Niclas Gronholm is widely regarded as the fastest driver outside of the Works supported teams that are competing in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship, however the young Finnish driver endured a difficult weekend in Sweden.
In the first Qualifying session, Gronholm suffered from a slow puncture which left him looking for time to be regained in the second qualifying session. After this was completed, the GRX Taneco driver was in thirteenth place overnight with work to do on Sunday.
Despite this, the former Finnish Rallycross Champion was confident of a better day on the Sunday at Holjes.
“We’ve been competitive since the start of the season and we put in another good performance in Norway. Since then, we’ve been working hard for the Swedish race. Holjes is a great, very fast track.
“This is a huge event with a fantastic atmosphere and is perhaps my favourite race of the season. I hoped we could demonstrate our speed once again and close in on the factory teams.”
Working hard in both Q3 and Q4, Gronholm managed to haul himself up the order to end up in eleventh place overall at the end of Qualifying. However further punctures seemed to be the theme of the weekend for the Finnish driver.
His third puncture of the weekend would also be the end of Gronholm’s participation in the event. Having qualified for the Semi-Finals, the GRX Taneco driver lost out on a place in the Final and would end up in sixth place in his race.
Gronholm now looks forward to the 2018 World RX of Canada in August.
“It wasn’t our weekend. We had three punctures, including one in the semi-final,” said Grönholm. “Otherwise, I might have been in a position to qualify for the final. We’ll have to examine the good and bad points of this race to come back stronger in Canada!”