GCK Bilstein stand-in driver Anton Marklund had a great start to his 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Sweden almost two weeks ago, but his luck turned upside down in Finland after he suffered mechanical problems while also battling the challenging weather conditions.
On Saturday, Marklund showed some promising pace until his Renault Mégane R.S RX suffered engine problems in the last qualifying session and the team couldn’t solve what was wrong in time for the semi-final where the Swede was forced to retire in the middle of the race.
Overnight the team got the problems fixed and Marklund headed out for the early-morning warm-up where he posted the fastest laptime out of all the 19 Supercars entered.
But as the rainy weather started began in Sunday’s qualifying sessions, Marklund struggled to find the grip with the car off the start-line but managed to stay inside the top 12 by the skin of his teeth and as a result again made the semi-final.
The terrible conditions continued, and now included thick mud flying up from the other cars on track and that then broke Marklund’s windscreen wipers and therefore he was forced to race blind with guiding from his spotter. It was to no avail however and he was again knocked out in the semi-finals.
“The speed we showed throughout the warm-up today was really promising for the rest of the day – the car was working really well and we were the quickest on the track. Unfortunately, we lost some pace and definitely lost capacity off the start line due to lack of grip.” Marklund said on his Sunday performance.
“We need to do a thorough analysis now to understand why the speed differed so much to this morning’s, so a lot of work ahead. We bring the great pace we’ve shown with us and just have to learn from the challenges to come back better in Riga. It’s disappointing for me to not be able to bring the best results back to the team as the mechanics have worked super hard over the last couple of weeks to get us out on the track every time no matter the challenges and tight turnaround time.”
The next rounds of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Latvia, take place between September 19-20.