WorldRX 2015: Jeanney Breaks His Duck In Germany…

PREVIEW…

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Round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy will take place at the Estering in north Germany this weekend where a total of 75 cars have entered (36 Supercars, 20 Super1600 entries and 19 TouringCars). ALL-INKL.COM World RX of Germany will also form the second of this year’s five-round FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX). After four events, Norway’s Petter Solberg is leading the World RX drivers’ standings by 29 points, while Frenchman Jerome Grosset-Janin tops the Euro RX table. Ford Olsbergs MSE leads the Teams’ Championship, six points ahead of SDRX.

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The Estering is the second oldest track in the World RX calendar (Lydden Hill is the oldest), with the circuit having hosted international events since 1973.  Set 30 miles south of Hamburg, the traditional German RX track is just 950 metres long but is among the fastest of the year with a long, downhill run between turns one and two. Last year’s event saw the closest finish in rallycross history when Petter Solberg took the win over Mattias Ekstrom by an unbelievable margin of just five thousandths of a second.

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Four drivers will compete on home soil this weekend: ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport team owner and driver, Rene Muennich; two-time German Rallycross Champion, Jorg Jockel plus S1600 drivers, Andreas Steffen and Mandie August.

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“I’m looking forward to racing at our home event. The Estering should be a track that suits our cars well and I like it very much,” enthused Muennich, who is also a successful WTCC driver. “If the weather stays dry for the weekend and we can perform without any huge problems, I think we should be able to qualify both cars for the semi-finals. For that to happen it’s important to have four consistent heats, without any issues.”

Since the previous World RX round at Lydden Hill, several of the World RX drivers have gained valuable seat-time including EKS driver Anton Marklund who completed a two-day test at Holjes. The Team Peugeot-Hansen squad also tested at the Swedish RX venue where they tried a variety of set-ups. “The testing that we conducted recently enabled us to improve the car further, and we hope to convert that into some strong results in Germany,” explained Team Principal Kenneth Hansen, who knows the Estering better than most having won there six times before.

Meanwhile, the “British Bomb” Liam Doran and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud have both been enjoying some time in America as the World RX drivers competed at the recent X Games in Austin. Marklund Motorsport’s Topi Heikkinen joined Doran and Bakkerud Stateside as the Finn commentated on the X Games action for Finnish television. 

Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Reinis Nitiss has been busy gracing Latvian television as the 19-year-old took part in cooking programme, Come Dine with Reinis. He has also competed in the Baltic Karting Championship finishing third and will test an RX Lites car at the Bauska circuit today [June 17].  Meanwhile, World RX Champion Petter Solberg visited the recent MotoGP race in Barcelona where he met fellow Monster Energy athlete, Valentino Rossi. 

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Volkswagen Sweden’s Johan Kristofferson, who is second in the World RX drivers’ standings, has continued his winning ways in the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia, triumphing in both races at the Anderstorp Raceway.  Kristoffersson is now leading the Carrera Cup with a total of 43 points.

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Eighteen Supercar drivers will be eligible to score World Championship points in Germany, while the remaining 18 Supercars will battle it out in the highly-competitive Euro RX. Notable European entries include Volkswagen Team Sweden’s Ole Christian Veiby who recently contested WRC Portugal, finishing fifth in WRC3.  He is also second overall in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) after two rounds. 

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Scottish-based team Albatec Racing will field two Peugeot 208s which will be driven by Jerome Grosset-Janin, who was a spotter for Julien Febreau at the French Rallycross round in Faleyras last weekend. The second car will be piloted by James Grint, who has recently tested the Peugeot 208 RX Supercar at Faleyras. Grint will join fellow Englishmen Liam Doran and his father Pat at Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month as all three drivers take on the iconic Hillclimb.

DAY ONE…

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Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Davy Jeanney is leading the ALL-INKL.COM World RX of Germany, round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, after the Frenchman stormed his way to two heat victories at the wheel of his Peugeot 208 RX Supercar. 
 
Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Reinis Nitiss is second after two top-three heat times, while Volkswagen Sweden’s Tord Linnerud rounds off the top three. Reigning World RX Champion Petter Solberg was quickest in free practice and is fifth overall.

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Out of the total 35 Supercars that started in Germany, Tommy Rustad was fourth quickest and topped the table out of the 18 Supercar drivers eligible to score points in the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX). Jean-Baptiste Dubourg is second in Euro RX, while Frode Holte is third in his Hyundai i20.  Volkswagen Sweden’s Ole Christian Veiby and Albatec Racing’s Jerome Grosset-Janin are fourth and fifth in Euro RX respectively.
 
Jeanney took his first heat win of 2015, and followed it up with a second shortly after.  “I’m very happy to be fastest in both heats today and I’m feeling more confident in the car,” declared Jeanney, who finished runner-up in European Rallycross in 2013. “I had a very good start in the first heat and then lap after lap, my times kept improving.  The second heat was a big race with the likes of Timmy [Hansen] and Johan [Kristofferson] beside me but I had another good start and the car was perfect.”

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Linnerud didn’t have the best start to his weekend when he rolled his Volkswagen Polo in practice but ended the day in third place. The Norwegian summarised his day: “I braked too late which meant I had to take a different line on the circuit where the grip wasn’t so good. I hit the sand and rolled the car onto its roof.  The team repaired the car before the first heat and I was sixth.  I didn’t have the best start for the second heat but there was a lot of action at the first corner and I managed to come out ahead.  I didn’t take too many risks after that but tomorrow I can push a bit harder and maybe I can be faster.”
 
Last year’s German RX runner-up and EKS team owner Mattias Ekstrom had a dramatic day.  The two-time DTM Champion explained: “A lot of things went wrong today, it’s not been good.  Firstly, we had some problems during free practice and changed the engine before the heats.  In heat one I had a broken throttle cable and had to retire, then in the next heat we had a sensor problem. It’s been an unlucky day, for sure, but we will come back tomorrow and see what we can do.”
 
Round one winner Johan Kristoffersson was second quickest in heat one and was on course for a top-three time in heat two before the Swede clipped the entrance of the Joker Lap, which cost him valuable seconds.  He ends today seventh ovrrall.

DAY TWO…

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Frenchman Davy Jeanney has won the ALL-INKL.COM World RX of Germany, round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, after a dominant display at the wheel of a Peugeot 208 RX Supercar.

Timmy Hansen finished third to make it a double podium for Team Peugeot-Hansen.  Reigning World RX Champion Petter Solberg clinched the runners-up spot and has extended his Championship lead over Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson by 35 points.

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In the second round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX), Marklund Motorsport’s Tommy Rustad took the chequered flag. Albatec Racing’s Jerome Grosset-Janin finished runner-up and was joined on the podium by fellow Frenchman Fabien Pailler who secured third place.  Rustad’s win in Germany sees the Norwegian close the gap on Euro RX round one winner Grosset-Janin, who leads Rustad in the overall standings by a slender two points. 

“To win today feels incredible, it’s been the perfect weekend for me and it’s really fantastic for the team to have Timmy on the podium too,” grinned Jeanney, who enters the record books after becoming the first Frenchman to win a round of World RX. Jeanney also won the Monster Energy Super Charge Award for his rapid start off the line, as well as a limited edition Rebellion Timepieces Wraith Drive rallycross watch.

Jeanney, who claimed three heat wins on his path to victory, added: “Both myself and the car have stepped up a level since the start of the year, I made just one small mistake over the weekend and the rest was perfect.  I really enjoy the Estering, it’s a track that suits my driving style well and I have good memories after finishing second in Germany two years ago. I’ve not won a rallycross event in five years [France, 2010] and to leave here with maximum points is a fantastic feeling.”

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Runner-up Solberg was full of praise for Germany RX winner, Jeanney. “I must say, I am very impressed with Davy – he was unbelievably quick this weekend, he deserves this,” admitted the reigning World Championship. “Usually I always want to win,” continued Solberg, “but I’m very happy to take second.  It’s good for the Championship and I tried really hard to fight for the top spot but it’s been very tough racing.  For the next event in Holjes, I’ll come back pushing even harder.”

Timmy Hansen’s weekend didn’t get off to the best start when the 22-year-old driver encountered some technical problems during the heats.  The Peugeot-Hansen team worked hard on the car overnight and Hansen returned on flying form today to secure the third step of the podium.  “I really didn’t expect to finish third after yesterday but we came back fighting and in the final I thought to myself that it was all or nothing.  I really pushed and when Johan [Kristoffersson] took the Joker on the final lap, I made the most of the opportunity to move ahead. Davy has done a brilliant job, I’ve been chasing him all day!”

Following another impressive drive in the Volkswagen Sweden Polo RX Supercar, Kristoffersson finished fourth in Germany.  Fifth place was awarded to Marklund Motorsport’s Tord Linnerud after Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud was excluded from today’s final following contact with Linnerud at turn one.

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Elsewhere, it was a tough weekend for EKS team owner Mattias Ekstrom who failed to make the semi-finals after a broken throttle cable and a sensor problem hindered his progress.  Team-mate Anton Marklund progressed to the semis but a tussle with Ford Olsbergs MSE Reinis Nitiss on turn one saw both drivers retire.

The World RX crews will now have a week’s break before the Championship resumes in Sweden for the iconic Holjes event (3-5 July).

All of the above information was provided by IMG Motorsport and the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

All the best,

Phil!

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