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Grönholm one step closer to World champ victory in Norway

Jun 19, 2023 10:49:55 AM Sontek Racing 4 min read



CE Dealer Team's Niclas Grönholm drove in the 100th round of World Rallycross history in Hell, Norway, to second place. The second podium position of the season from the same number of races driven brought the Finnish driver to second place in the overall points of the series.
The 100th World Championship competition was celebrated in Norway in the Rallycross World Series. The victory of the party race was won by Johan Kristoffersson of Sweden, the multiple world champion of the sport, who was the fastest in every race he drove over the weekend. 

The Finnish driver of the series, Niclas Grönholm of the CE Dealer Team, improved his pace from the opening round of the World Series, rising to the second place in the final by only 1.755 seconds in Sunday's final. Grönholm scored 6–2–6–2 in the heats and won his own semifinal.

In the day's final, Grönholm started next to Kristoffersson on the front row. Grönholm got a good start, but before the first corner, the Finnish driver's PWR1 car was hit by three different competitors. Grönholm controlled the collision situations and turned his car into turn one in second.

In the first two laps of the five-lap final, Grönholm challenged Kristoffersson well, but in the last three laps, the experienced Swedish driver was able to close the gap to a good second.

- OK start in the final. The middle row behind me had much better grip, so I got hit and fortunately nothing broke. I came out of the first corner second. In the first corner, almost half of the gap left to Johan (Kristoffersson) was created. I tried to stay on board, but he drove a few tenths of a lap faster.

- They say that the second place was a save win from here. Not a bad weekend, but still a bit too uneven execution and adjustments lost. For the final, we had a really good tactic, which brought good points, Grönholm sums up.

The Rallycross World Series continues in two weeks at the sport's classic track in Höljes, Sweden, where Grönholm will start in second place in the World Championship points.

- The points situation is good. Here are two good results (third in the World Cup opening) below. At the moment, nobody really has the speed to match Johan's (Kristoffersson's) speed. Let's try to bridge the gap little by little. We were one step closer again. Too often, he gets to drive his own drive from the pole, and that's the most important thing in this sport. Especially here in Norway, where we weren't allowed to ride the joker run in the first round.

- This was all we deserved this time. There is a lot of work to be done here before the Höljes race, so that we would be as ready as possible to drive for victory. Of the races of the season, Höljes is perhaps the most difficult to find the right adjustments. 

- On the Höljes track, the car's settings are never perfect. The car has to be balanced in such a way that it can be jumped and at the same time drive curves with good grip. Let's do everything we can so that we have more momentum in Sweden again, Grönholm states.
Results; World Rallycross competition, Hell, Norway:
1. Johan Kristoffersson (S) Volkswagen 3:16.656
2. Niclas Grönholm (FIN) PWR + 1.755
3. Timo Scheider (D) Seat + 3.675
4. Klara Andersson(S) PWR + 5.438
5. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR) Volkswagen + 6.372
6. Sébastien Loeb (F) Lancia Delta + 6.798
World Championship points standings 2/10 races:
1. Johan Kristoffersson (S) Volkswagen 46
2. Niclas Grönholm (FIN) PWR 33
3. Kevin Hanssen (S) Peugeot 24
4. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR) Volkswagen 23
5. Klara Andersson(S) PWR 23
6. Timo Scheider (D) Seat 20
7. Sébastien Loeb (F) Lancia 20
8. Guerlain Chicheri (F) Lancia 17

Sontek Racing