Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Hallman Wins Debut RX2e Event At Lydden Hill

Tommi Hallman has stunned the crowds here at Lydden Hill Race Circuit by taking victory at his debut RX2e event in the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Reigning champion Viktor Vranckx followed him home in second, with Ole Henry Steinsholt in third.

Hallman, who drives for SET Promotion, has dominated the whole weekend, winning three out of four heats, and then taking control of his semi-final and the final in emphatic style. Meanwhile, Nils Andersson, who was looking like Hallman’s main rival for the majority of the weekend, suffered suspension damage that relegated him to a disappointing fifth.

Semi-Finals

After a thoroughly wet first day, the sun shone on the final day of proceedings at Lydden Hill. Hallman had been dominant all through the heats and was expected to take the top spot in his semi-final and then the final.

The weather cleared for a packed crowd at Lydden Hill on Sunday 23 July

Sadly Isak Sjökvist‘s weekend came to an end in semi-final 1. After a great start, overtaking Vranckx, he was defending well until a problem with the rear wheels made him lose position. A couple of corners later, he was forced to retire just after the jump with terminal damage to the rear wheel and suspension.

Out front, however, it was all about Hallman. Vranckx pushed hard but was unable to close the gap, finishing 2.3 seconds behind the flying Finn.

Semi-final 2 saw Andersson go quickest, setting up a battle royale in the final between him and Hallman who had been the class of the field so far. Roberts Vitols managed to overcome the damage suffered in heat 4 and finished third in his semi-final, putting him on the back row for the final. Sadly, Catie Munning‘s excellent weekend came to an end after she ended up at the back of the field in the semi-final. She drove determinedly all weekend but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to get her into the final.

Final

Hallman took the initiative at the start of the race and led the scrum out of Talladega for the first time. Vranckx and Andersson were side by side over the jump for the first time, and it looked like the three-way battle that had been brewing all weekend was going to come to fruition. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, as Andersson suffered suspension damage on the second lap, putting him out of contention. Vranckx pushed hard all the way, trying to catch the Flying Finn. Ultimately he finished 0.6 seconds behind the unstopable force this is Tommi Hallman.

Andersson showed great pace in the wet on Saturday and throughout Sunday, but was unlucky in the final. Credit: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

However, Vranckx is likely to be very happy with this result. He has now overtaken Andersson to take the championship lead for the first time in 2023. The reigning champion is now in a great position to defend his title with two rounds to go.

The next event for RX2e is at Mettet, Belgium, on 5/6 August.

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