Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud won the World RX of Argentina, the final round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy at the wheel of his Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Focus RS RX Supercar. Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson and EKS driver Topi Heikkinen finished second and third. EKS managed to clinch the 2016 World RX Teams’ Championship as team-mates Mattias Ekstrom and Heikkinen racked up enough points during qualifying to scoop the coveted title ahead of Team Peugeot-Hansen.
Ekstrom was crowned this year’s World RX drivers’ champion at the previous round in Germany after scoring enough points to secure the accolade before Argentina. In the three-way battle for the 2016 World RX runner-up spot, it was Kristoffersson who came out top – only one point ahead of Bakkerud and Petter Solberg who finished third and fourth respectively.
“Now that it’s been confirmed that I’m third in the driver standings, I’m feeling very emotional – I’ve had so many people supporting me on my route to be here today and it’s a great feeling,” explained Bakkerud, who also won the Monster Energy Super Charge Award following his rapid start off the front row of the final. “I am very proud of myself and want to thank all my partners and fans for supporting me. Ever since Ken called me last year to confirm that I was his team-mate, it’s been an incredible journey. Today was a very hard race because there was so much on the line and I’m just so happy that I secured a podium in the Drivers’ World Championship.”
Second-placed Kristoffersson ended the year second in the standings – one better than his third place finish last year. He explained: “After the semi-final, I knew I had to finish P1 or P2 in the final to get second overall so the pressure was on. Once I got to turn three, I just focused on staying behind Andreas and keeping everything clean.”
Newly-crowned 2016 World RX Champion Ekstrom spoke highly of his team-mate Heikkinen, who finished second today, and EKS taking the 2016 teams’ title. The new 2016 World RX Champion commented: “We have always dreamed of this moment but with the level of competition in World RX, it hasn’t been easy. As a driver and team owner, this year has been fantastic – only three years ago we were starting out with a blank sheet of paper and now we are double champions, it is just the best feeling. For the driver it is nice, but for the team it is even better as everyone has worked so hard.”
Timo Scheider took the best result of the year for ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport after finishing fourth this weekend in a Seat Ibiza. The German DTM driver was delighted with his performance: “It felt awesome to make it through to the final after our issues with the power steering and we really found some pace this weekend.”
The 2015 Argentina RX winner Robin Larsson finished sixth in his privately-run Audi A1. Last year’s World RX Champion Solberg looked on course for a strong finish after completing a clean sweep of qualifying race victories – a feat only accomplished once before in World RX history. The Norwegian started on pole of the semi-final one but sustained steering damage at turn one and later hit a tire barrier. Despite Solberg and Bakkerud being tied on points, Bakkerud beat his fellow Norwegian to third place because he has more event wins.
Timmy Hansen finished a difficult weekend in 13th place. Hansen’s team-mate Sebastien Loeb started on the front row of the second semi-final but failed to reach the final after getting stuck in race traffic. Germany RX winner Kevin Eriksson was unable to repeat his Estering performance and finished the event 16th in his OMSE-run Ford Fiesta RX Supercar.
FIA World Rallycross Championship Round 12 – Rosario (Argentina)
1, Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS)
2, Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
3, Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1)
4, Timo Scheider (Munnich Motorsport, Seat Ibiza)
5, Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1)
6, Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1)
FIA World Rallycross Championship – Drivers
1.Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 272 points
2.Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 240 points
3.Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS), 239 points
4.Petter Solberg (Peter Solberg World RX Team, Citroën DS3), 239 points
5.Sebastien Loeb (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 209 points
6.Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 178 points
7.Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1), 150 points
8.Timur Timerzyanov (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 117 points
9.Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1), 109 points
10.Janis Baumanis (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 109 points
FIA World Rally Championship – Teams
1.EKS, 422 points
2.Team Peugeot Hansen, 387 points
3.Volkswagen RX Sweden, 316 points