Date: September 16–17
Track: Biķernieki Sports Complex, 10 km east of Riga
Track length: 1.295 km (Joker lap: 1.355 km)
Surface: 60% tarmac, 40% gravel
Turns: 8 left, 4 right
Top speed: approx. 161 km/h
Lap record: Johan Kristoffersson (S), 48.894s (2017)
Average speed: approx. 95.35 km/h
Winner 2017: Johan Kristoffersson (S), 5m 06.673s
Mattias Ekström has won the next trophy in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. At the tenth round of the season in Riga, the Swede finished second and was only beaten by his compatriot Johan Kristoffersson. The Volkswagen driver was crowned 2017 FIA World Rallycross Champion in Latvia with two rounds to spare and therefore succeeds Ekström. Kristofferson’s PSRX Volkswagen Sweden squad also secured the teams’ championship two races before the end of the season.
On the challenging track in the Latvian capital, the drivers had to deal with constantly changing conditions yet again. After sunshine on Saturday morning the heavens opened. On Sunday the track dried out very slowly before it started to rain lightly again just before the final. “Despite the changing weather conditions, it was a really good weekend for us,” said Ekström. “For the first time we had four cars in the semi-final and my second place. I’m especially pleased for Nico who made the final in only his second event.”
Audi DTM driver Müller beamed with joy after the final: “I’m mega happy,” summarized the Swiss. “It was fantastic to start in the final with Mattias. A big thank you to the entire team for the support.” Local matador Reinis Nitišs missed making the final in front of his home crowd. Nevertheless the Latvian drew a positive upshot: “On the whole it was a good weekend. Unfortunately, I lost a little ground after the start in the semi-final, but it is always a special feeling to race in front of your own fans.” Toomas Heikkinen’s weekend did not end as planned. After the first day, the Finn held the lead in the classification. In the semi-final a driveshaft broke.