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World RX - Timo Scheider scores maiden World RX race victory in Cape Town

  • gb

Timo Scheider scored his maiden FIA World Rallycross Championship race victory in Cape Town today (8 October) when he won the second of two double header World RX of South Africa rounds.

Having acclimatised to his all-electric ZEROID X1 with a third place finish the previous day, the Münnich Motorsport star was on sensational form on day two of competition around the technically challenging Killarney International Raceway.

Two heat wins and victory in the semi final rewarded the German driver with pole for the final. A perfect start enabled him to maintain the lead around the tricky opening corner, before preserving his advantage after a calculated late joker to score a memorable and extremely popular first World RX win.

“I feel quite emotional,” said Scheider

“I’ve been chasing this win for some time; it hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve kept fighting and I always try to squeeze the most out of what I have.

“The level of competition in World RX is so high and we all know how difficult it is to beat Johan [Kristoffersson], so I’m super-proud for both myself and the All-Inkl team – they put so much energy into this project and have kept believing in me.

“It’s quite overwhelming, to be honest. I want to dedicate this victory to my dad, who passed away last year. And to all of the fans here in Cape Town – thank you for being amazing!”

Kevin Hansen kept his hopes of winning the world title alive by finishing second. Also a heat winner, the Hansen World RX Team driver made a great start from the second row of the grid and shadowed Scheider’s every move – eventually finishing just over a second behind.

Johan Kristoffersson began the day by claiming SuperPole, bettering a time that even he thought was possible. After two heat wins, a third place finish in Heat 3 suggested that the defending world champion wasn’t going to have it all his own way – and despite winning his semi final he had to line up second on the grid next to Scheider in the final. An uncharacteristically poor start saw Kristoffersson lose a place to Hansen, and despite a relentless pursuit he was unable to regain the position.

A first and third meant that Kristoffersson outscored all of his rivals over the double header weekend, edging the Swede closer to his sixth World RX title.

No matter where Timmy Hansen tried to position his ZEROID X1 it never really worked out for him today, as he always seemed to come off worst – particularly when the field squeezed together negotiating the long and tightening Turn One.

It happened again in the final, although this time Klara Andersson – who had finished second in all of her heats and breezed through to the final after finishing third in her semi final – was found to be predominantly responsible for the contact that had sent Hansen into a wild ride as cars took to the gravel on the opening lap.

It meant that their finishing positions were reversed post-race, with Hansen classified fourth and Andersson dropping to fifth.

Reaching the final was just reward for Andersson’s Construction Equipment Dealer Team stablemate Niclas Grönholm, who had fought hard on what had been a bumpy path through the heats and the semi final. It wasn’t to be a dream ending in the final race, as he brought up the rear in sixth.

Having won his first heat, Ole Christian Veiby’s day went rapidly downhill. A technical issue saw his car stop on the opening lap of Heat 2 and then it prevented him from getting off the line in Heat 3. Clipping the inside of the final corner chicane in the semi final broken the front suspension, signalled the end to a frustrating day.

René Münnich had been going well, although a jump start in his semi-final, and the penalty of two joker laps, ended his hopes of reaching the final as well.

The final two rounds of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship take place in Hong Kong next month at the World RX of China (11-12 November).