|PHOTO CREDIT: Gronholm RX|
The 'All-Star' Magic Weekend kicked-off on Wednesday afternoon with a free practice session and a full first round on Thursday. Niclas Grönholm was on the pace straight from the first start and won all three of the Qualifying rounds and his Semi-Final, but a small mistake at the start of the Final cost him a perfect race score, and he would eventually finish in third.
Round two started on a similar note for Niclas who topped the timesheet in free practice and the first two Qualifying runs. Rain arrived for Q3 which was a disadvantage as he would start on a semi-wet track and lost time to those who had raced in dry condition. Another top 3 finish in Q4 saw him retain the lead in the Intermediate classification.
The Finn had a bad start in the Semi-Final which saw him stall the Hyundai i20 RX, but he eventually fought back to fourth-place, but it was not enough to secure a place in the final.
"It was an up-and-down week for us here at Höljes. For sure it would have been nice to win or at least to fight for the win, but it was not to be," he said.
Despite not achieving the desired results in Holjes, GRX Taneco's main aim was to gather as much information on the updated Hyundai i20 RX Supercar.
"Our main goal here was to get as much mileage in our updated car as possible and to learn how the new updates work in this challenging track and in various weather conditions," Niclas said. "From this aspect we had a quite good race and we have a lot of positive to take with us from this to be better prepared for the FIA World RX opening round here."
Niclas' shared a car with his father who took part in the Legends Race. Marcus Grönholm (his father) topped the leaderboard of the flying lap shootout race as well as first Qualifying race. In Sunday’s Final, he went on to take a commanding lead straight from the start and finished ahead of his rivals.
"It was nice to have a fun race with some old friends and check out our new car," Marcus Grönholm said.
"But this race wasn’t about me - at the end, it was more about working on the car and helping Niclas and the team to be ready for our main goal at World RX."
Jussi Pinomäki, GRX Taneco Team Manager adds that the team were able to answer many questions over the course of the weekend, which they will use to improve the Hyundai i20 RX ahead of the FIA World Rallycross Championship season opener in August.
"It was a very valuable race week for us, as we had a lot of unknows regarding our potential performance," Pinomäki said. "We were able to answer many of the questions on our list, but we will still have a big homework to do when we get back to the base."
Written By - Junaid Samodien