World RX Of Germany Sees Focus On Battle For Second

Johan Kristofferson clinched his second consecutive drivers’ crown at the World RX of USA in September.

Now, the spotlight will be turned to the battle for second in the standings as the FIA World Rallycross Championship field heads to Germany this weekend for the penultimate race of the season.

“It’s hard to believe there are just two rounds left on the 2018 World RX calendar, but they are sure to serve up plenty of action and excitement,” said World RX Managing Director for IMG Paul Bellamy.

“The Estering as a venue is steeped in rallycross history and invariably produces amazing races, and with the championship battle now decided, the gloves are off. Everybody will be going all out to win this weekend, and that will make for a thrillingly unpredictable event.”

The .925-kilometer track in Buxtehude, Germany, is the oldest track on the calendar. While the track, which has hosted international events since 1973, is one of the shortest tracks on the circuit, it is also one of the fastest due to the long downhill run between Turns 1 and 2.

With the drivers’ crown already secured, there are four drivers fighting for the second-place position in the standings.

Mattias Ekström, who has six top-five finishes this season, currently sits in second, just two points ahead of Petter Solberg.

Ekström held off Timmy Hansen and Toomas Heikkinen last year to win in Germany, finishing 2.629 seconds ahead of Hansen, who finished second. 

Solberg finished first in his semifinal race in Texas last month, but was edged out by Kristofferson in the final and went on to finish second. 

Solberg, who won the inaugural race in Germany in 2014, has never finished outside the top five in Buxtehude. In the four races ran in Germany, the Norwegian has recorded a win, two runner-ups and a fourth-place finish. 

Andreas Bakkerud is four points from Ekström in the standings heading into the weekend and has notched six top-5 finishes this season, including five podiums.  

The final driver in the narrow battle for second is Sébastien Loeb, who is fifth in the standings and a mere nine points from Ekström. 

The World RX of Germany will begin on Saturday with a free practice and will conclude with the final on Sunday.  

--By Colton Wood

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