Gronholm wins chaotic World RX of Canada Q4

by Jack Cunnane

Chaos in the final race of Q4 allowed Niclas Gronholm to take his second session win of the FIA World Rallycross weekend and seal his top qualifier spot for this weekends World RX of Canada.

Race one involving Timo Scheider, Jani Paasonen, and Guerlain Chicherit was rather uneventful with Chicherit taking the win after taking the lead in turn one. Race two was just as uneventful with Janis Baumanis taking the win over Rokas Baciuska and Guillaume De Ridder.

Race three saw another big accident off the line, with Oliver Bennett spearing off after contact with Anton Marklund. The damaged sustained by Bennett was enough to see him DNF from the race and bring an end to his weekend.

Marklund struggled around with a rear puncture for the rest of the race. There were no such problems for Kevin Hansen who took the lead into turn one and remained there for the remainder of the race. Cyril Raymond and Krisztian Szabo squabbled for position all race long and it took an amazing move from Raymond in the second-to-last corner to decide the positions. Hansen’s time was only good for fourth in the standings.

Chaos reigned in Turn 5 of Race 4; IMG: FIAWorldRallycross.com

All hell broke loose in race four. Andreas Bakkerud was sent spinning after contact with Timur Timerzyanov and Timmy Hansen. This allowed Liam Doran and Niclas Gronholm to build a small gap. Doran made slight contact with the outside wall in turn 5 but it was enough to give him a slow puncture.

He was forced to drive the rest of the race on three wheels. Even with his puncture, Doran managed to come out in front of Timerzyanov at the joker merge. The Russian was driving blind as the contact in turn 1 caused his door to open, allowing Dust to enter the cockpit and impair his visibility.

After Gronholm took his joker, all manner of chaos transpired behind. Doran spun in turn five, blocking the track for Hansen and for Timerzyanov. All three cars got stuck which allowed Bakkerud to surge through to second position. Hansen suffered massive front end damage as did Timerzyanov. Gronholm,of course, saw none of this and went on to take the heat race win and the session win ahead of Janis Baumanis.

After his disastrous Q4 race, Timmy Hansen has not made it into the Semi-Finals, putting a massive dent in his championship hopes. His brother Kevin has and will now be looking to extend his championship gap.

Semi-Finals one and two get underway shortly

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