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– WRX: Second place for Solberg in Belgium, Kristoffersson defends his championship lead
– WTCR: Rob Huff claims fourth podium finish for Volkswagen on the Nordschleife
– TCR UK: Daniel Lloyd keeps up100percentrecord– two wins in Knockhill
– World premiere at Wörthersee: Golf GTI TCR Concept for the streets unveiled

FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX)
Solberg battles his way to second place in Belgium, Kristoffersson still championship leader

A thrilling final at round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX) in Belgium saw Petter Solberg (N) take second place and give his world championship chances a timely boost. The former world Rallycross and world rally champion made the best start of the six finalists and, having started from the second row of the grid, used his Joker Lap intelligently to claim his second podium of the season. This latest result means that PSRX Volkswagen Sweden has now taken at least one podium finish at all three rounds so far this season.

Furthermore, both Polo R Supercars have qualified for the final as one of the top six cars at all three race weekends. Going back to last season, that makes it four finals in a row with both PSRX cars on the grid.

World champion Johan Kristoffersson (S) started the final from pole position, but did not get off to a good start. He found himself on two wheels in turn one and almost rolled his car.

Kristoffersson went on to end the final in fifth place – partly thanks to being able to “lean” on team-mate and PSRX team owner Solberg in the turmoil at the start. Victory went to nine- time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb (F, Peugeot).

Round four of the World Rallycross Championship takes place in two weeks in Silverstone (from 23 to 25 May) as part of the Speedmachine festival. Kristoffersson will travel to the race weekend in the United Kingdom as championship leader with 75 points – followed by Loeb (66) and Solberg (65). PSRX leads the Team competition with 140 points, 15 points ahead of the Peugeot works team in second.

Petter Solberg (N), Volkswagen Polo R Supercar #11

“The start was really intense in the final. I was hit on the left and right, then emerged from the chaos in turn one in fourth place. The car still felt good after that – so I went on the attack. Then something broke on lap two, which meant I lost some pace. As such, second place in this tough final, on this tough weekend, is absolutely fantastic.”

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FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR)
Rob Huff battles is way to a podium finish “powered by Volkswagen” in the “Green Hell”

Robert Huff (GB) was rewarded for a battling performance on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife with another podium finish in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR). Huff ended race one in the infamous 25.378-kilometre circuit, also known as the “Green Hell”, in an extremely hard- fought third place – less than one second behind winner Yvan Muller (F, Hyundai). This was podium number three for Huff at round three of the season, and Volkswagen’s fourth top- three finish. Huff was involved in collisions in races two and three, which prevented him from scoring points for himself and the Sébastien Loeb Racing team. Victory in Saturday’s two races went to Esteban Guerrieri (RA, Honda) and Thed Björk (S, Hyundai).

The action comes thick and fast in the WTCR: Zandvoort (Netherlands) will host races ten to twelve of the season this coming weekend. Huff travels to the Netherlands in sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship.

Robert Huff (GB), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR #12

“The opening race on the Nordschleife was one of my favourite races so far in a touring car world championship. I could not have hoped for better and more prudent opponents.”

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Daniel Lloyd goes from pole position to pole position, win to win

Two qualifications, two pole positions; four races, four wins – Daniel Lloyd (GB) and the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR remained an unbeatable combination at the second race weekend of this year’s TCR UK. 26-year-old Lloyd once again appeared to dominate at will in Knockhill, Scotland. The driver from the Swedish WestCoast Racing team won the opening race from pole position. He then won race two – which featured a reverse grid, with starting positions reflecting the second-fastest qualifying time, only in reverse order – from ninth place. Lloyd had already produced an irresistible fightback in race two of the season-opener in Silverstone, and repeated this feat in Knockhill.

Lloyd now holds a commanding 66-point lead in the championship, thanks to a maximum haul of 182 points. Races five and six of the TCR UK season will be held at Brands Hatch on 02 and 03 June.

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World Premiere
From the racetrack to the streets: Golf GTI TCR Concept1 unveiled at Wörthersee

Winning genes: Volkswagen presented the 213-kW (290-hp) Golf GTI TCR Concept – the street version of the racing car of the same name, which competes in international and national TCR racing series – at the GTI get-together at Wörthersee. Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for “Sales, Marketing and After Sales”: “The Golf GTI TCR Concept – an athlete derived from the world of motorsport – is currently still a concept. However, we want to make this GTI vision a reality at the end of the year.”

The design, power and performance of the Golf GTI TCR Concept are in line with thoroughbred sports cars. The power of the turbo engine, which generates 370 Nm at 1,600 rpm, is transferred to the front wheels via a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox (DSG) and locking differential. The production version will be capable of a top speed of 250 km/h, but this can be increased to 264 km/h by opting to remove the electronic Vmax limiter. This will make the Golf the fastest GTI model in the current range.

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Hans-Joachim Stuck receives Nürburgring Award for lifetime achievement

The president of the German Motorsport Federation (DMSB) and Volkswagen Group representative for motorsport, Hans-Joachim Stuck (D), has received the Nürburgring Award for lifetime achievement. The Jury, consisting of Norbert Haug (former head of motorsport at Mercedes-Benz), Timo Glock (current BMW works driver in the DTM) and Kai Ebel (known as the RTL pit lane reporter in Formula 1) honoured “Striezel’s” special association with the “Ring”, at which he won the 24-hour race three times and later brought the curtain down on his remarkable career as a racing driver. Stuck’s career also saw him win the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice (1986 and 1987), the DTM (1990) and the 12-hour race in Sebring (USA, 1975, 1986 and 1988). The 67-year-old also made 74 appearances in Formula 1 (1974–1979).

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FIA Formula 3 European Championship
Rookie Fenestraz claims maiden victory in Formula 3 European Championship, “powered by Volkswagen”

Sacha Fenestraz (F) claimed a victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at his home event in Pau (France). Making his first outing in a Formula 3 single-seater at the street circuit in the south of France, the Carlin Motorsport driver converted pole position into victory in race two of the season-opener. Drivers “powered by Volkswagen” also achieved podium finishes in races one and three: Daniel Ticktum (GB, Motopark) finished third in the opening race, ahead of Fenestraz, while Jehan Daruvala (IND, Carlin) was third in race three.

After the first three races of the season, Fenestraz heads the championship with a lead of two and a half points. Races four to six will be held at the Hungaroring, near Budapest (Hungary), on 02 and 03 June.

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▪ FIA European Rallycross Championship (ERX)
Polo Supercar driver Anton Marklund (S) claimed his first win of the season in the FIA European Rallycross Championship (ERX). A strong start allowed him to take an early lead in the final in Mettet (Belgium), and the Swede held onto that lead to take victory at round two of the season. With 53 points to his name, Marklund is now just three points behind championship leader Reinis Nitišs (LVA, Ford). More information:

▪ Nürburgring 24 Hours
Knut Kluge (D), Marco Ferraro (D), Stephan Kuhs (D) and Andreas Gabler (USA), at the wheel of the Golf GTI TCR, finished second in their class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. A change in weather conditions, with sunshine and blue sky replaced by heavy rain and thick fog, did not make things easy for the quartet, and even resulted in the race being suspended on Sunday morning. The Golf GTI TCR, which won the TCR class at last year’s endurance classic on the Nordschleife, started in the SP 3T class in 2018. More information:
▪ Global Touring Cars South Africa
A start-finish victory in race two at Zwartkops, in Pretoria (South Africa), formed the highlight of round three of the Global Touring Cars series from a Volkswagen perspective. Daniel Rowe’s (ZA) win was the second of his career in the GTC, with both victories coming at the wheel of a Volkswagen Jetta GTC. More information:
Next up:

18.05.–20.05.2018, FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), Zandvoort (NL) 18.05.–20.05.2018, TCR Europe, Zandvoort (NL)
18.05.–20.05.2018, TCR Benelux, Zandvoort (NL) 18.05.–20.05.2018, TCR Swiss Trophy, Zandvoort (NL)
18.05.–20.05.2018, British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Thruxton (GB)

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