EKSTROM, EKS AUDI SPORT TOP SILVERSTONE WORLD RX TEST

Tiernay Oliver - 28 Mar 2018
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The second official FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy pre-season test has concluded at Silverstone Circuit in the UK, the final chance for teams to drive on the new track ahead of the Speedmachine Festival in May (25-27).

Every one of the permanent 2018 teams took part in the two day test run in mixed weather conditions, aside from the GRX Taneco team which is still busily preparing its Hyundai i20 Supercars.
Here’s a summary of the running at Silverstone, which featured a dry track on day one before rain for the morning session on day two.

 

EKS Audi Sport

The EKS Audi Sport team unveiled its 2018 livery on the morning of the first day, before 2016 World RX Drivers’ Champion Mattias Ekstrom topped the timesheets with the fastest time across the two days. New team-mate Andreas Bakkerud emerged third quickest on the first day, 0.458s behind Ekstrom, the pair sharing the driving in the Audi S1 quattro. On day two, Ekstrom set the morning pace before Bakkerud posted the best time in the afternoon, but neither beat Ekstrom’s day one time.

Mattias Ekstrom: Best time 41.601 (71 laps)

Andreas Bakkerud: Best time 42.059 (65 laps)

 

Team Peugeot Total

Sweden’s Timmy Hansen was second quickest to Ekstrom in the Team Peugeot Total 208 WRX on day one and remained second at the end of the test, 0.266s behind. Hansen did the majority of Peugeot’s driving on the opening day before France’s Sebastien Loeb took over for the main running on day two, but was slower than his team mate in the more slippery track conditions. The team’s individual World RX entry, Kevin Hansen, did a small amount of running on both days in the same car.

Timmy Hansen: 41.867 (31 laps)

Sebastien Loeb: 46.190 (33 laps)

Kevin Hansen: 45.894 (23 laps)

 

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden

Two-time World RX Champion Petter Solberg completed the second highest total number of laps as the the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team put the new 2018 Polo R Supercar through its paces at the Silverstone following its official launch last week. His team-mate, 2017 World RX Drivers’ Champion Johan Kristoffersson, took over for much of the driving on day two and posted the quicker lap time of the two with a 42.223secs time.

Johan Kristoffersson: 42.223 (46 laps)

Petter Solberg: 43.191 (73 laps)

 

GC Kompetition 

There was much excitement in the Silverstone paddock on the morning of the first day as the Prodrive-developed GCK Renault Megane RS RX was seen in public for the very first time. After completing 19 laps in the first morning’s session, France’s Jerome Grosset-Janin had set the fastest time in the Prodrive-built car with an eye-catching 42.792 lap. Grosset-Janin and team-mate Guerlain Chicherit shared the driving on both days, Grosset-Janin finishing seventh quickest and Chicherit was ninth. The car will receive its official launch on April 5th, where the livery will be revealed for the first time.

Guerlain Chicherit: 43.381 (55 laps)

Jerome Grosset-Janin: 42.792 (50 laps)

 

Olsbergs MSE

Sweden’s Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson both drove the Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta test car at Silverstone, 2016 World RX of Germany winner Eriksson ending fourth quickest overall, 0.621 behind Ekstrom’s best time. Larsson drove the Fiesta on day two, in the slower track conditions following overnight rain and ended the test 14th overall.

Kevin Eriksson: 42.222 (63 laps)

Robin Larsson: 45.079 (51 laps)

 

Team STARD

At the wheel of an updated version of the team’s 2017 Ford Fiesta Supercar, Team STARD driver Janis Baumanis set the sixth quickest overall time across the two days, just a little more than a second slower than Ekstrom’s best time. The team used the wet track conditions on the morning of day two work on wet start procedures.

Janis Baumanis: 42.754 (54 laps)

 

Sebastien Loeb Racing

Belgium’s Gregoire Demoustier drove the Sebastien Loeb Racing-built Peugeot 208 Supercar for the first time in public at the Silverstone test, the car proving reliable from the outset, allowing Demoustier to complete the greatest number of laps of any driver. He would go on to set 11th overall time.

Gregoire Demoustier: Best time 43.897 (91 laps)

 

The full World RX pre-season testing results can be found here