Niclas Grönholm headlined a glorious days action at Höljes as he took victory in the Supercar category in Round 3 of the RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires Championship. He built on a solid performance in qualifiers to beat Anton Marklund and Grönholm RX team-mate, Krisztian Szabo, to the top step of the Supercar podium.
Elsewhere in Round 3 of RallyX Nordic in Höljes, Tommi Hallman bagged his second win of the Supercar Lites season, outdoing Nils Andersson and Linus Östlund in an enthralling Supercar Lites final.
There were more winners to be had in the form of Isac Egonsson, who took victory in the CrossCar/Crosskart class, Simon Tiger took top honours in the Open 2WD category and finally, Alex Gustafsson emerged as the victor in the CrossCar Junior class. All of these winners put on an incredible show ahead of the second of two back-to-back RallyX Nordic events in Holjes this week.
However, the main event was of course the Supercar category, and 24-year-old Niclas Grönholm built upon his impressive form at the Sweedish circuit to claim top honours this time around. Having previously finished third in the opening race of the 2020 ‘Magic Weekend’ and taken top qualifier honours in the second event, Grönholm had all the experience required to come out victorious this time around. He put the experience to good use, stringing together an impressive run of results during the Qualifying rounds never falling out of the top three.
The exciting young Finn followed his steady yet impressive Qualifying performance with 2nd place in his Semi-Final, setting himself up for a start on the 2nd row of the grid in the Final.
This led to Grönholm taking a lap one joker to get out in clear air, something of which he made the most of, leapfrogging early leader Sondre Evjen, who had to take a joker after running wide at turn one. From there on in, Grönholm was able to cruise to victory, helped along by a coming together between contenders Marklund and Szabo.
Out of the championship contenders, it was Fraser McConnell who fared best, finishing in fourth for Olsbergs MSE, thus providing a handy set of points to go towards his title aspirations. Early leader Sondre Evjen fell to fifth following a three-second time penalty and Philip Gehrman came home in sixth.
The Supercar category also offered a fascinating glimpse into the future of Rallycross. Both Andreas Bakkerud and Henri Haapamäki competed in electric-powered cars, as fans were able to witness electric and petrol vehicles go head to head. Bakkerud turned heads in winning his race in Q2, showing that the incoming electric ere of Rallycross has the requisite levels of performance.
Despite suffering a puncture in his Semi-final, multiple FIA World Rallycross Champion Johann Kristofferson sits atop of the RallyX Nordic Championship standings. The ever-impressive Swede knocked out the competition early on in the event with a clean sweep of Qualifier victories. However, at the end of the day, Grönholm was able to capitalise on Kristofferson’s misfortune to take the win in the final, but he wasn’t 100% happy with his days work;
“It wasn’t the easiest win today – it was nerve-wracking! I had the pace to go a little bit quicker but in the end I knew that those ahead hadn’t taken their jokers so I tried to keep the car in one piece and avoid punctures.
“The result is good, but I’m not completely happy with it. We’ve been struggling all day and we need to sit down and find out why. On the bright side, we got the win but there were some tough competitors who didn’t make the final. I hope they will on Sunday so we can have a rematch with Johan and Enzo [Ide] – if we can match their pace, I will be a bit happier.”
After winning without feeling comfortable with his outright pace, good money should be bet upon Grönholm repeating his win as RallyX Nordic resumes action at Holjes for Round 4 this weekend as part of a back to back event.