During his third season in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, former Finnish Rallycross Champion Niclas Gronholm is enjoying arguably his best season to date.
Making the Supercar Final in Spain and reaching the Semi-Finals in Portugal show the increase in the young Finn’s performance. This also shows the benefits of moving to drive one of the ex-WRC Hyundai’s that GRX Taneco are racing in World RX this year.
However it wasn’t all plain sailing for Gronholm at the Circuit Jules Tacheny Mettet.
“The five-second penalty for having brushed the tyre wall in Q1 made it difficult, then we ran into a few issues but after that we were able to show our true form with a good time in Q3 and another semi-final qualification,” said the Finn.
“When conditions were right, we showed that we are fast. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are making good progress. We’re on the right track.”
Despite finishing eleventh in overall Qualifying, Gronholm made it to the Semi-Finals for the third time this year. However, he would go on to finish in fourth place and miss out on the Supercar Final by under a second to Mattias Ekstrom.
Regardless of this end result from Belgium, Gronholm is confident that progress is being made with the car and that the team are moving in the right direction.
The season moves onto the next round of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship, The 2018 World RX of Great Britain next weekend.
“We had to find the right pace with the right settings to be competitive in Belgium. The circuit was like a rally special stage,” said Grönholm.
“We hadn’t set a particular target for the third round. We just wanted to keep improving and not make mistakes. If we manage that, we could qualify for the final once again.”