Bakkerud holds overnight WRX Sweden lead as Timmy Hansen struggles

Andreas Bakkerud holds the overnight lead at the World Rallycross Championship's Holjes round as championship leader Timmy Hansen struggled

Bakkerud holds overnight WRX Sweden lead as Timmy Hansen struggles

Bakkerud beat RX Cartel team-mate Liam Doran to the first corner in the last race of Q1 and led from the front to set the fastest time.

But by virtue of a randomly reversed race order for Q2, Bakkerud was forced to run in the first race after heavy rain had fallen on the Holjes circuit.

It proved to be the only race in which all five cars ran on wet tyres, but Bakkerud again led from the front to extend a margin over title rival Kevin Hansen to claim victory and initially hold the fastest time.

But track conditions improved significantly throughout the session, meaning the Audi S1 driver ended up 12th but maintained top spot.

Anton Marklund and Kevin Abbring, both challengers for victory in the previous round in Norway, ended the opening day in Sweden second and third, but the pair had contact in the first corner of their Q1 race and went off track.

Marklund then won the third race of Q2 and Abbring beat championship leader Timmy Hansen to victory in the next race, despite a number of mistakes in the changeable conditions, to fight back up the order.

Double 2019 event winner Timmy, who leads the series by a single point from brother and team-mate Kevin, had a torrid day.

Starting from the outside of the grid in Q1, Timmy made up ground at the first corner by landing sideways over the circuit's first jump and puncturing his right-rear tyre.

Timmy made it to the finish with the 20th best time and despite a good start in Q2 he was forced to take an early joker before losing time in traffic on the opening lap.

He then finished fourth in Q2, behind Abbring, but remains 16th overnight and is currently out of the semi-final qualifying positions.

The fightback of the day came from reigning European Rallycross Champion Reinis Nitiss, making his second appearance of the season in a third car for Marcus Gronholm's GRX squad.

Nitiss was turned sideways before the first corner in his Q1 race, hitting the large kerb on the inside of the off-camber bend and rolled heavily into the gravel trap on the outside of the circuit.

Despite significant damage to the car, the roll cage remained intact and the team repaired the car for Q2.

With no time to his name, Nitiss was 25th after Q1.

But after a great start in the repaired Hyundai i20 from the outside of the grid, in what was crucially the driest Q2 race, Nitiss fended off the attention of a Guerlain Chicherit to set the fastest time and climb back to fifth overall.

Such was the nature of the up-turned order that a ninth and 10th best time in the first two sessions meant Kevin Eriksson ended the day fourth on his return to the series, with Chicherit sixth.

Regular front runners Kevin Hansen and Niclas Gronholm hold ninth and 10th respectively.

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