Niclas Grönholm maintained his unbeaten run in Supercar qualifying at RallyX Nordic’s Magic Weekend on Saturday to top the intermediate standings.
The GRX driver swept qualifying for round one on Thursday but was unable to translate that into victory in the final, with reigning European champion Robin Larsson taking the spoils.
Grönholm won his opening heat for round two, despite being hit from behind by Linus Westman at the second corner. The contact proved to be of little hindrance to the World Rallycross Championship event winner, who set the fastest opening lap of the weekend, then pulled off the fastest cumulative time of the round, 0.3 seconds quicker than Larsson.
JC Raceteknik’s Larsson won his heat as well, beating Olsbergs MSE driver Fraser McConnell and Daniel Thorén with a run that was 2s quicker than race two winner Oliver Solberg – who had to contend with a broken steering rack – and 2.3s faster than race one winner Johan Kristoffersson.
In locking out the top two spots, Grönholm and Larsson were drawn together in Q2, with the Finn again beating Larsson and setting a weekend-best 2m56s time.
After finishing fourth overall in Q1, Kristoffersson was third quickest in Q2 to lock in third overall at the end of the day’s running, ahead of Thomas Bryntesson and Lukas Walfridson.
Olsbergs’ Oliver Eriksson currently holds sixth spot after a dramatic run. He almost rolled at the start of his Q1 race, then in Q2 he survived first turn contact and a brush with a wall.
Enzo Ide is seventh, with Supercar rookie McConnell in eighth after battling Larsson hard for the heat win in Q1 and leading early on in his Q2 race too.
After his heat win, and third fastest time in Q1, a puncture for Solberg left him tumbling down the order in Q2. He ended the day 10th overall behind Christer Dalmans.
With three six-car semi-finals set to run after Q3 and Q4 tomorrow, 18 of the 20 entrants will advance. Pontus Tidemand currently occupies the final transfer spot. The European RX and rally regular faced mechanical issues ahead of Q1 but was able to take the start. In Q2 he dominated the first half of his race before the mechanical gremlins returned.
In that same Q2 race Westman made contact with Ben-Philip Gundersen in a near-carbon copy of his Q1 collision with Grönholm. The incident resulted in an instant disqualification from the race, having also been excluded post-race in Q1.