The 6th round of RXLites 2015 season was held in the Circuit of Catalunya, Barcelona this weekend as a supporting event of FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. The venue is one of the most well-known motorsports arena in the world -aka The Cathedral of Motorsports- and the organiser has done a respectful job to prepare the RX Circuit. The RX Track was consist of most famous turns which was used in world series such as Formula 1 and Moto GP. These turns (10-11 and 12) were connected to eachother with gravel sections and start grid was placed at the turn 13 and the beginning part of start-finish straight in reverse direciton. And finally, the original paddock area was used for RX Teams’ service facilities.
The schedule of the weekend started with free practices on saturday morning. 12 contenders pushed the throttle in three Heats all day. Young Norwegian Thomas Bryntesson has won 2 out of 3 Heats on the opening day and took the early lead. French Cyril Raymond has joined the competition with regulars after his CanadaRX experience and he proved that he is not going to be an easy rival. He won the Heat2 ahead of Bryntesson. The incident of the day surely came from Alejandro Fernandez and Krzysztof Holowczyc. Despite Holowczyc secured himself from a squeeze between Fernandez and Hvaal, he couldnt stop the collision with Fernandez as he made an instant turn on to him and forcing him to crash on to safety walls. Luckily both Fernandez and Holowczyc was on the starting grid on Heat 3 as their teams prepared the cars on time, thanks to First Corner Spare Parts Truck waiting for them at the paddock.
Championship leader Kevin Hansen Jr and reigning Champion Kevin Eriksson finished the first day in 4th and 2nd position respectively. It was more important to be constant than to be fastest since each and every point counts for both title rivals.
The first Kenyan in the world rallycross arena Tejas Hirani spent his time to gain as much experience as possible in order to get used to the feelings of an RXLites since he will be competing in the next two rounds too. He surely proved that he has got that talent to be the first Kenyan rallycross star in the future. There will be better lap times on the next races as seen on his improved seconds on the timing-board.
The most important name for local fans was Laia Sanz for sure. Dakar winner, XGames contender, cross country and motocross champion titles in her pocket, Laia came to service park with a lot of hopes in her mind. After having a test day with her RXLites in Lleida race track, she was planning to enjoy the event as much as she can. But things didnt go as she expected. After a blown engine at the very beginning of the free practices on saturday, she missed the Heat1, despite her team TokSport WRT replaced the car with a new engine on time. Then she continued with Heat2 and 3 but the competition level of the regulars was so high than she expected that, she couldnt even beat any of the drivers on the entry list and finished the day on 12th position.
Sunday started with free practices again and followed by Heat 4. Thomas Bryntesson was the fastest name again and kept his lead on the Intermediate Points. Cyril Raymond was stepped up one more line and finished 2nd, taking Kevin Eriksson over.
All the drivers had chance to enter the semi-final races in two groups. Semi Final 1 had witnessed one of the closest battles of the season. Bryntesson and Eriksson passed the finish line within a margin of 0,301 seconds and this battle was cheered by the crowd at the grandstands as an unforgetable memory. Simon Olofsson finished third but as he penalised by the stewards, he lost the ticket to final race where Simon Syversen went thorugh. Martin Kaczmarski and Krzysztof Holowczyc ended up the day.
Semi-final 2 was also exciting for many, especially 17-year-old Kenyan Tejas Hirani as he hit the tyre barrier and bouncing to concrete wall and ended up with a roll just before the big jump at the gravel section. He push his door upwards and released to the surface and waving to grandstands saying he’s OK. Cyril Raymond won the SF2 race, followed by Kevin Hansen Jr and Joachim Hvaal respectively. Alejo Fernandez was out of the game as he finished 4th and local hero Laia Sanz finished fifth, improving her performance by reducing the gap between the race winner to 22 seconds!
The last race of the weekend was held in front of thousands of spectators. And also, it was one of the cleanest and fastets final race of the season. Thomas Bryntesson dominated the race from flag to flag and won the Spanish round of the season. This is his 3rd win in a row and now he is in the pot for 2015 title. After having the maximum points from a weekend of 30, he is only 6 and 15 points behind of both Kevins and placing himself at 3rd position on overall season standings.
Cyril Raymond was one of the flashing names of the weekend. Young French maintained an incredible performance through the weekend and proved his supporter French Federation FFSA has made a right decision to choose him. He won a Heat on saturday, won the semi-final 2 and grabbed the 2nd place of the podium on final race. This was only his second experience at the steer of an RXLites besides CanadaRX and his participation to the Test Day which was held in Istanbul last year.
Kevin Hansen Jr. completed the podium and collected enough points to secure his leadership of the overall standings. Kevin Eriksson followed Hansen Jr by finishing 4th but thanks to his Heat points he collected exactly the same points of 22 with Hansen Jr and didnt let the gap widens more.
Joachim Hvaal finished 5th where Simon Syversen finished 6th. With this result, Hvaal climbed up to 5th position on overall standings and Syversen to 7th.
You can check the full results of BarcelonaRX on our page.
The Teams are moving to Istanbul, Turkey for the next round of RXLites 2015 season. Intercity IstanbulPark will host the next round which will be held in less than two weeks, on 2-4 October. Intercity IstanbulPark is the first RX track which was converted from an international GP circuit. Teams will be competing in another GP circuit in a row after BarcelonaRX.