Friday, 17 May 2019

Disappointed Marklund says we had the speed to make the final.

PHOTO CREDIT: GC Kompetition.
A disappointed Anton Marklund said he had the speed and pace to qualify for the finals at the World RX of Benelux. 

Marklund would miss out on qualifying for the final at Spa-Francorchamps by 1 second. 

The 2017 European Rallycross Champion claimed a second place finish in the first qualifying heat.

With the track starting to dry slightly on Saturday afternoon, Marklund squeezed between Szabó and Bakkerud, while Scheider and Wiman overtook the pack around the outside, and Anton came out of turn one in fifth place. He overtook Bakkerud when he jokered on lap one. The Swede would finish the race in fifth place and with a drying improving track Anton's time was pushed down to fifteenth fastest in Q2.

He would be ranked in ninth overall on day one. 

The third qualifying session would see Marklund crossing the finish line in third place slotting him into tenth overall.

In the final qualifying session, the Swede would start on pole position alongside Pal Try, Francois Duval, Timo Scheider, and Cyril Raymond. Following a good start, Anton battled with Scheider out of turn 1 into the Raidillon hairpin, with Anton taking the inside line to take the lead of the race. Anton showed strong pace, jokering on the last lap and winning the race, having set the second-best time in the fourth qualifier.

Marklund would qualify for the second semi-final and would start on the second row of the grid.

Heading into turn one, he was pushed wide but managed to overtake Timmy [Hansen] into the Raidillon hairpin to slot into 4th place. Marklund jokered on lap one dropping into fifth place, where he got stuck in traffic until he was able to overtake Cyril [Raymond] on lap four. The Swede finished in fourth place, just one second behind Timmy Hansen in third.

"Finishing the semi-finals in Spa in 4th is disappointing; we definitely had the speed to be in the final and fight for podium finishes, so this is a tough one," said Marklund. "We were a little too optimistic on the RPM and were too low, which had me stall the engine at the start. I managed to catch up and put pressure on Timmy but then got stuck in traffic, so were unable to fight for a better finish."

Despite missing out on the final, the Swede reflects on the good speed and pace he had in Belgium but now sets his sights on a podium finish in Silverstone. 

"A very positive weekend in terms of pace and speed - but I want to be the one celebrating on the podium, so I really look forward to Silverstone," he said. 

"I think it’s going to be a similar track to this one in Spa, which suits me well and I hope we will continue to put down the competitive pace we’ve been showing the last three races to come out on top in the UK."

TEXT - Junaid Samodien

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