GRX Taneco endured a challenging day as their drivers all had to settle for slightly disappointing results at day one of the World RX of Latvia.
Niclas Grönholm showed brilliant pace to be the top qualifier but things started to unravel in the semi-finals. The Finn was beaten by Mattias Ekström and had to follow him home before he was caught up in the chaos in the final meaning Grönholm had to push hard to try and get back into the podium places.
A small crash at the hairpin when trying to attack Kevin Hansen put Grönholm down in fifth when he was on course for some silverware.
He said: “The day started quite well and I managed couple of good runs that was the key to secure the Top Qualifier position, but I didn’t have a perfect start in Semi-final and had to follow Mattias Ekström, with whom I had a very similar pace.
“It was a big mess in the first two corners of the Final and my car stalled there. I managed to get going again, but got stuck behind Kevin Hansen and there was no clean way to overtake him. I tried my luck on the jump at the gravel section, but that ended in a spin. I need to focus for tomorrow, keep my head cool and we will work on small details, that hopefully will bring a better result.”
Teammate Timur Timerzyanov had a tricky day after he had to limp home in the final qualifying session. “It looked like it will be a decent race day here in Riga, but after a contact in Q3, I had a puncture and broken suspension, that throw me way back in the standings. Semi-final brought up new fights where I lost a lot of time and ended up P5. New day & new race comes tomorrow and we’ll start all over again,” commented Timerzyanov.
As for GRX Set‘s Krisztian Szabo it was a frustrating afternoon and just like Timerzyanov a problem in Q3 put him back for the semi-finals where he encountered traffic. IN Szabo’s case it was Reinis Nitiss who slowed the pair up, allowing Timmy Hansen to take advantage.
Szabo said: “I must say this was an up and down day for me. 2ndQualifying, where I set the second fastest time, was super good. That was a highlight of my day. In Q3 I had a slow puncture and that set me off a little.
“First corner of the Semi-final was a bit of carnage and I was in P4. We tried to fix it with an early Joker, but Nitišs responded to it and there were no opportunities for an overtake. Overall I think it was a good day, but I want to aim higher for tomorrow.”
GRX will be looking for some better results tomorrow as the second half of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship begins.