Marcus Gronholm is a legend, Fact. In the Legends category that is running in RallyX Nordic the Finnish former World Rally Champion is flying. In yesterday’s first race, driving the GRX Hyundai i20 that son Niclas will use in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and is also racing at Holjes, Marcus Gronholm set the fastest time of the event; faster than all those young hotshots in the main event.
This is not the first time that Gronholm has rocked up at Holjes and upset the form book. Back in 2008 Gronholm went to Holjes to drive an OMSE Fiesta and won the event, his first rallycross start. Rallycross World explored Gronholm’s progress trough that event in detail; explaining how practice worked and how that led to a relatively easy Q1 race, and the springboard from there to the event win.
Take nothing away from Gronholm, what he did in 2008 was a great achievement and to hop into a current car and be fastest similarly demonstrates the class of this great competitor. But as conditions, tactics and perhaps fortune, helped Gronholm in 2008 so too they played a hand yesterday. Niclas Gronholm was fastest on Thursday with a 2m59.756s race. The following day Marcus Gronholm shaved almost a second off that to post a 2m58.771s in the same car. Impressive, no question.
But. Different day. Track nicely groomed not rutted and loose as it had been on Thursday. And with the input and technical changes from Thursday applied to the car. So, not the same conditions. Track records in rallycross are really of academic interest only. A rallycross track is a dynamic thing, constantly shifting and changing. Sometimes cutting up, sometimes rubbering-in. Affected by natural humidity and the actions of the maintenance team. These things are almost never the same day-to-day. And this, of course, is part of the great appeal of rallycross; the influence of the engineer is limited and the focus is clearly on the driver.
The fun at Holjes contintues today and tomorrow and the online TV coverage is good. Go here for details of how to view the racing which includes more of the legends in a showcase race at the end of Sunday in which Gronholm will square up to Per Eklund, Andreas Eriksson, Henning Solberg and Stig-Olov Walfridson. To whet your appetite here are some pics of those driver from previous years at Holjes.« Previous Post Next Post »