Finnish Rallycross Team GRX have confirmed that they will compete in all 12 rounds of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship with Niclas Gronholm at the wheel of an M-Sport Ltd built Ford Fiesta Supercar.
The young driver made his debut last year in World RX driving for OlsbergsMSE and this year will be driving a Fiesta Supercar that was previously raced by Ken Block. Gronholm will be eligible for the Drivers Championship only in 2017. GRX are running the car in partnership with multiple FIA European Rallycross Championship winning team, Set Promotion.
Gronholm, who won the 2015 Finnish Rallycross Championship, is looking forward to putting his experience to good use in 2017.
“Everything should be much easier this year. I know how the races work, and I know the tracks – that’s a big plus if you compare it to last year,” explained Gronholm. “We’ve been doing a lot of winter driving at home in Finland on the ice.”
With better preparation over the winter, Gronholm is hopeful of better results this year.
“Last year we only did one or two days and then a couple of tests in the rallycross car, but this year we’re much better prepared. I know everyone who is working in the team, and I think everything will be much better this year. Everything is in our own hands and easier to control. We’ll take it race-by-race, but the target is to always be in the semi-finals and then move onto the final. That’s the plan for this year.”
Former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm is heading up the team.
“We have a new car for this year – it’s the Fiesta RX that was raced previously by Ken Block,” explains Gronholm Snr. “Our GRX mechanics are working at M-Sport at the moment to prepare it, and it will be ready in a couple of weeks so we can have some time to do some testing before the season.”
However, now armed with a years experience in World RX, Gronholm is confident progress can be made.
“Last year was difficult for Niclas because we came as beginners directly into the World Championship. Now I think it should be a little easier because he knows the tracks and has had the time to practice over the winter with some rally driving. The Fiesta RX will hopefully have some small updates, especially on the engine side. It will be very competitive in World RX this year, and I think we can achieve some good results.”