Niclas Grönholm emerged on prime on the halt of an appealing FIA World Rallycross Championship final in Portugal this weekend (October 16-17), with the Hyundai driver’s 2nd triumph of the season atmosphere the scene for a four-blueprint fight for title glory in Germany subsequent month.
Grönholm became repeatedly within the hunt during Cooper Tires World RX of Montalegre – round seven of the 2021 World Championship marketing campaign – and after placing fourth within the qualifying classification, a rapid delivery within the 2nd semi-final propelled him firmly into competition for victory.
Having led five of the six laps, the 25-twelve months-old achieved 2nd Johan Kristoffersson nearly nearby of the chequered flag, but he became not achieved yet. Within the final, the GRX-SET World RX Group driver went today for the joker on the outlet tour – and it became a tactic that will repay handsomely.
As Timmy Hansen, Kristoffersson and Kevin Hansen duelled on the entrance of the self-discipline, they had been additionally preserving each different up – allowing the pursuing Grönholm to shut the gap.
Drawing near mid-distance, matters came to a head when Kristoffersson tried to prise the door delivery for the lead but drifted wide. That enabled the youthful Hansen to edge alongside for 2nd location, with the KYB EKS JC Audi S1 skating spectacularly across the gravel trap and ploughing thru the video display markers.
With Grönholm zeroing in, all three left their jokers to the very final lap in a utter to ascertain some orderly air between themselves and the flying Finn, however the Hyundai driver undercut them to steal a lead he would not relinquish, in so doing cementing a fifth profession success.
Niclas Grönholm, GRX-SET World RX Group, mentioned: “It feels enormous – I didn’t request this after qualifying. I with out a doubt loved the weekend and racing at Montalegre, in particular the gravel sections. I didn’t gain unheard of preference but to take cling of the joker on the delivery of the final, and I became essentially rather bowled over that Timmy, Johan and Kevin all selected the commonplace lap.
“We had a shrimp greater tempo than within the qualifiers and after they started battling, that allowed me to expend up and I precise tried to stick as close as that you would possibly maybe well additionally imagine to the abet of them. I with out a doubt didn’t know if we had ample, but fortunately it grew to become out that we did. Now I’m looking ahead to the Nürburgring and optimistically a solid produce to the season.”
Championship chief Timmy Hansen achieved 2nd on the halt of a weekend he had largely dominated, claiming three quickest cases in qualifying and a semi-final triumph. Without reference to lacking out on victory, the Swede has alternatively prolonged his profit on the head of the title table to 17 capabilities, with 60 on hand within the season finale.
Hansen World RX Group stablemate Kevin Hansen became classified third after Kristoffersson became handed a five-2nd penalty for his video display marker transgression, which dropped the three-time world champion to sixth within the abet of Grönholm’s GRX-SET crew-mate Krisztián Szabó and Enzo Ide within the 2nd KYB EKS JC entry.
Yury Belevskiy became topped FIA European Rallycross Champion within the Euro RX3 category at Montalegre on the new time, nearly precisely 12 months on from topping the capabilities table but not attending to help the trophy.
Because of the shortened season final twelve months, no title became officially awarded in 2020, but this time round, Belevskiy became to not be denied and he sealed the deal in gracious trend, dominating the qualifying stages earlier than winning both his semi-final and the final in emphatic vogue.
Yury Belevskiy, 2021 FIA Euro RX3 Champion, mentioned: “What a really perfect weekend. I felt moderately relaxed coming right here as I had a moderately mountainous lead, and to stable the title by winning my final tournament in Euro RX3, I couldn’t be happier.”
Belevskiy’s Volland Racing crew-mates Marat Knyazev and Kobe Pauwels achieved 2nd and third in Portugal, with the latter doing precise ample to help onto the runner-up spoils within the halt-of-season standings by a single level.
Following a six-week destroy, the 2021 World RX marketing campaign will stop at Germany’s Nürburgring on November 27-28, with an eagerly-anticipated double-header to search out out the destiny of the coveted World Championship crown and the identification of the inaugural FIA RX2e Champion.