TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – Norway’s Petter Solberg took a sensational lights-to-flag victory during Sunday’s World RX of Canada to become the first driver to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy held outside of Europe.
The PSRX driver also becomes the first double winner in RX this year.
Volkswagen Marklund Motorsport’s Anton Marklund and Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timur Timerzyanov finished second and third respectively, both drivers securing podium spots for the first time this season.
Staged at the Trois Rivieres street circuit as part of the annual Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres (GP3R) motorsport festival, the seventh round of World RX attracted crowds of more than 30,000 people to watch 18 flame-spitting Supercars and nine RX Lites cars in the Intercontinental Cup.
“I am so, so happy right now but it hasn’t been the easiest day,” admitted Solberg who also extended his lead at the top of the standings by 20 points thanks to three heat victories, plus a win in both the semi and the final. “The morning didn’t start so well – we had similar problems to Belgium but the mechanics worked really hard on the car and I want to credit this win to my team. I wouldn’t be here without them – they work harder than anyone.
“It’s always been my dream to become the first person to win two World Championships and now that dream is getting closer but there are still five races to go and this sport is tough. I’d also like to thank the Canadian organizers – it’s fantastic to come to a new event, they have done a great job.”
Marklund was a model of consistency over the weekend after never finishing outside the top five in all the heats. The 21-year-old went on to win his semi-final to qualify on the front row of the final alongside pole starter Solberg.
“This has been a lot of fun,” said Marklund. “I’ve managed to score points all day and driving down the long straight at speeds of around 190kmph is just amazing. Usually rallycross events are over two days so this has been a big challenge for my team to work over one day and they have done an amazing job. It’s also really good for VW to have three out of four cars in the final and now we’re tied with Olsbergs MSE in the manufacturer standings too – it’s been a great weekend for the whole team.”
After what can only be described as a torrid four heats for Timur Timerzyanov, the Russian defied all odds to reach the final where he drove a mature race and secured a well-deserved third place for Team Peugeot Hansen.
“It’s fair to say I’ve had an active day: I’ve been fighting against rails, tires, but somehow I made it to the final. I need to work on my driving style but for now I’m really happy and I hope this is the first of many podiums in the second half of the year,” said Timerzyanov.
Three Canadian stars also helped draw a passionate home crowd as former F-1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, former IndyCar star Patrick Carpentier and multiple Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L’Estage took to the all-new RX circuit. Villeneuve was denied a place in the semi-finals after a fuel tank issue meant he was forced to withdraw, but Carpentier wowed the crowds on his World RX debut, reaching the final and eventually finishing sixth.