Petter Solberg leads Germany WRX less than a week after surgery

Double World Rallycross champion Petter Solberg set the fastest time in both Q3 and Q4 at the German round of the series, less than a week after being operated on for a broken collarbone

Petter Solberg leads Germany WRX less than a week after surgery

Just a fortnight after the accident that injured the Norwegian - putting him out of the Latvian round at the semi-final stage - Solberg won both of his Sunday morning races at the Estering near Buxtehude in Northern Germany to currently secure top spot.

His task was made easier by outgoing champion Mattias Ekstrom jumping the start of the pair's Q4 race, forcing the Swede to take two joker laps from the lead and he ended up eighth, dropping to second overall behind Solberg.

Timmy Hansen continued his strong performance on day two in Germany, fifth in Q3 he was overtaken by Andreas Bakkerud in Q4 and lost time but set the ninth fastest time behind Ekstrom and is third overall, as newly-crowned champion Johan Kristoffersson ended qualifying fourth, following team-mate Solberg throughout their Q4 encounter.

Bakkerud meanwhile wound up fifth after the four qualifying races, but it was Kevin Hansen in sixth who shone in Peugeot-Hansen's 2016-specification 208 WRX. The 2016 European Rallycross champion chased esteemed team-mate Sebastien Loeb through their Q3 race, and qualified sixth after Q4.

The star of day two qualifying was undoubtedly Niclas Gronholm. Having run on wet tyres on a drying circuit in Q1, and then suffered a puncture in Q2, Gronholm lay 21st overnight.

After a race victory and eighth fastest time in Q3, Gronholm then took the lead of his race in Q4 despite a poor start. In the infamous Estering first corner scrum, compatriot Toomas Heikkinen and Kevin Hansen ran wide, allowing Gronholm and Janis Baumanis to sneak up the inside to finish one-two in the race.

Gronholm's second fastest time in Q4 lifted him into the top 12, equal on qualifying points with Sebastian Eriksson but inside the semi-final qualifying positons due to his second place in Q4 over Eriksson's third in Q1.

Baumanis also made it through to the semi-finals, while Loeb ended up 10th overall, in part to a battle with the Latvian driver in Q1 on Saturday afternoon.

For the second event in a row, multi-discipline drivers Ken Block and Timo Glock both missed out on the top 12, in 14th and 15th, both spending the majority of their qualifying races stuck in traffic.

Volkswagen Motorsport driver Dieter Depping scored a point on his debut, in 16th for the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team.


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