After having won round three of the 2021 RallyX Nordic series back on Thursday at Höljes in Sweden Niclas Grönholm (Hyundai i20) today (May 16) also claimed victory in round four of the series. The Finn won the Supercar final from Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo Mk5) and Fraser McConnell (Ford Fiesta Mk8).
This fourth round of the 2021 RallyX Nordic series was the first round this year run spread out over two days and run according to the four-qualifying sessions format.
Therefore on Saturday Fraser McConnell and Niclas Grönholm both signed for a fastest and a fourth fastest time during Q1 and Q2 and were holding the overnight lead. Today during Q3 Grönholm set another fastest time while McConnell failed to finish his Q3 session. In Q4 Anton Marklund (VW Polo Mk5) beat Krisztián Szabó (Hyundai i20) and Grönholm leading to the latter becoming the top qualifier. Second in the intermediate standings was Kristoffersson, with a second fastest time in Q2 as best result in qualifying, ahead of Marklund. Szabó and McConnell completed the top five.
In the first semi-final Grönholm lead it from lights to flag. The action on the track was behind the Finn with at a certain moment Marklund being second ahead of Philip Gehrman (VW Polo Mk5) and McConnell with the latter virtually out for the final. However, Marklund suddenly lost pace and slowed down in the velodrome allowing McConnell to pass both Polo drivers on the inside and after one more lap on the track to come in second. Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta ERX) finished third and therefore drove the by STARD prepared electric Ford Fiesta ERX in the final.
The better start in the second semi-final was for Krisztián Szabó who came out of turn two ahead of Kristoffersson and Belgium’s Enzo Ide (Audi S1). Szabó was leading the field into the final lap. Then Kristoffersson was able to go into the lead when the Hungarian made his obligatory pass through the joker lap section. After having joined the main track again behind Kristoffersson and ahead of Ide, these three drivers got their qualification for the final. For Ide it was the first time this season he qualified the Audi S1 for the final.
The final thus saw a front row occupied by Niclas Grönholm and Johan Kristoffersson with Grönholm having the better start eventually. Behind Grönholm, Kristoffersson and McConnell were battling it out for second forcing Kristoffersson to go straight into the joker lap section. By the end of the first lap Grönholm was leading it from McConnell with Bakkerud in the electric Fiesta ERX on three. Kristoffersson climbed to second in the penultimate lap when McConnell made it into the joker lap section. The gap with Grönholm was however too big and therefore Grönholm scored his second win at Höljes after having already won Thursday’s event.
“I’m definitely more satisfied with this win than on Thursday,” Grönholm said.
“To be honest, the first laps I didn’t know what the gap was behind, they didn’t tell me but it got to the stage where Jussi [Pinomäki] said we need a bit more, luckily I found it and managed to push without making any silly mistakes so that’s something to be satisfied with.”
With Kristoffersson finishing ahead of McConnell and Sondre Evjen (Audi S1) this time not making it into the final the Swede did another good job for the overall series win. He now holds a 13-point gap on McConnell in the standings (100 points for Kristoffersson vs 87 points for McConnell). Evjen is third with 83 points.
In the Supercar Lites Tommi Hallman (Supercar Lites), winner of the event on Thursday, was the top qualifier. Afterwards when the first semi-final went underway he lost the start against Linus Östlund (Supercar Lites). However, when the latter came out of the joker lap section Hallman was able to overtake Östlund to claim a front row starting position for the final. Östlund and Martin Jonsson (Supercar Lites) were the other qualifiers for the final.
From the second semi-final, winner Nils Andersson (Supercar Lites) together with second and third place finishers Casper Jansson (Supercar Lites) and Mats Oskarsson (Supercar Lites) got their ticket for the final. Simon Olofsson (Supercar Lites), who came in second behind Andersson, received a time penalty afterwards for three times track limits and got classified sixth in the semi-final
Hallman had once more not the best start in the final with Andersson leading it after turn two ahead of the Finn. Both passed through the joker lap section in the penultimate lap allowing Östlund, who took his joker earlier in the race, to climb to second. Positions didn’t change anymore in the final lap and therefore Andersson won it from Östlund with Hallman scoring another podium.
Hallman is leading it in the standings after four events with 101 points from Nils Andersson and Linus Östlund who both are equal on 87 points.
In the Open 2WD category Simon Tiger (BMW E30 Coupé) won a three car final on a dry track after having struggled yesterday and also today during qualifying with the BMW power on the wet track. With his fourth win in as many events he extends his lead in the standings on Mathias Jansson (Volvo S40 Mk1) who finished second today.
Also during this event the new car to be used in the FIA RX2e Championship was extensively showcased during the weekend. It was raced in some kind of Superteam Challenge ‘competition’ with a team of three invited drivers assigned to a RX2e car. Teams for the showcase event were formed with Andreas Bakkerud, Kevin Eriksson and Anton Marklund, Marcus Grönholm, Oliver Eriksson and Kevin Hansen and Timmy Hansen, Johan Kristoffersson and Sebastian Eriksson. The latter eventually were ‘victorious’ in the Challenge.
The 2021 RallyX Nordic series is set to continue with a double header race weekend in Oulu (OuluZone) in Finland in three weeks time on June 5 and 6.
Supercar (Open 4WD) – Final: 1. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), Hyundai i20; 2. Johan Kristoffersson (S), VW Polo Mk5; 3. Fraser McConnell (JAM), Ford Fiesta Mk8; 4. Krisztián Szabó (H), Hyundai i20; 5. Enzo Ide (B), Audi S1; 6. Andreas Bakkerud (N), Ford Fiesta ERX.
Supercar Lites – Final: 1. Nils Andersson (S), Supercar Lites; 2. Linus Östlund (S), Supercar Lites; 3. Tommi Hallman (FIN), Supercar Lites; 4. Martin Jonsson (S), Supercar Lites; 5. Casper Jansson (S), Supercar Lites; 6. Mats Oskarsson (S), Supercar Lites.
Open 2WD – Final: 1. Simon Tiger (S), BMW E30 Coupé; 2. Mathias Jansson (S), Volvo S40 Mk1; 3. Morten Bertelsen (DK), Škoda Fabia Mk1; 4. Roland Larsamo (S), BMW E46 Coupé – DNS.
Supercar (4/7): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 100; 2. Fraser McConnell (JAM) 87; 3. Sondre Evjen (N), 83; etc.
Supercar Lites (4/7): 1. Tommi Hallman (FIN), 101; 2. Nils Andersson (S), 87; 3. Linus Östlund (S), 87; etc.
Open 2WD (4/7): 1. Simon Tiger (S), 107; 2. Mathias Jansson (S), 85; 3. Morten Bertelsen (DK), 69; etc.