Mattias Ekstrom or Andreas Bakkerud took a qualifying heat win, the pair were never outside the top eight.

Kevin Eriksson Ford Fiesta Olsbergs MSE Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

I was very pleased to see Olsbergs MSE return to the World stage this year and, although they haven’t been languishing at the bottom of the timesheets, they haven’t been as close to the podium as I hoped. Robin Larsson has twice made it to the semi-final stage this year, but I didn’t think he looked at all consistent at Silverstone. Larsson placed as high as eleventh in qualifying three after a pitched battle with Tommy Rustad, but slower times in qualifying one and four left Robin thirteenth overall at the intermediate standings.

Kevin Eriksson seemed to find more speed throughout the weekend and fourth in qualifying four was enough to place him on the back row of the first World Championship semi-final. A major moment at turn three during the opening lap of the semi lost Kevin a chunk of time which he was unable to claw back. After his poorest result of the year in Belgium, ninth overall was at least a step back in the right direction, though still shy of what I believe the car and driver are capable of.

Janis Baumanis Ford Fiesta STARD Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

It was another “almost” weekend for Janis Baumanis. The STARD Fiesta is clearly competitive but, having narrowly missed out on the final at the last two rounds, an issue in qualifying three – a breakage which is rather apparent in the above image – dropped Baumanis just outside the top twelve and thus he didn’t even make it as far as the semi-finals at Silverstone.

David Higgins Subaru WRX STI Vermont SRTUSA Silverstone ARX Americas Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

As well as the World Rallycross Championship, Speedmachine also incorporated the inaugural round of the Americas Rallycross Championship. Yes, I know that Silverstone is not located in a US state but, as much as I questioned the logic in launching a new American Championship in the UK, I was rather glad of the decision as it allowed me to see the Andretti Autosport Volkswagen Beetle and Vermont SportsCar Subaru WRX STI up close.

Scott Speed Volkswagen Beetle Andretti Autosport Silverstone ARX Americas Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

I had originally been hoping to see these cars at the last round of the 2018 Global Rallycross Championship, which was due to be held at Lydden Hill in October, but with the GRC folding earlier this year the US Supercar contingent have found themselves a new home in the Americas Rallycross Championship.

Two Beetles and three WRX STI were joined at Silverstone by five European competitors, including Phillipe Maloigne behind the wheel of a G-FORS Renault Clio and a pair of Munnich Motorsport Seat Ibiza’s.

Liam Doran Citroen DS3 LD Motorsport Silverstone ARX Americas Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Of the European drivers it would be Timo Scheider and Liam Doran who would pose the biggest challenge to the American teams. Scheider was quick from the outset and even managed to post a respectable qualifying time when the bonnet of his Munnich Motorsport Seat Ibiza popped up mid-race.

Liam made a slower start to the weekend, missing the practise sessions and seemingly using the qualifying heats to iron as many creases out of his new DS3 as possible. By the time the cars lined up for the semi-finals, the LD Motorsport Citroen seemed to be behaving itself and Doran managed to earn himself a spot in the final.

Tanner Foust Volkswagen Beetle Andretti Autosport Silverstone ARX Americas Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Although Liam managed to go door-to-door with and even pass Scott Speed on the opening lap of the final, Speed opted for a early joker lap and then closed the gap to get around Doran when he took the joker. Scott was unable to catch Tanner Foust though, who made a clean break off the line and went on to take an unchallenged win. Speed took second and Doran completed the podium.

Many rallycross fans, myself included, have long been curious as to how the Global Rallycross Championship Supercars compared to those in the World Championship. Although not racing side-by-side at Silverstone, the lap times indicated that the Andretti Autosport Beetles are very close to the top World competitors. With that in mind, it is no wonder that Beetles have been so difficult to beat in US competition.

Petter Solberg Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Now none of the World Championship drivers are exactly sloppy, but the precision of the two PSRXVW drivers around the Silverstone rallycross circuit was especially astonishing. Check out the front left bumper of the car and it’s proximity to the tyre stack marking the corner.

If this was just on one lap I’d have said it was luck, but lap after lap both Solberg and Kristoffersson were brushing the tyres and other trackside furniture with the peripheries of their cars. Perfect control, even at race speed.

Tommy Rustad Volkswagen Polo Marklund Motorsport Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

The precision of the PSRXVW duo was mightily impressive but, of the World Championship entrants, it was Tommy Rustad who was the standout driver for me. Silverstone was the first outing of the year for Rustad and, despite not driving a Polo for the last two years, he placed consistently through all four qualifying races and made it as far as the semi-finals.

I shouldn’t have been surprised really, as Tommy was involved with rallycross before many of the current World drivers were old enough to sit behind the wheel. I am also fairly certain (and I await correction here) that Rustad is the only current World competitor to have won an international event in a Group B car. Told you he’d been doing it a while…

Andrew Jordan Ford Fiesta MJP Racing Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Taking a break from providing race commentary for the World Rallycross Championship, Andrew Jordan swapped the microphone for the steering wheel of a MJP Team Austria Racing Fiesta. With MJP team principle Max Pucher working on other rallycross projects in 2018, his team are not a permanent participant in this year’s World Championship.

Unfortunately terminal issues in qualifying one and four demoted Jordan to twentieth in the intermediate standings, leaving him to watch the closing stages of racing from the sidelines. It was a real shame not to see Andrew make the semi-finals, but great to at least see him and the latest specification MJP Racing Fiesta out on track. Jordan will drive for MJP at two more rounds this year, with Toomas Heikkinnen set to appear in a second Fiesta.

Oliver Eriksson RX2 RX Lite Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Oliver Eriksson placed a respectable seventh at the opening round of the 2018 RX2 Championship, but he looked almost untouchable at Silverstone. Second in qualifying one was followed by first in qualifying two, three, four and the opening RX2 semi-final.

Nathan Heathcote RX2 RX Lite Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

With Dan Rooke unable to secure the budget for the 2018 season, British fans hopes for success in RX2 rested solely on the shoulders of 2017 British Rallycross Champion Nathan Heathcote. Heathcote made an unfortunate start to his RX2 campaign in Belgium, when he rolled his Lite out of the competition at the semi-final stage.

Incredibly Nathan managed to make it two rolls from two events, parking the Lite on its roof coming off the jump during qualifying three. Coupled with technical issues during the opening qualifying heats, Heathcote was unable to crack the top twelve and so didn’t make it to the semi-finals. Fingers crossed that Nathan has luck on his side the next time as, when all four wheels were on the ground, his times were in the region of the top ten drivers.

Sondre Evjen RX2 RX Lite Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Guilame De Ridder looked the strongest challenger to Eriksson in the qualifying heats, but when De Ridder retired from the second RX2 semi-final it was Sondre Evjen who took the race win and claimed the second slot on the front row of the final alongside Oliver.

Oliver Eriksson RX2 RX Lite Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

When the lights went out for the final, Eriksson got an almost perfect launch, pulling clear of the pack well before it arrived at turn one.

From the outside of the second row Conner Martell also made a fantastic start, carrying a massive amount of speed into the first corner and almost managed to cut across Oliver and steal first position at the exit of turn one.

Conner Martell RX2 RX Lite Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Martell was the only RX2 driver who would keep Eriksson in sight during the final, but Conner was never close enough to attack. The RX2 podium was completed by Sondre Evjen, who took a well-deserved third.

Victory for Oliver moves him to the top of the RX2 Championship standings, with Vasily Gryazin, Sondre Evjen and round one winner Ben-Philip Gundersen holding second-to-fourth positions respectively. The top four are separated by just nine points, so it’s still anyone’s Championship at this point.

Petter Solberg Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Having qualified first and third respectively, Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg lined up alongside each other on the front row of the grid for the first World Championship semi-final. With Andreas Bakkerud and Kevin Hansen sitting behind the pair, it was vital that they got to the first corner as quickly and cleanly as possible in order to fend off the challenge from behind.

When the lights went green Solberg made a fantastic start and, by the time the pack approached turn one, he had almost pulled clear of team mate Kristoffersson. The operative word there is “almost” as, when Petter edged over to the right, Johan contacted the right rear corner of Solberg’s Polo, throwing his car into the air. From this point Kristoffersson was a passenger and, after slamming down on the left front corner, the Polo plowed straight into the tyre wall on the inside of turn one. With tyres strewn across the track the race was immediately red flagged and the cars returned to the dummy grid.

Petter Solberg Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

As marshals rebuilt the tyre wall on the inside of turn one, PSRXVW mechanics scrambled to inspect the Polos of Johan and Petter for damage. Despite the heavy landing and tyre wall impact suffered by Kristoffersson, it was Solberg who seemed to have come off worst as his right rear tyre was punctured.

After ripping off most of the wheel arch and surrounding bodywork from the offending corner, the wheel was replaced, a generous amount of duct tape applied and the Polo was good to go. Petter was only slightly slower off the line on the restart, but he got swamped at turn one and found himself relegated to fourth by turn three. Despite the traffic ahead of him Solberg still looked in the fight but, just two laps into the semi-final, Petter pulled off the circuit.

Johan Kristoffersson Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Retirement for Solberg was obviously massively disappointing for PSRXVW but, thankfully for the team, there would be no such problems for Johan Kristoffersson. Taking the lead at turn one, Johan was chased to the line by Andreas Bakkerud, but neither Bakkerud nor third place finisher Kevin Hansen could find a way past.

Kristoffersson had barely crossed the finish line when his car rolled to a stop and his Polo R had to be towed back to the paddock. The immediate concern was that Johan had also sustained terminal damage during the semi-final collision, would he make it back out of for the final?

Timmy Hansen Peugeot 208 Peugeot Sport Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

The second semi-final would be less dramatic but no less significant as Timmy Hansen, who had posted the quickest qualifying time of the weekend, retired with a puncture. I really felt for Timmy, as he has had race winning pace from the outset this year, he just seems to be blighted by absolutely rotten luck.

The only minor consolation for Hansen was that the second semi-final was won by his team mate Sebastien Loeb.

Jerome Grosset-Janin Renault Megane GCK Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Jerome Grosset-Janin narrowly missed out on a place in the final, with a last minute pass in the semi leaving him just one place shy of the all-important top three. However tenth overall was still his best result of the year.

Given his previous Supercar experience I had been expecting Grosset-Janin to be the stronger driver in the GCK roster and I hope the improvement in his results is an indication that he is getting to grips with the Megane RS RX.

Johan Kristoffersson Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Although looking a little worse for wear (in fact it’s the first time I can recall seeing a PSRXVW Polo on the grid looking anything other than pristine), Johan Kristoffersson pulled up to the pole position spot for the final with no assistance, allaying fears that whatever had caused his car to stop after the semi-final was a terminal issue. With Loeb sitting alongside him, the front row of the grid was occupied by the only drivers to win any rounds this year.

Despite the threat of Loeb on his outside and the EKS pair of Mattias Ekstrom and Andreas Bakkerud sitting immediately behind him, Kristoffersson made clean start. Conversely Sebastien seemed to go backwards, allowing Bakkerud to slot into second and Ekstrom in third.

Sebastien Loeb Peugeot 208 Peugeot Sport Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

While Johan kept Bakkerud at bay up front, Loeb was clearly desperate to make up for his terrible launch. Taking the joker on lap three, Sebastien posted the fastest time on lap four to snatch third position from Ekstrom as he emerged from his joker.

Andreas Bakkerud Audi S1 EKS Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Notably both the EKS RX Audi S1’s looked able to match the pace of Kristoffersson – and Silverstone was easily the strongest performance of this season for Bakkerud – but as the race went on, the precision of Johan allowed him to slowly creep away from Andreas and Mattias in the latter stages of the race.

Yet again I found myself questioning the joker strategy employed by EKS, as splitting the drivers earlier in the race would surely have left Ekstrom in a stronger position to deny Loeb third.

Niclas Gronholm Hyundai i20 GRX Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

For the second time this year, Niclas Gronholm made the back row of the final and Niclas went on to finish fifth ahead of Kevin Hansen. Of all the non-works entries in the 2018 World Rallycross Championship, GRX Taneco have been the quickest and most consistent.

Although Gronholm had more involvement with the development of the Hyundai i20 I am surprised not to see teammate Timur Timerzyanov posting similar results yet. That said, Timerzyanov has made every semi-final of the year thus far, so he certainly isn’t far behind.

Petter Solberg Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

Although the weekend ended prematurely for Solberg, another victory for Kristoffersson has further extended the lead for both PSRXVW in the team standings and Johan in the driver’s Championship. I don’t think that Kristoffersson is unassailable at this point, but the other drivers really need to start posting consistent results before he starts to run away with proceedings.

Petter Solberg Volkswagen Polo PSRXVW Silverstone WRX World Rallycross Championship 2018 Steve White Fueltopia

And what of Speedmachine? Well, as much as I mourned the loss of the World round from Lydden Hill , I can’t deny that the round at Silverstone was very well organised and there was a significant amount of additional content stuffed into the paddock. That said, despite some improvements made since the British round, my biggest gripe remains with the circuit itself which still seems slow and not at all conducive to overtaking. I don’t think the track is beyond rescuing though and, with the first World event now under their belt, I hope that Silverstone will consider revising the layout for next year.

The World Championship makes it first Scandinavian stop this weekend, with round five taking place at Hell in Norway. Loeb, Bakkerud and Solberg will surely all be vying to beat Kristoffersson but, as much as I would like to see Petter take a win on home turf, it’s the luckless Timmy Hansen I will be rooting for. Be sure to keep an eye on the official World Rallycross website to see who claims victory and expect more rallycross content on Fueltopia later in the year!

 

Words and Pictures: Steve White

Want to see more of the World Rallycross Championship at Silverstone? Click here for a full image gallery.

 

EventReviews

Wide Body Honda CRZ

4th June 2018 — by Mark Turner

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Alex Wood’s Honda CRZ certainly turned a few heads at a recent CarCultureUK meet, the Rebellion.
When we say turned a few head, we mean snapped a few necks.
Alex has one of the most unique cars on the scene at the moment, a wide body Honda CRZ. We can count on one hand the amount of them we’ve ever seen, let alone widebody ones.

It’s a pretty rare car. It’s a 3 dr 2+2 (2 very small back seats), hybrid (petrol and electric) sports coupe, manufactured from 2010 to 2016. It’s front engined and front wheel drive. The petrol engine is a 1.5L i-Vtec single cam unit which puts out around 115bhp and 145 N⋅m torque in standard form. The electric motor an additional 10 kW (14hp) and 79 N⋅m torque.

This CRZ sport was originally feftled by Honda UK who fitted a full genuine Mugen body kit. Out back there’s a Mugen wing and up front there’s a Mugen grill with white LED’s inset.
At some point, the car was shipped over to Dream Automotive who were tasked with the job of fitting the outrageous RexxStyling wide arch flares.
Arches this big need some serious rims, so a set of 18 inch whistler kr1’s were squeezed under, bolted to a gorgeous set of tein coilovers.

Under the bonnet there’s GE8 intake chamber and cold air intake working with the J’s Racing Stainless Steel cat back exhaust, Dream Automotive primary decat and Tegiwa 2nd decat. There’s also a cheeky strut brace.

Alex’s CRZ is a feast for the eyes. Carbon dipped parts are everywhere and blend with the graphics.
He takes the car to as many shows and events as he can, usually supported by his own group #TeamCole. This jaw dropping CRZ has been in fast car magazine and won quite a few show and shine or best in shows already with more to come, we’re sure of that.

Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (3)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (3)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (2)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (2)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (1)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (1)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (7)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (7)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (6)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (6)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (4)
Honda CRZ Wide Body Alex Woods (4)

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