Niclas Grönholm emerged on top at the tip of a pulsating FIA World Rallycross Championship closing in Portugal this weekend (16/17 October), with the Hyundai driver’s 2nd triumph of the season atmosphere the scene for a four-plan wrestle for title glory in Germany next month.
Grönholm was once there-or-thereabouts at some level of Cooper Tires World RX of Montalegre – round seven of the 2021 World Championship campaign – and after placing fourth in the qualifying classification, a demon open in the 2nd semi-closing propelled him firmly into contention for victory.
Having led five of the six laps, the 25-year-feeble had to present perfect to a laborious-charging Johan Kristoffersson nearly nearby of the chequered flag, however he was once no longer done but. Within the closing, the GRX-SET World RX Crew ace darted correct now for the joker on the gap tour – and it was once a tactic that might perchance possibly pay off handsomely.
As Timmy Hansen, Kristoffersson and Kevin Hansen duelled ferociously at the front of the field, they were moreover retaining every diversified 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 birth for the lead however drifted huge. That enabled the younger Hansen to edge alongside for 2nd pickle, with the KYB EKS JC Audi S1 skating spectacularly all the plan through the gravel trap and ploughing through the be aware markers as Kristoffersson kept his foot planted firmly to the ground.
With Grönholm zeroing in, all three left their jokers to the very closing lap in a repeat to position some beautiful air between themselves and the flying Finn, however the Hyundai driver undercut them to score a lead he would no longer subsequently relinquish, in so doing cementing a fifth occupation success at the worldwide pinnacle of the sport in a stride that will undoubtedly sail down in World RX history.
Niclas Grönholm, GRX-SET World RX Crew, acknowledged:
“It feels gigantic – I didn’t question this after qualifying. I undoubtedly enjoyed the weekend and racing at Montalegre, namely the gravel sections. I didn’t acquire noteworthy desire however to score the joker in the beginning of the closing, and I used to be once essentially a piece bowled over that Timmy, Johan and Kevin all selected the celebrated lap.
“We had a piece higher tempo than in the qualifiers and when they started combating, that allowed me to buy up and I correct tried to stick as shut as that it’s doubtless you’ll perchance possibly factor in to the again of them. I undoubtedly didn’t know if we had ample, however thankfully it turned out that we did. Now I’m taking a gaze forward to the Nürburgring and hopefully a resounding manufacture to the season.”
Championship leader Timmy Hansen finally damage up 2nd at the tip of a weekend he had largely dominated, claiming three quickest events in qualifying and a semi-closing triumph. Despite missing out on victory, the Swede has alternatively prolonged his profit at the stop of the title desk to 17 points, with 60 final to play for in the season finale.
Hansen World RX Crew stablemate Kevin Hansen was once categorised third after Kristoffersson was once handed a five-2nd penalty for his be aware marker transgression, which dropped the three-time world champion to sixth at the again of Grönholm’s GRX-SET team-mate Krisztián Szabó and Enzo Ide in the 2nd KYB EKS JC entry.
BELEVSKIY TAKES TITLE IN STYLE IN EURO RX3
Yury Belevskiy was once topped FIA European Rallycross Champion in the Euro RX3 class at Montalegre this day, nearly precisely 12 months on from topping the points desk however no longer getting to score the trophy.
Resulting from the shortened season closing year, no title was once formally awarded in 2020, however this time around, Belevskiy was once now to now not be denied and he sealed the deal in dazzling vogue, dominating the qualifying stages sooner than a success both his semi-closing and the closing in emphatic kind.
Yury Belevskiy, 2021 FIA Euro RX3 Champion, acknowledged:
“This feels good! What a perfect weekend. I felt honest relaxed coming here as I had a moderately gargantuan lead, and to get the title by a success my closing occasion in Euro RX3, I couldn’t be happier.”
Belevskiy’s Volland Racing team-mates Marat Knyazev and Kobe Pauwels finished 2nd and third in Portugal, with the latter doing correct ample to score onto the runner-up spoils in the tip-of-season standings by a single level.
Following a six-week spoil, the 2021 World RX campaign will manufacture at Germany’s Nürburgring on 27/28 November, with an eagerly-anticipated double-header to make a choice the destiny of the coveted World Championship crown and the identification of the inaugural FIA RX2e Champion.
Copyright-free photos come in for media net via the World RX Newsroom on the Crimson Bull Express material Pool.
1. Niclas GRÖNHOLM (FIN) GRX-SET World RX Crew 6 laps
2. Timmy HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Crew + 0.537s
3. Kevin HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Crew + 1.977s
4. Krisztián SZABÓ (HUN) GRX-SET World RX Crew + 2.270s
5. Enzo IDE (BEL) KYB EKS JC+ 3.762s
6. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) KYB EKS JC + 5.754s
Full results might perchance moreover be stumbled on here