Audi e-tron Vision RCCO wins Mini RX
12.10.2018 On clinching his fourth victory this season, record champion Thomas Voigt defended his lead of the standings in the ‘big little racing series’. The Audi driver won the MiniRX race held in conjunction with the World Rallycross Championship at the Estering after a spectacular final ahead of Eldert Hedden (Lamborghini) and title defender Björn Skottke (KTM).
Premiere at the Estering
The event marked the RCCO’s fourth visit to Buxtehude in conjunction with the World RX. Following three rounds at the Autohaus Eberstein car dealership, the MiniRX race for the first time took place directly in the Estering paddock thanks to EKS Audi Sport. The two Audi rallycross stars Andreas Bakkerud and Mattias Ekström competed in the RCCO championship round as guest entrants. Some of the EKS Audi Sport team members tried their skills on the controllers themselves during a race for guests.
The digital Slotfire race track in EKS Audi Sport’s exhibition marquee made for thrilling races and a spectacular final in which Thomas Voigt in Turn 1 caused some excitement twice: shortly after the start he made a braking mistake in a duel with title defender Björn Skottke (KTM) and crashed into the perimeter board with his Audi e-tron Vision RCCO. From the last position Voigt fought back to the front in the five-minute final race. The decision was produced when three contenders, Voigt, Eldert Hedden (Lamborghini) and Kim Hauschild (Volkswagen), attempted to run through Turn 1 side by side. A small swing of the rear of the Audi that was running on the inside was enough to sweep the other two cars off track. The RCCO regulations do not provide for a penalty in a case like this. Voigt said ‘sorry’ to his two competitors who remained unruffled by the incident: “Well, that’s typical rallycross …”
Voigt continues in front
Following four victories this season and two second places, Voigt will enter the big final weekend at Autostadt Wolfsburg on 16 to 18 November as the leader of the standings. Due to the results that were not counted, the advantage over his closest rival, Björn Skottke, has remained unchanged, at ten points. However, in the last two races ‘Skottie’ has to delete four more points from his score than Voigt. Mathematically, Michael Niemas, another KTM driver, still has title chances as well. He was absent at the Estering for family reasons: the Niemas family are expecting the birth of a baby any minute.
Thomas Voigt and his Audi e-tron Vision RCCO were in superb form at the Estering. Although the record champion had to enter the race with the maximum performance weight of 30 grams he dominated the evening practically at will. The only race not won by Voigt, following a fierce duel with guest driver Mattias Ekström, was the third qualifying heat. The guest driver with the third Audi e-tron Vision RCCO from tv racing once again proved his exceptional skill on the controller and could even have been in contention for victory if he had continued the race through to the end. However, the rallycross star left for his hotel bed after Q3. “My car was a little too nervous,” said Ekström. “But, as always, it was huge fun.” Notably, the Swede chose not to participate in free practice and subsequently, without any practice whatsoever, instantly won his first qualifying heat.
Podium for Lamborghini
Eldert Hedden, who with the Lamborghini Centenario from Joest Racing took second place after the collision with Voigt, achieved his best result so far this season. In spite of having started from pole position on four occasions this year, this was only Hedden’s second and Joest Racing’s third podium this season. However, Hedden, in fourth position of the standings, no longer has a chance for the drivers’ title. His brother, Jan Hedden, completed the good Lamborghini results in position five.
Running with a similarly high performance weight as Thomas Voigt, title defender Björn Skottke did not manage to quite keep pace with the front runners this time. With consistency and a little luck, though, ‘Skottie’ in the end still achieved third place. “Initially, things weren’t going well at all, so I no longer expected to finish on podium,” said the KTM driver who was also suffering from a bout of flu. “It was great being hosted by Mattias Ekström’s team here with the RCCO. This is something you don’t get to experience every day.”
Sign of life from Volkswagen
For Volkswagen Motorsport-Phoenix Racing, the season has not been running smoothly at all. At least there was a small sign of life at the Estering. In spite of a transponder problem in qualifying Kim Hauschild made it into the final which he led some of the time. However, after the carnage in Turn 1 the GT racer had to settle for fourth place. Team Principal Daniel Bäumler was struggling with ‘a car that was too slow’. The TV editor of the WELT Group in eighth position was beaten far below his potential. After the team battled for the title up until the final with Kim Hauschild last year Bäumler, as the best Volkswagen driver, is only in position eight of the standings.
Ossi Kragl in final
Ossi Kragl from Scuderia Schuedschleife.com had travelled the longest distance to the event: the marketing and event expert arrived directly from the Nürburgring and immediately drove back to the Eifel region at night after the race. But his efforts paid off: Kragl in his garish-green Schaeffler Vision RCCO made it all the way into the final. In the end, he was able to celebrate sixth position.
Premiere for Bakkerud
Andreas Bakkerud made his debut on the RCCO controller. Mattias Ekström’s teammate in the World Rallycross Championship had a lot of fun with the turquoise-coloured Audi R8 e-tron from tv racing academy. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay until the end, but that was a great experience and I’ll be happy to participate again next time.”