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KRISTOFFERSSON WINS WORLD RX OF BELGIUM

The 2017 World RX of Belgium saw Johan Kristoffersson take his first victory of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship, however the win almost went to Timmy Hansen.Kristoffersson finished Qualifying on top after winning Q2, Q3 and Q4 which secured him pole position in Semi-Final One alongside with Hansen who looked to be a threat for the win. However Hansen beat the PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden driver to take pole for the Supercar Final.

 

Johan Kristofferson/Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

In the Final, Hansen lined up in Pole Position with Petter Solberg alongside him, the VW driver having won Semi-Final Two. The middle row saw Kristoffersson and Andreas Bakkerud lined up together whilst Mattias Ekstrom lined up alongside Kevin Eriksson, who was starting in his first Final of the year.

Solberg leapt into the lead at the start of the race with Hansen and Kristoffersson in pursuit behind as Bakkerud slotted in ahead of Ekstrom and Eriksson during the first few corners before heading out onto the back straight. Eriksson took the joker on the first lap whilst Hansen closed on Solberg.

Ekstrom salvaged fourth place in the Final after a difficult weekend in Belgium. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

Kristoffersson pulled out of third on lap two as he took his joker and came out behind the EKSRX Audi, with Ekstrom beginning a tough defence of what was third place at the time. Up ahead, Hansen launched a move on the inside of Solberg for the lead of the race running into turn one, successfully taking the lead from the VW driver.

However Solberg slid wide into the first turn and as he returned to the track, he made contact with Bakkerud which saw the Hoonigan Racing Ford Focus into the wall and retire almost immediately. Solberg took his joker on lap three and fell in behind his team-mate, who was looking for a way past Ekstrom.

Timmy Hansen held onto the lead for three laps before a puncture set in. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

Hansen started the final lap in the lead, however he now had a left front puncture to deal with. Taking his joker on the last lap, the Peugeot driver came out behind Kristoffersson who took the victory, whilst Hansen won the drag race for second place, beating Solberg on the line. Ekstrom took his joker on the last lap and came home fourth ahead Eriksson who also suffered a puncture on his MJP Racing Team Austria Ford Fiesta.

Sebastien Loeb lost out on a place in the Final after contact with the tyre barrier in turn one during his Semi-Final race which would see his Peugeot 208 retire, however the Frenchman underlined the improved pace of Team Peugeot-Hansen. Ken Block would also be a casualty in the Semi-Finals after having his best weekend of the year, until contact ended his participation.

Bakkerud was in the hunt for a podium until contact with Solberg ended his race. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

Ekstrom still leads the Drivers Championship, however Kristoffersson is now only three points behind him. Solberg lies in third place eleven points back whilst Timmy Hansen and Loeb complete the top five places.

The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship now heads to Lydden Hill in Kent where the fifth round of the championship will see the last appearance of the spiritual home of Rallycross on the current World RX calendar, taking place on 26-28 May.