|PHOTO CREDIT: GRX Taneco Team.|
“The punctures were with different tyres. So the only conclusion we can draw for the moment is that they were for different reasons,” said Jussi Pinomäki, Team Manager of GRX Taneco. "There were driving errors, but there were also pieces of metal on the track, so there’s an element of bad luck."
Timur Timerzyanov finished a promising seventh in Q1, but Niclas Grönholm lost a few valuable points due to a slow puncture. After knuckling down with the technical crew on Saturday, Timerzyanov then took an even more satisfying sixth place in Q2 while Grönholm got back into his stride to finish 11th despite another puncture.
“Höljes is quite unusual and a very technical track,” said Timerzyanov. “Every turn is challenging. In fact, the first corner is completely blind!”
Timerzyanov kept up with the leading pack on Sunday morning, finishing sixth in Q3 and fifth in Q4, thus qualifying for the semis. Meanwhile, Grönholm gradually made his way back up the rankings finishing P11 in Q3 and P7 in Q4.
|Timur Timerzyanov with rear puncture, ahead of Jérôme Grosset-Janin.|
PHOTO CREDIT: GRX Taneco.
However, Grönholm and Timerzyanov both had to bring their Swedish outing to an early close after another couple of punctures. Grönholm finished sixth so adds another point to his total, while Timerzyanov finished fourth in the second semi-final to claim three points.
“We had a real chance to qualify for the final,” said Timerzyanov. “I made a small mistake in the joker lap, but I had still had the pace to finish in the top three. Then I had a puncture in the second lap, so then the only thing to do was to bring the car home to score as many points as possible. I hope we have more luck in the next race in Canada.”
“It wasn’t our weekend. We had three punctures, including one in the semi-final,” said Grönholm. “Otherwise, I might have been in a position to qualify for the final. We’ll have to examine the good and bad points of this race to come back stronger in Canada!”
At the halfway point, GRX Taneco team lies fourth in the teams' standings. Niclas Grönholm is eighth in the driver standings, and Timur Timerzyanov tenth.