This weekend the third double-header of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship will take place in Latvia where GRX Taneco will see regulars Niclas Grönholm and Timur Timerzyanov again joined by former European Super 1600 champion Krisztian Szabo will be in the third of the team’s Hyundai i20s.
After the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the season, the World RX series have held two very successful double-headers in both Sweden and Finland earlier this summer and will be looking to make it a trio with Latvia this weekend.
Barcelona in Spain will also now become a double-header after news broke of the scheduled Portugese round now being cancelled due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
This weekend however in Latvia, the event will take place near the city center of Riga at the historic Bikernieki Trase circuit which has 50 years of motorsport history associated with the long-standing track.
Last time out at the team’s home race in Finland, GRX performed well and took a total of three podiums across the weekend. On the opening day, the third driver in the team for round three, Juha Rytkönen, shocked a number of people in the paddock and took a fine second overall.
Grönholm meanwhile won Sunday’s round four, with team-mate Timerzyanov claiming third place after a fierce final battle.
“It’s been quite tough these first 4 races of the season,” said Grönholm. “We have had some bad luck and struggled with the car sometimes. But the podiums in Finland, of course gave a good boost that our team needed, and I feel that we are well prepared for Latvia, the track in Riga is very nice and I enjoy going back there again this year!”
Timerzyanov had bad luck in Latvia last year where he rolled the car in the opening qualifying session of the weekend but after his third place finish in Finland last time out, he is more comfortable heading to Riga this weekend.”
He added on his weekend: “The team has worked very hard over the last few weeks and we have made big steps forward and I feel that we have gotten our mojo back, Riga has always been a very challenging track for me personally, but I aim to turn my luck around and hopefully we can see another double podium.”
Szabo had a great round at Höljes where he became the fastest Hyundai driver in qualifying in both of the rounds. The Hungarian will be entering Latvia once again under the GRX Set banner and he has already tested the car earlier this season so will be hoping to show his pace this weekend.
“I really can’t wait to race again in Riga. It’s a very long, fast and technical track with big jumps and a beautiful environment. I can say that this is my favorite venue of the season and it will be great to race in front of rallycross fans. I had a chance to test here in the very beginning of the year with the Hyundai i20 Supercar, so I feel confident and I’m hoping for a good result.” Szabo commented.
The event in Riga will be the first one of the 2020 season that allows spectators to attend the event but will be limited to only 1,000 with reduced capacity in each grandstand.
“The beginning of the season was very intense and these couple of weeks now has been very useful, as we had time to look back, analyze and prepare for Riga. The track in Latvia is very different from what we experienced in Sweden and Finland, as this is a very high grip track that is combined with a couple of big jumps, and it is crucial to find a good balance in car set-up.” Jussi Pinomäki, the GRX Taneco Team Principal, added ahead of the double header.
Rounds five and six of the World RX will be take place this weekend and The Checkered Flag will keep you up to speed with everything from both events, including coverage from the support bill including Euro RX and Projekt E.