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RALLYCROSS NEWS 

Montalegre European Rallycross: Solberg on top after qualifying heats

Petter SolbergPetter Solberg sits on top of the qualifying table after day one of the second round of the European Rallycross Championship at Montalegre, Portugal.

Fastest in both of the first two heats, the former World Rally star was over 3.5 seconds faster than his next competitor in heat one.

The heat-two battle was closer, with Solberg taking the win by 1.6s.

Solberg was lucky, however, as, crossing the finish line in his second heat, the left rear wheel parted company with his Citroen DS3 car.

"I'm happy," he said. "Everything is going much better than it did at Lydden Hill [round one]. The wheel [incident] was really lucky."

Second in both heats was Frenchman Davy Jeanney, ahead of reigning champion Timur Timerzyanov, Mats Lysen and Stig-Olav Walfridson.

Liam Doran missed the first heat after his Citroen DS3 developed a clutch problem in practice. He fought back in the second heat, winning his race and setting seventh fastest time.

Fellow Briton Andy Scott was 12th fastest in both of the first two heats driving a rented Peugeot 207.

Starting his first event of the year, Belgian driver Michael de Keersmaecker was 14th fastest in the first heat before sliding off in the first corner of heat two as the sunny morning in Portugal turned to rain and then snow.

Heats two and three take place on Sunday morning, ahead of the semi-finals and finals in the afternoon.

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