Thursday, 16 May 2019

Wiman impresses in only his second outing in World RX

Former GRC champion Joni Wiman in only his second outing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship claimed a podium finish at Spa-Francorchamps. 

His only previous World Championship outing came in 2014 when he took part in the Canadian round of the season for Olsbergs MSE.

Wiman joined the World RX of Benelux entry list as a wildcard entrant but was drafted in as a late replacement to score teams’ points for GRX Taneco after Niclas Gronholm underwent an appendicitis operation. 

The Finn was the revelation of the weekend in only his second World RX event. He claimed qualifying heat wins and ended the first day of racing in third overall.

On Sunday, he continued his charge and finished the qualifying heats in second overall booking a place in the semi-finals. He claimed victory in the semi-finals and would start on the front row of the grid in the final alongside Andreas Bakkerud (pole position).

In the final, the Finn was caught up in the first-corner melee and dropped to the tail of the field but recovered with a clever tactical drive to finish in third place.

“I’m really grateful to the team and sponsors that made my return to the World RX possible," said Wiman. "And I am happy that it was here - in the venue with so much racing history.” 

“After the Semifinal I felt that I could have a shot at the very top. In the Final, though, I had a little incident in the first corner and after had to drive like mad to climb back to the third place," he said. 

"Being on a podium after this long break is more than I expected before the race and I really hope I could come back for more events this year.”

TEXT - Junaid Samodien

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