Spa WRX: Kristoffersson leads opening day after surviving contact


Having starred in the Swedish round of the series at Holjes, on another low-grip circuit, Abbring again shone in the Unkorrupted Renault Megane in the opening session at Spa, winning his race from the front in Q1 to better Kristoffersson and three-time Spa 24 hr winner Timo Scheider in the overall session times.

Points leader Timmy Hansen was fifth behind brother Kevin in Q1, then won the second race in Q2 to initially set the best time.

Although his time was subsequently bettered by Kristoffersson, Hansen wound up second at the close of the opening day and, staggeringly, Abbring still managed to be third despite setting the 11th fastest time of Q2.

That result was due to contact at the opening corner, with Kevin Hansen on the outside and Kevin Abbring on the inside; both made good starts and got rotated around the front of Kristoffersson and Scheider, with Abbring spinning to the outside.

In a bid to avoid the drama Kristoffersson tried for the undercut and, in a rare mistake from the Swede, turned his EKS JC Audi S1 into the wall on the inside but survived to lead from the front.

Kevin Hansen meanwhile was handed a 12-second penalty for the turn one incident, dropping him 10th in the session and seventh at the end of day one.

Timmy Hansen was also involved in turn one drama in Q2. Niclas Gronholm started on the outside of the grid for the second race in the session and initially had light side-to-side contact with GRX-SET team mate Krisztian Szabo.

But worse was to come for the Finn, as his Hyundai i20’s front-left wheel made contact with the right-rear of Hansen’s Peugeot 208, Gronholm hitting the wall and spinning out of the encounter.

Following a battle in traffic in Q1 and the Q2 retirement, Gronholm sits 11th overall.

Kristoffersson’s team mate Enzo Ide, racing in his home round of the series, was hampered by anti-lag problems in Q1.

He won the first race of Q2 and, despite track evolution meaning the later races had better conditions, he managed the third best time and is sixth overnight.



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