Monday 17 September 2018

Niclas Grönholm claims an impressive fourth place in Latvia.

GRX Taneco have strengthened its fourth place in the FIA World RX team standings, with an impressive fourth place from Niclas Grönholm in Riga.

On the first day, Niclas Grönholm and Timur Timerzyanov were placed in the top 10 in the two qualifying sessions. Grönholm even secured the sixth-fastest time in Q2.
“Every time, the first two bends were a bit hairy,” Grönholm explained. “It was tough, but we came out of it well and secured a good position quite quickly to qualify for the semi-finals.”

On Sunday, Grönholm again got into the top 10, while Timerzyanov found himself under pressure in the last qualifying slot before Q4. In a final push, the Finn finished seventh in the intermediate rankings, while the Russian squeezed into the semi-finals in eleventh place.

The second semi-final saw the two GRX Taneco drivers up against Johan Kristoffersson, Mattias Ekström and Petter Solberg. Lying fourth and fifth after the first turn, the two drivers opted for different strategies as Timerzyanov went for the joker lap at the start of the race, while Grönholm chose to continue posting respectable lap times. Penalised by a last-lap spin, Timerzyanov finished the semi-final in sixth place. His teammate, meanwhile, clinched third and a golden ticket for the final in the process!

“We knew that something had to happen in the semi-final for us to have a chance of qualifying,” says Grönholm. “For once, the first turn went in our favour and our strategy was effective once again.”

Timerzyanov was frustrated after not progressing any further: “The result is a bit disappointing as I have lost ground on my teammate and the other drivers ahead of me in the championship. We need to find solutions to get nearer the front of the field. I am already looking forward to the United States. It will be a very different track and we’ll see how it pans out.”

In the final, Grönholm emerged from the first turn in third position behind Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekström and ahead of the three Peugeot 208s. Under attack from Timmy Hansen and Sébastien Loeb, Niclas managed to hold off Hansen, but Loeb on the joker lap emerging just ahead of Grönholm.

“I wasn’t under any pressure,” Niclas concluded. “I drove far more cleanly than at any other stage of the weekend and managed to get into a good groove."

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