Saturday 19 September 2020

Grönholm edges Kristoffersson to take TQ.

Niclas Grönholm has edged Johan Kristoffersson to take the TQ (top qualifier) position in round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Neste World RX of Riga-Latvia. 

Kristoffersson was quickest in Q1, and despite being on pole position in Q2, he was beaten off the line by Grönholm who topped Q2. 

On the high grip Bikernieki track, tactics came into play in Q3 with master tactician Mattias Ekström bolting on four new tyres, and with a marginally stronger start squeezed into the lead and from there he was untouchable. The Swede went on to post the fastest lap of the day - 48.443s.

With the fastest drivers (after Q2) lining-up in the final Q3 race, Robin Larsson followed his KYB Team JC teammate and bolted on four new tyres along with Niclas Grönholm who took two new front tyres

Larsson starting in fourth (outside line) slotted into the lead in turn one ahead of Grönholm, while Kristoffersson was left on the line. The double world champion recovered to third but had to get his elbows and muscled his way past Krisztian Szabo on lap one. 

And, with clean air and fresher tyres, Larsson won Q3 Race 4 ahead of Grönholm and Kristoffersson, which in the end meant. The GRX Taneco driver would edge Kristoffersson to the top qualifiers spot by two intermediate points. 

Can Johan Kristoffersson fight back after just missing out on the TQ? He certainly has a chance, as he will start on pole position for semi-final two, and with four new tyres available he stands a good chance. 

For the first time in 2020, both Monster Energy RX Cartel drivers will progress to the semi-finals despite some issues in Q2. Liam Doran finds himself in eighth ahead of Andreas Bakkerud in ninth. 

Whilst the battle for top honors is rather close at the front, bowing out after three qualifying sessions are: Timo Scheider, Anton Marklund, and the UNKORRUPTED pair of Guerlain Chicherit and Rokas Baciuska along with Ferratum Team's Jani Paasonen who suffered with engine failure in Q2.  
Written By - Junaid Samodien

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