Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

Sweden’s Oliver Eriksson and France’s Cyril Raymond joined Swedes Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekstrom by standing on the top step of the podium at the NESTE World RX of Riga-Latvia, in the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s supporting categories.

Eriksson took his second win of the 2020 season in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar in an Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta. The round one winner had a difficult start to his event in Riga. Contact at the first corner of Q1 broke the suspension on his Fiesta, followed by more problems in Q2. In Q3 on Sunday morning Eriksson took P1 in the session, even though he finished the race with broken front suspension, but another quickest time in Q4 took him to P2 in the Intermediate Classification behind TQ (top qualifier), France’s Jean-Baptiste Dubourg.

DA Racing’s Dubourg was P1 in Q2, then P2 in Q3 and Q4 to take the TQ (top qualifier) position, but he was beaten by the overnight TQ, Norway’s Sondre Evjen in semi-final one. In the final, from row two Dubourg made a good start to go inside Evjen into turn one, but was forced wide in turn two and lost a place to Norway’s Ben-Philip Gundersen. Gundersen spun later in the race and caused a traffic jam in the hairpin after the jump, and Dubourg made it through to finish in the podium. Eriksson had more problems in semi-final two but held on to win and then won the final. Evjen’s hopes of taking a first Euro RX win were ended when he hit a tyre wall on lap two and almost rolled the Kristoffersson Motorsport Volkswagen Polo and he finished the race in P2. France’s Andrea Dubourg, Gundersen and Hungary’s Tamas Karai were P4, 5 and 6 in the final.

“That was such a hard-fought weekend at a track where I have historically struggled. We had a lot of bad luck on Saturday, and then I had big problems with the car in the semi-final and final too. We’ve had nothing go wrong with the Fiesta all year, and it all seemed to happen in Riga! Thankfully, we had the speed to fight back each time we ran into trouble and everything worked out in the end. Now, we need to finish the job off in Belgium. Eleven points might look relatively comfortable, but anything can happen in rallycross. I’m happier being the hunted rather than the hunter, and I’m looking forward to the fight. Spa is a great place to finish the season – and I’m going there to win,” said Eriksson.

In the second round of the first ever international electric rallycross series, Projekt E, Raymond took victory in the brand new Citroen C3 ERX developed by STARD and Citroen Racing. Raymond took P2 in Q1 behind Latvia’s Janis Baumanis, who was racing a Ford Fiesta ERX in his home round. Raymond took the quickest time in Q2, 3 and 4, even though he lost the rear wing from the C3 in Q2, then won the final. Baumanis took P2. Earlier in the weekend he was slowed by broken rear suspension in Q2 after contact. Norway’s Svein-Bjarte Holten finished in P3 in the final in another Ford Fiesta ERX. Great Britain’s Natalie Barratt jumped the start from P4 on the grid in the final but even after two joker laps was right on the rear bumper of Holten at the end of the race, but had to settle for fourth. Her points score means she moved into the series lead with two rounds remaining. 

“I’ve been really happy to drive the new Citroen C3 ERX. It’s new technology and STARD did a really good job with it – the sensation behind the steering wheel is amazing. It’s brilliant to take the win here, and hopefully we can be back soon on the track, I will do my best for that. We can see the Citroen is very good at the launches and on the track. We have some work to do like always in motorsport, but I’m so happy,” said Raymond.


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