Petter Solberg trenger kun fem poeng for å være sikret årets VM-tittel på søndag. Det vil si at han trenger ikke å komme blant de 12 beste og deremd være kvalifisert til semifinale etter de fire innledende omgangene. Spydeberg-ekspressen kan klare seg med en 13. plass og allikevel vil VM-tittelen være sikret.
Det er også målet til Petter. Han går ikke for seier i Argentina, men for VM-tittelen. Han har uttalt at hans Citroën DS3 er sjekket i alle ender og bauer for at ikke skal kunne gå galt i helgen.
Det er svenske Timmy Hansen som er Petters utfordrer. Han er 26 poeng bak Petter foran den spennende VM-finalen.
Andreas Bakkerud har en teoretisk mulighet til å sikre seg VM-bronse på bekostning av Johan Kristoffersson, men da skal Andreas ha full klaff, mens Kristoffersson må ha en dårlig dag.
Spennende til helgen blir det også for unggutta Thomas Bryntesson og Ole Christian Veiby. Bryntesson, som vant NBFs Bilsporttalentet 2014, stepper inn for PG NAdersson i Team Marklunds VW Polo RX og får dermed sin VM-debut. Ole Chr. Veiby, som tidligere i år sikret seg EM-bronse i Supercar, har fått plassen til Tord Linnerud i VM-finalen, også i VW Polo RX. Veiby har som kjent også tatt VM-sølv for junior i rally i år.
Pressemelding fra rallycross-VM:
The final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy – TOTAL Rallycross of Argentina – will see the 2015 World RX Drivers’ Champion crowned in South America this weekend (27-29 November). Petter Solberg and Timmy Hansen can both win the drivers’ title but with a 26 point lead, Solberg is the most likely victor – he needs to place 13th or higher at Intermediate Classification [a total of 30 points are available over the weekend].
Last year’s World RX season-closer in San Luis was the first ever rallycross event to be staged in Argentina and since then a five-round national Argentine Rallycross Championship (CARX) has been created. The fourth CARX round will run alongside a total of 19 World RX Supercars at the final World RX round of 2015.
Rosario, located 180 miles north-west of Buenos Aires, is the country’s third largest city and has a population of 1.3 million people. It is also home to football star Lionel Messi and Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevera. Rosario has a rich motorsport history with national races having been held in the city since 1901. The current circuit – Autodromo Rosario – opened in November 1982 with further developments made to the track in 1993.
Solberg – who celebrated his 41st birthday earlier this week – revealed his strategy for Argentina RX. “For me the job is simple: make the semi-final,” explained the Norwegian, who is partnered in SDRX by Britain’s Liam Doran. “But, like we know very, very well now, nothing is simple – certainly not winning a World Championship. I must admit, I don’t know so much about the track. It’s a new one and, it seems, this is quite good for me – I won every final at a new track this year. This time, though, I don’t have to win. I have to be safe. That’s the key. We have the strategy and everything is aiming at the semi-final and the five points we need so badly.”
Hansen – although unlikely to beat Solberg in the Drivers’ Championship – can take solace in the fact that he has won a total of 28 qualifying heats [Solberg has won 27] and has been top qualifier on four occasions [Solberg has been TQ on three occasions]. Solberg and Hansen are both equal on race wins with three victories apiece.
Thanks to Hansen’s three victories plus his team-mate Davy Jeanney’s two wins in Canada and Germany, Team Peugeot-Hansen successfully wrapped up the Teams’ Championship in Italy last month with one round remaining. Ford Olsbergs MSE has already finished second in the Teams’ Championship, 67 points ahead of SDRX which is third.
Six months shy of his 18th birthday, Kevin Hansen will become the youngest Supercar driver to compete in World RX this weekend. Kevin – younger brother of Timmy – has been earned his Supercar debut by winning this year’s RX Lites Cup. Following a test in the Ford Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta Supercar at Loheac, Hansen Jnr commented: “It’s been great fun and I really enjoyed it. I have driven a few laps before in a Supercar, but this was my first real full test day. The Supercar is easier to drive in many ways than the Lites car, but everything happens SO much faster. It’s an explosion when you hit the throttle! My main target is to get as many laps as I can on a consistent level, and try to find the speed to be in a semi-final fight.”
There have been several notable changes to the regular World Championship driver line-up for Argentina. Firstly, Marklund Motorsport has replaced PG Andersson with Norway’s Thomas Bryntesson. Bryntesson, who won four RX Lites events in 2015, tested the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar in Holjes earlier this month. “I’m really thankful to PG Andersson and Marklund Motorsport for giving me this opportunity – it makes me really happy that they believe in me,” said Bryntesson. “We tested in Sweden at Holjes – my first impression of a Supercar was that they are great to drive and so fast.”
Elsewhere, former F1 driver Gianni Morbidelli returns for his second outing with ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport. Morbidelli drove for the German team at the previous round in Italy and is eager to make the semi-finals in his second rallycross appearance.
Team Volkswagen Sweden’s Tord Linnerud is unable to compete at the final World RX race in Argentina due to a back injury. Euro RX event winner Ole Christian Veiby – who recently won the Junior category of WRC in Wales – will step in as Linnerud’s replacement and join Portugal RX winner, Johan Kristoffersson in the team’s second car.
World RX Team Austria has also made a change to its line-up as recently crowned Super1600 Champion Janis Baumanis will replace rallycross regular, Max Pucher. Manfred Stohl will drive the team’s second Ford Fiesta, the Austrian fresh from the penultimate round of the Chinese Rally Championship where he finished fourth overall in his Citroen DS3 R5.
Meanwhile, Reinis Nitiss has been busy continuing his studies back in his native Latvia – the 19-year-old having won a scholarship from the Council of Latvian Sporting Federation based on his excellent results in World RX.
From a Cooper Tire point of view.
Paul Coates, General Manager – Motorsport, Cooper Tire Europe, commented: “We have reached the final race of the year in Argentina and at 7,000 miles from our manufacturing facility in Melksham, England, the tyres for this round have had a long journey over the last month to reach what is likely to be a spectacular event. Autodromo Rosario may be a new track for this season but as we have seen the tyres have withstood the jumps in Italy, the high speed straights and heavy braking in Belgium, the high wear tracks of Lydden and Loheac and all the nonstop action in a multitude of weather and track conditions at all the circuits this year. Argentina will see the World Rallycross Champion of 2015 decided and the Cooper rallycross tyre will be at the heart of the action.”
Friday 27 November
1600 [1900 GMT]: Drivers’ Draw and pre-event press conference in press room: Petter Solberg, Timmy Hansen, Janis Baumanis and Kevin Hansen
1800-2000: Driver Parade, Rosario City Centre
Saturday 28 November
1100 [1400 GMT]: RX practice
1400 [1700 GMT]: Drift/Stunt Show
1430 [1730 GMT]: Heat 1
1530 [1830 GMT]: Drift/Stunt Show
1600 [1900 GMT]: Heat 2
Sunday 29 November
0900 [1200 GMT]: RX warm-up
1005 [1305 GMT]: Drift/Stunt show
1030 [1330 GMT]: Heat 3
1130 [1430 GMT]: Drift/Stunt show
1200 [1500 GMT]: Heat 4
1300 [1600 GMT]: Drift/Stunt show
1400 [1700 GMT]: Support category semi-finals
1435 [1745 GMT]: Drift/Stunt show
1500 [1800 GMT]: World RX Semi-finals & Final
1545 [1845 GMT]: World RX podium