Published: 05:00, 21 June 2022
| Updated: 07:58, 21 June 2022
Lydden Hill hosted its first international rallycross meeting since 2019 at the weekend – and Swede Robin Larsson put in a commanding performance.
The 29-year-old dominated Nitro Rallycross’s first event outside America as the championship's new Group E electric era began.
Ten 1,000bhp FC1-X machines entered the meeting, which featured a new 90ft table-top jump and a banked first bend called 'Talladega'.
Larsson, a two-time European Rallycross champion, secured the top qualifier position on Saturday before backing that up on Sunday with a lights-to-flag drive in the eight-car final.
The Monster Energy RX Cartel driver led home team-mate Andreas Bakkerud and Finnish star Niclas Gronholm, who was a last-minute stand-in for injured Swede Kevin Eriksson.
"It was really important to have pole position and to control the race from there," Larsson said.
"It's been a perfect weekend for me and the team; I couldn't have asked for more.
"The electric cars need a completely different driving style to what I've driven before, especially on the tarmac – you can't send it into the fast corners like we used to with the normal car."
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 world champion, has signed up to Nitro Rallycross this season but was unable to race at Lydden due to a clashing commitment with Sky Sports F1 at the Canadian GP.
He was replaced in the Xite Energy Racing squad by five-time World Rally Championship event winner Kris Meeke, who qualified on the front-row for the final but was hit by reigning Nitro champion Travis Pastrana at the first bend.
In the supporting Supercar category, Adisham's Tristan Ovenden – fresh from claiming his first British Rallycross Supercar victory at Mondello Park in Ireland – took fourth spot in his Citroen DS3.
Jamaican Fraser McConnell (Hyundai i20) beat Audi S1 pilot Yury Belevskiy, with 18-year-old Patrick O’Donovan in third.
The next rallycross at Lydden Hill will be on November 5-6 when the British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy returns for its season finale. Click here for details