|PHOTO CREDIT: GC Kompetition|
The stewards ruled that the front protective tubing (mounts) on his Megane R.S. RX was 0.5mm over the specified size, which made it too heavy. Although this piece provided no competitive advantage, it was outside the safety regulations.
"This is a hugely disappointing end to what would’ve otherwise been a fantastic weekend," Marklund said.
"We’ve been working very hard for this win, personally, for many, many years, as well as the team, who’ve been relentless in building this from the ground and further developing it to get the Megane to where it is now."
"The last three events, we’ve really shown our pace now - we still need to make some small adjustments to further optimize it but I’m very satisfied with the car at the moment and it showed in each race result today," he said.
The Swede has been the fastest GC Kompetition driver to date. He missed out on a place in the final in Spa-Francorchamps by a second. In Silverstone, he claimed his first ever World RX podium finish.
Marklund led the way for GC Kompetition in Hell and qualified for the finals finishing second behind Liam Doran. With a good start in the finals, he opted for a first lap joker strategy and come out second behind Doran.
Over the following laps, Doran, Marklund, and Baumanis caught up with the leading pack who were yet to take their joker laps. The Swede managed to overtake Doran, who had a technical issue and crossed the line first to claim what would have been his first ever World RX race.
"The rain was a very welcome change actually, it suited us and the team did an incredible job in adjusting quickly - Oreca with the engine and Bilstein with the dampers turned everything around so quickly, I’ve genuinely not felt this comfortable and confident racing in these kinds of conditions before," the Swede said.
A few hours of celebration turned into heartache when the GC Kompetition driver was disqualified from the entire event by Steward’s, following post-race scrutineering that found the front bumper mountings were too thick. Appendix J Article 279.10.2.d of the regulations: "the maximum thickness of the material used in the front bumper mountings must not be greater than 1.5mm."
"The fact that this front protective tubing has been classed 0.5mm too big and too heavy is hugely frustrating," he said. "It didn’t give us any advantage but these are the rules."
GC Kompetition will not appeal the FIA's decision to disqualify Anton Marklund - "We respect the rules and will just have to come back stronger from it."
Despite being disappointed about the disqualification - team boss Guerlain Chicherit says:
"He (Marklund) really deserved this win and has been fighting hard, together with the entire team."
Chicherit says that his team will be working with their supplier to ensure that they solve the cause of the disqualification and ensure that it does not happen again.
On a positive note, Marklund believes that they have found pace in the Renault Megane R.S. RX.
"The good thing is that we know we can win and absolutely have the pace - so we’ll just have to come back in Sweden and prove it to all again!" said Marklund.
TEXT - Junaid Samodien