Tanner wins European Rallycross Championship opener
Wildcard entrant Tanner Foust took an emphatic win in the Rallycross of Great Britain at Lydden Hill today, driving to victory with a faultless performance in the final.
The first round of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship wasn’t all plain sailing for the American TV star however, who suffered a puncture in the first heat, putting him on the back foot. A series of fast heat times followed, placing him third at the intermediate classification. An impressive lights-to-flag victory in the first semi final put him on the front row for the final, where he repeated the feat to claim the event win.
“It shows you should never give up.” He said. “It is great to win here and I hope to come back to the championship another three times this season, hopefully we can win some more.”
Second over the line was supercar new comer Jussi-Petteri Leppihalme who put in an amazing performance, third in the first semi-final, Leppihalme lined up on the back row of the grid for the final. Taking his joker on the first lap he picked up places as those ahead took their own joker laps.
Reigning champion Timur Timerzyanov won the second semi-final to join Foust on the front row for the final. When Foust took the main circuit at the first corner, Timerzyanov took the jokerlap and lead the chasing pack. Hitting a kerb on the third lap did nothing for his progress however, a front right puncture ending his chances.
Timmy Hansen was the star of the heats, coming out on top at the intermediate classification, with three fastest heat times. Second in the first semi-final was followed by minor driveline problems in the final, slowing his pace just enough to rule him out of the fight for victory.
British champion Julian Godfrey came from the back row of the grid in the second semi-final, to again make the back row for the final. A great drive saw the English driver score a best ever result with fifth on the road, which would soon turn into fourth when original third place finisher Davy Jeanney was re-classified sixth and last in the final following post event technical checks, where his car was found to infringe the rules.
Petter Solberg didn’t have a brilliant time of things on his return to rallycross. Clutch problems in heat one caused him to miss the start, and couldn’t be resolved before heat two. Despite that, the Norwegian won his race to set second fastest time. More problems in heat three were followed by another race win in heat four, placing him on the back row of the first semi-final. His race wouldn’t last long however, power steering issues putting him out of the running.
The Super1600 category was won by Ulrik Linnemann who came back from having a big crash in heat two to take the final win with relative ease, taking his jokerlap early and picking off his rivals as they too took the jokerlap. Second was claimed by Russian driver Vadim Makarov, ahead of the Citroen C2 of Eric Faren.
TouringCar too had a comeback king, Derek Tohill suffering clutch and throttle problems slowing his progress in the first two heats. The Irish driver would later go on to lead both the semi-final and final from lights to flag, Robin Larsson just feet behind him the entire way. Third place was taken by Roman Castoral.