The final race of 2016 RX Lites Cup has organised at the inaugural Neste WorldRX of Latvia on 1-2 October weekend. Around 30.000 rallycross fans attanded the event despite the rainy and cold weather on sunday to support 11 drivers from 7 different nationalities. The weekend was full of surprises in terms of race results and for the first time in series history, title contenders were out of the game as they couldn’t start at the final race.
Cyril Raymond involved in a first corner action and had to retire early at the very first race of the weekend. This was raised Thomas Bryntesson’s hopes to get the title but Cyril came back on Q2 and even won the Q3 where Thomas dropped to 7th. After Intermediate claassification was made, Thomas was leading right in front of Cyril which reduced the gap to 7 points. At Semi-Final 1, Thomas Bryntesson had to retire due to clutch problem on his car and lost his chance to race at the final. This meant mathematically Cyril Raymond could announce his crown of the season. Frenchman started the Semi-Final 2 with this information but he also retired from the race due to an impact on his rear-right wheel. Simon Olofsson and Joachim Hvaal stepped up to final race by winning semi-finals.
2 drivers from 3 different teams qualified for final race. Heavy rain on sunday has affected all drivers to challenge not only to their rivals but also to rough conditions over the track surface. Simon Olofsson took the lead right after the start as he qualified for pole position. Joachim Hvaal was on the chase but slipping trough the safety barriers on lap 1 forced him to retire. This incident also affected Thomas Holmen as Hvaal hit him too. Oloffson’s lead didn’t last long as he retired and praked right next to Holmen’s car. After all these surprises, Sondre Evjen took the lead and defended hard against GRC Lites regular, wildcard for the race Conner Martell till the finish line. Kenya’s Tejas Hirani finished third as he was lucky to continue after an off-road experience and hitting his car.
With this results, 2016 LatviaRX RX Lites podium was made of all new names. Sondre Evjen finally won a race where Tejas Hirani stepped on to the podium for the first time. Special guest Conner Martell of USA managed to finish second at his first official RX Lites race.
There were 2 podium ceremonies after the race. One was for the race and the other was for the season. Their trophies presented by Minister of Transport of Latvia, Uldis Augulis.
Cyril Raymond is the 3rd title winner of RX Lites and he won the chance to drive a Fiesta Supercar against FIA WorldRX drivers as his championship prize. After having a test session at Bikernieki Racetrack in Riga after the event, he is getting ready to race at the 11th round of FIA World Rallycross Championship in Estering, Germany.
You can check the full results table and final points classification here.