TROIS RIVERS, CANADA, AUGUST 8, 2016 — Hoonigan Racing Division’s Andreas Bakkerud earned himself a podium for his third FIA World Rallycross in a row, finishing World RX Canada in 2nd place in his Ford Focus RS RX. This podium finish also improves Bakkerud’s gains on the championship leaders from his 3rd place position and makes the championship points race even more interesting.
Both Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud had respectable outings during Saturdays Q1 and Q2 racing, with Block being 5th fastest overall in Q1 and Bakkerud being 3rd fastest overall. Moving into Q2, Block’s times—as well as those within his group—suffered, due to excessive dust from the dirt sections of the track, a problem that had gotten worse throughout Q2 as the track dried out. Bakkerud ran earlier in the Q2 races (and thus with less dust) and came away with 5th fastest overall. The results wrapping up Saturday’s racing had Bakkerud sitting 3rd overall and Blocks sitting 10th overall heading into Sunday.
Sunday saw both drivers back at it again as they fought for the coveted top 12 positioning to make it into the Semi Finals. Bakkerud had a solid Q3, where he finished 5th overall. Block had a scorching fast Q4, setting down the 3rd fastest lap of the weekend and winning his race, finishing Q4 in 2nd. Bakkerud demonstrated excellent race craft in his Q4 race, maneuvering from 5th place to 1st within the first few turns of lap 1. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken shift linkage on the last lap and fell two places, finishing his Q4 race 3rd and Q4 overall in 10th. Despite that issue though, both HRD drivers made it into the Semi Finals with Bakkerud sitting 6th overall and Block sitting 7th overall.
In Semi Final 1 Block was positioned on the outside of row 2 of the starting grid and got off the line with a quick start. Throughout his Semi, he held on to 3rd place until the last lap, where he suffered a broken steering arm after accidentally clipping the k-rail in a corner, having coming out of an extremely dusty section of track and in the blind. The accident left Block with a DNF and no advancement to the Final.
Bakkerud had a great Semi Final 2, getting off the line quickly and making his way up to 1st place by lap 3 of 6. He held onto that lead the rest of the Semi and earned himself P2 on the front row of the starting grid in the Final.
Right before the final, the skies opened up and a very short, but heavy, rain soaked the track, forcing all drivers to make a very quick decision of if they’d race on slicks or rain tires. Bakkerud chose rain tires, which ended up being the right choice. He was able to pull away from the pack very quickly and held on to first place up until lap 5 when he took the joker. He exited the joker just barely missing holding onto 1st and slipped into 2nd place overall, which is where he ended up finishing in the Final.
“This weekend was challenging for me,” said Bakkerud. “I never felt like I had 100% of the pace needed to get it done, so I’m very pleased with this result! I was able to put together a great Semi Final and then managed to come away with another podium in the Final. Our new Ford Focus RS RX continues to impress me during these races as does our team. I wouldn’t be standing on the podium again if it wasn't for those guys!”
Both Bakkerud and Block will race again the first weekend of September during Round 8 in France.