Rustad Europa mästare
Marklund Motorsport » Rustad tog hem EM guldet
Driving a Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar, Norwegian star Tommy Rustad has won the FIA European Rallycross Championship after a near perfect season.
The Norwegian star claimed the title with a victory at the final round of the year at Franciacorta in Italy, his third win from the championship’s five events. Working together with HTB Racing, Marklund Motorsport’s Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar proved to be the class of the field throughout the championship, against strong opposition.
“I was very focused to do my own job this weekend. I was so motivated. I got a puncture in the second heat, so that lost us some places on day one, but I qualified top at the Intermediate, won the semi-final and the final. Today was really perfect,” said Rustad, who qualified top at the Intermediate Classification at each of the five Euro RX events. “To win the championship is so, so good. I started to dream of being European Rallycross Champion when I was 10 years old, watching Martin Schanche and others racing in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I am very, very thankful to HTB Racing and Marklund Motorsport for everything they have done this year. The car and the team have been great. This isn’t just a victory for me, it’s for us all.”
Marklund Motorsport team manager Michael Schneider is delighted that Rustad was able to secure the European Championship title in Italy with the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar. “Tommy has driven really well all year. He was by far the fastest European Championship driver all season. It has been a really big effort from the whole team and we are really happy to have helped Tommy achieve his dream,” he said.
In the penultimate round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, Marklund Motorsport drivers Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen and PG Andersson just missed out on a place in the semi-finals, qualifying in 13th and 14th position. Heikkinen was ruled out after being the innocent victim of a heat three first corner accident for the second event in a row while in fifth position overall, while Andersson suffered from mechanical gremlins on the first day and despite setting fifth and 11th fastest times in heats three and four, missed out on a semi-final place.
Finland’s Heikkinen was disappointed that although he and the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar were working well in Italy, he was unable to reach the semi-finals. “I tried to do my best, it was really bad luck again in the third heat. I’m really sad for the team. The car is good right now and I’m very confident in the tarmac sections especially. We need to solve some small details and we can be on the top. We just need to figure out how to put everything together. Rustad did a really great job all year, I’m really proud of him. We need to be on the podium in Argentina to end the year on a high,” said Heikkinen.
Swedish driver Andersson felt the Italian circuit suited his rally experience. “This weekend I actually had the speed. The car was good and I was comfortable in it, so it’s a big shame. I haven’t been fast enough in some events this year and we’ve had issues in others. I liked the track here, it suited me quite well. It’s a real shame we couldn’t get a good result,” he concluded.
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