Hoonigan Racing Division’s Andreas Bakkerud earned himself a podium for his third FIA World Rallycross in a row, finishing World RX Canada in second place in his Ford Focus RS RX. This podium finish also improves Bakkerud’s gains on the championship leaders from his third 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 fifth fastest overall in Q1 and Bakkerud being third 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 came away with fifth fastest overall. The results wrapping up Saturday’s racing had Bakkerud sitting third overall and Block 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 fifth overall. Block had a scorching fast Q4, setting down the third fastest lap of the weekend and winning his race, finishing Q4 in second. Bakkerud demonstrated excellent race craft in his Q4 race, maneuvering from fifth place to first within the first few turns of lap one. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken shift linkage on the last lap and fell two places, finishing his Q4 race third and Q4 overall in 10th. Despite that issue though, both HRD drivers made it into the Semi Finals with Bakkerud sitting sixth overall and Block sitting seventh overall.
In Semi Final One Block was positioned on the outside of row two of the starting grid and got off the line with a quick start. Throughout his Semi, he held on to third place until the last lap, where he suffered a broken steering arm after accidently 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, getting off the line quickly and making his way up to first place by lap three of six. 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 five when he took the joker. He exited the joker just barely missing holding onto first and slipped into second 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.