Gronholm’s polemic triumph in Norway
Niclas Gronholm won the fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Norway. The Finnish driver took advantage of the disqualification of Anton Marklund, for breach of the technical regulation, and the sanction to Kevin Hansen, for an unsportsmanlike maneuver; and it approaches privileged positions. Hansen himself finished second and Janis Baumanis completed the podium in a race marked by bad weather conditions.
The Finn of the GRX Taneco team, Niclas Gronholm, won the fifth round of the World Rally Championship in Norway after a highly controversial outcome. And is that although the first three to cross the finish line of the final were, in this order, Anton Marklund, Kevin Hansen and Niclas Gronholm, a subsequent review found that the Marklund car did not meet the technical requirements for compete in the race. As a result, the Swede was disqualified from the test. In addition, the Hansen boy, Kevin, received a one second penalty for unsportsmanlike maneuvers and also lost the option to take first place.
Gronholm, the great beneficiary
Against this background, the final triumph passed into the hands of Gronholm, who in this way premiered his winning box this season after being ‘out’ in the last two races, in Belgium and Great Britain, where the Finn could not be at fault of an appendicitis. The podium, after these sanctions, was completed by Kevin Hansen, who at least was able to keep one of the privileged places, and Janis Baumanis.
Despite getting the first place in the ladder, Gronholm wanted to assess the difficulties he had to get a key victory in the fight for the championship. “It’s nice to have a win, but that’s not how we expected it to happen, we had a bad throw from the first row in the semifinal and in the final, I tried to push Kevin (Hansen) to the end in the final. Rear bumper is quite bruised”,he admitted.
For his part, Kevin Hansen wanted to acknowledge that his sanction was fair and that the second place can be described as positive. “It could have been much worse, so I think the stewards did a fair job and I just have to accept it, it’s a positive result to stay on top”.
It is clear that this fifth round of the World Championship was not a walk of roses for the riders. The poor weather conditions of the Scandinavian circuit, with a torrential downpour just before the semifinals, made it very difficult for the race to progress and forced several teams to change tires.
If you add to this the strong wind that blew on the track, the final turned into a real box of surprises. Precisely, Kevin Hansen himself wanted to highlight the difficulties he had to compete in the best possible conditions. “This is the craziest rallycross race I’ve ever experienced, it’s really difficult to run in these conditions on the circuit, we did a lot of work in the wet, we got good points for the team and we still occupy the top two places in the overall standings. , which is what we wanted when we came here”, Kevin said.
Llovera, without semifinals; Eriksson’s victory
On the other hand, in the Rx2 Series, the Andorran Albert Llovera could not reach the semifinals of the second round of the World Championship also played in the Norwegian circuit. The 3 points obtained allow him to keep the thirteenth position of the general classification with 20 units.
The victory in the grand final was for Oliver Eriksson, who with 119 points continues to be the leader of the standings. He is followed, completing the podium, Jesse Kallio, with 98 points, and Fraser McConnell, with 81.