14 Nov Rallycross Review
The near capacity crowd that implanted themselves at Killarney for the final round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Killarney this past weekend, were treated to one of the finest displays of high speed motor racing on the ragged edge, South African spectators have ever been privileged to see.
Faced with a form of competition totally different to Formula 1, the short snappy events with a limited number of cars in each, competing on a circuit that provided an excellent view of the action, had all the spectators glued to the edge of their seats.
In the end, Sweden’s brilliant Johan Kristoffersson, in a PSRX VW Polo, became the first winner of world RX event to be staged on the African continent. And in an international series dominated by Scandinavians, he was followed by team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208 Supercar), with former world RX champion Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1 Supercar), who also hails from Sweden, in third place.
Top American driver Ken Block (Hooligan Ford Focus), was disappointed when his hard fought second place in the first semi-final was cancelled after his car was found to be underweight. However this was not really surprising after his car was involved in a series of crashes and had all manner of essential body parts ripped off it.
Unfortunately, the two South African competitors Mark Cronje (Peugeot 208), and Cape Town’s Ashley Haig-Smith (Ford Fiesta), lacked the essential track experience of the overseas drivers and did not fare as well. So much so that they were actually involved in a minor collision with one another during one of the qualifying rounds. Haig-Smith was then forced to retire while Cronje carried on to win the event, only for his damaged car to be eliminated on a time basis.
During the meeting, it was announced that tickets for the final round of the 2018 world championship at Killarney on the final weekend in November next year, were going to be offered for sale immediately.