Liam Doran is top of the pile in Austria
At the end of the first day of the eighth round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, Liam Doran sits on top spot.
The British driver won both of his heat races to head the order overnight at Grienbach, Austria.
Championship leader Timur Timerzyanov is second, ahead of Anton Marklund who had his best first day of the season so far to lie third. Despite a year away, Frode Holte makes his RX return this weekend and is straight on the pace, a fourth and seventh time in the first two heats place him fourth overall at the end of day one, just ahead of Alexander Hvaal who was fastest in heat one. The Norwegian made a poor start in heat two and was muscled out of the first corner, causing him to drop down the order. While Hvaal had a poor start in his heat two race, Petter Solberg had an awful start in heat one, stalling the car and giving the others in his race a half-lap lead. The former WRC champion hit back in heat two with fastest time to put him sixth. Timmy Hansen had a moment on the first lap of heat one, he recovered to set ninth fastest time. Fifth fastest in heat two puts the Swede seventh overnight.
Davy Jeanney had a poor day, the Frenchman only able to set tenth time in heat two to lie tenth overnight, ahead of double event winner Andreas Bakkerud who spun and stalled in heat one, unable to restart the car and finish the race. Fourth fastest in heat two, Bakkerud is eleventh.
Normal Super1600 form resumed in heat one, where Reinis Nitiss was fastest. That trend didn’t continue however, the Latvian was beaten by Ulrik Linnemann in a straight fight in thr second heat. The pair managed to stay out of trouble in both races, not something many others in the category achieved. Eric Faren was twice squeezed in the first corner, nevertheless he lies third. Faren’s second heat race first corner melee put Christian Petrakovitz in the gravel trap and gave both Faren and Timur Shigaboutdinov damage. Ondrej Smetana was another to stay clear of problems and is fourth after two heats, his afternoon included a convincing win in heat two. Local driver Werner Panhauser is currently fifth overall on a track he knows well. Sergej Zagumennov was involved had a turn one incident with Rene Munnich in heat one, breaking the Russians front left suspension, he returned for heat two where he set third fastest time. Munnich himself had a frustrating day, fastest in free practice the German was forced to pull off in heat one after the contact with Zagumennov. He was fifth in heat two. If Munnich’s day was frustrating, his partner’s was downright dismal. Mandie August went off in her first free practice run and broke the front left suspension on her Skoda Fabia. The team repaired the car for heat one, only for August to suffer more problems. She finished heat two, but with limited track time was only able to finish 11th fastest.
Championship hopeful Derek Tohill was fastest in heat one and second in heat two to lead TouringCar after day one. Robin Larsson twice got involved in the first corner shuffle but came through to set fastest time in heat two and put himself second overall. Daniel Lundh led his first heat race ahead of Roman Castoral and Robin Larsson. On the final corner Lundh’s Volvo engine died, allowing Castoral around the outside to take the race win before Larsson too made a move past Lundh. With no more room for Lundh to get out of the way on the inside, his Volvo hit the inside tyre bale flipping the car onto its side and just avoiding rolling over altogether. The car was badly damaged on the front left corner but fast work from the Swedish team meant Lundh could take the start to heat two, repaying the effort with a race win and third fastest time.
Kevin Hansen tops the JRX order, winning both races despite twice losing out off the start-line to title rival William Nilsson. Magda Andersson is in third.