Friday, July 19, 2024

Hallmann Tops RX2e Standings After Changeable First Day at Lydden Hill

Tommi Hallman leads the way on the overnight leaderboard in the RX2e class of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship. He leads fan favourite and 2022 champion Viktor Vranckx and Nils Andersson after a day of changeable conditions at Lydden Hill Race Circuit.

After uncertainty about whether the event would go ahead after the fire that destroyed Special ONE Racing team’s area, the crowd who did attend were certainly kept entertained by the racing that took place. While the 5 Nations British Rallycross Championship and the Rallycross Celebration Demo demonstrated where rallycross is at the moment and where it has come from, the RX2e class demonstrated the sheer pace of the all-electric classes of rallycross.

Tommi Hallman’s RX2e car that has taken him to the top spot in the overnights standings.

Finland’s Hallman was in surprisingly dominant form all day. While it was Andersson who ultimately went fastest in practice, Hallman was only 0.2 seconds of the pace, a deficit which he quickly made up. In the sunshine that bathed the track for the first heat, he held off a determined charge from Vranckx to take the heat win.

By the time heat 2 came around, the rain had turned distinctly British summertime: grey skies and constant rain. WIth the drivers having to be more cautious, particularly on the new banked first corner, Talledega, and an almighty water splash developing after the jump at the joker merge, it is not surprising that the times were significantly slower. Andersson recovered from a disappointing 6th in heat 1 to take his heat race win. Championship leader Isak Sjökvist also recovered from a below-par opening performance, finishing just behind Andersson in their race.

Attacking Talladega Drift in the wet conditions in heat 2. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

In the second race of heat 2, it was once again Hallman versus Vranckx. Hallman, driving for reigning Euro RX1 champions SET Promotion, managed to hold the reigning champion off once again. Despite the awful conditions, he finished nearly two seconds clear of Vranckx, who slotted into third position just behind Andersson in the overall timings for heat 2.

With no news yet as to whether the parents RX1e class will be in action on Sunday, the RX2e class has a real chance to shine this weekend. WIth the quality of racing on display, we are surely in for an exciting day. Will Vranckx or Andersson be able to dig deep and find an answer to Hallman’s pace?