JRM World RX showed that they had made progress with the iconic BMW Mini Supercar as they came close to qualifying for the Semi-Finals at the first ever World RX of Latvia, Round Ten of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
With both Guy Wilks and Guerlain Chicherit returning to the Daventry based team for their second World RX event in a row, prior knowledge gained at the World RX of Spain helped to get both cars on the pace early.
During Day One, both cars suffered mechanical issues that didn’t stop them from posting times inside the top 20 and to remain within claiming distance of a top 12 spot. Day two saw more impressive speed from both drivers as the conditions changed from dry to wet.
Wilks enjoyed a better run in Q3 where he won his race to set the 6th fastest time overall and move up the leader board to aim for that vital top twelve spot. However a delay at the start of his Q4 race meant that the former British Rally Champion would finish Qualifying in 14th place overall whilst Chicherit continued to learn how to pilot the BMW Mini in wet conditions where he finished second to Wilks in their Q3 race but further down in Q4. This left the French driver just outside the top 20 overall.
Wilks took away the positives from a learning weekend, “I’ve never driven the car with the wet setup, but the team is quite confident of the baseline and we went out there and set a good time, so that is a definite positive to take from the weekend. Q3 included quite a big moment when we hit a puddle and lost the best part of a handful of seconds, but we had good pace,” explained Wilks.
“It’s very unfortunate about the delay at the start of Q4. We didn’t have the right setup for the track conditions there and that put us on the back foot. We’re still discovering things with the car and we need to build our knowledge for different conditions.
Chicherit was proud of what he had learned from the World RX weekend, “I don’t have a huge amount of experience of driving a rallycross Supercar in these really wet conditions, so today has been a challenge for me to get used to the car and the setup. It was nice to cross the finish line first in Q4, even though the time was not as fast as where we want to be, but our lap times did improve in Q4 over Q3, so that is positive,” explained the French Driver.
“Overall this has been a tough weekend for me, but every time I am in the car I learn something new, so hopefully we can make progress going forward. I know everybody is working really hard for that, like I am.”
Team Principle James Rumsey was proud of the progress made by the team, “We were so close to making it into the semi-finals, so of course it’s disappointing for every single person in the team. We proved in Q3 that not only are we making progress, but when things go right for us we can mix it with some of the best in the world in this sport,” explained Rumsey.
“Each time Guy and Guerlain went out on track this weekend we were able to collect more data and learn. The weekend has made us more determined to keep pushing ahead of the remaining events of the year and to continue with our progress.”