Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Grönholm targets a "good start to the season" in Catalunya curtain-raiser.

Same same, but different... a new name and livery, but same team and dream. Yes, the name we've been accustomed to over the last few years "GRX Taneco" has changed to the GRX-SET World RX Team for the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

It's been three years since the team made their debut appearance in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, and since then we've seen the rapid progression of the team from seventh overall to fourth in 2020. 

Whilst 2020 was challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season got underway eventually, and ended up being a Kristoffersson/Ekstrom fight, but Niclas was never too far away to capitalize on any mistake. He proves this in Kouvola beating Kristoffersson to claim his one and only win last year. 

Having finished fourth in the drivers' standings in 2019 and 2020, the only way is forward for the Finnish squad. 

Recently, the team completed testing in Inkoo, Finland in preparation for the season ahead, and with the new season ahead, comes a striking new look. Yes, the GRX-SET World RX Team has unveiled their livery(ries) for the 2021 season. 

Out with the old and in with the new... it's a concept that at times is hard to grasp, but with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Timur Timerzyanov will not return for the full season and will be replaced by Krisztian Szabo this year. It's not all doom and gloom though because the Russian will return for selected outings this season. He will take the wheel of the third Hyundai i20 in Barcelona this coming weekend (his first outing). 

New look for the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Red is Gronholm and Green for Szabo.
Niclas Grönholm enters his sixth World RX season and has his eyes firmly set on the title in 2021, having claimed event wins in each of the last two campaigns. 

"Testing has gone very well and I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made. The feeling is good in the car, I could almost say that it's better than ever but we will see in Barcelona where we are with the pace," Grönholm said. "The track there is quite okay, not one of my favourites but quite enjoyable when you get it right."

"The goal is clear for this weekend, to finish in the top three to get a good start to the season. And the new livery, it’s nice! Quite similar to last year but a bit more simple - I like it!"

Alongside Niclas this season is double European Rallycross Champion, Krisztian Szabo, who is contesting his second full World RX campaign in 2021, having raced with the GRX-SET team in selected events last season.

"I like the track in Barcelona. I’ve never won there but I’ve had some good results back in my Super1600 (RX3) years. I love the circuit part of the track, and discovered the rhythm and tricks of it," Szabo said. 

The Hungarian impressed in a recent RallyX Nordic appearance in the car and will be one to watch this season.

"I’ve had the chance to drive the car quite a lot in the off-season, the RallyX Nordic race at Holjes was very useful and we did a two-day test last week specifically for Barcelona," he adds. "I feel myself, the team and the car are ready for the season-opener, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself with any expectations before we know anything about the other competitors."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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