Grönholm holds Supercar advantage at Magic Weekend

Pre-event favorite sweeps all three qualifying heats as Johan Kristoffersson struggles


Niclas Grönholm emerged from qualifying for the first Supercar round at RallyX Nordic’s ‘All-Star’ Magic Weekend as top qualifier, having swept all of the preliminary three rounds.

The Word Championship race winner won all three of his races, setting the fastest overall time in each of them to beat Robin Larsson who won the opening heat race.

Larsson was then was drawn with Grönholm for the remaining two heats and finished second to the Finn on both occasions.

Oliver Solberg, making his return to rallycross, was third in qualifying. The teenager, who won the RallyX Nordic title in 2018, had consistent top three finishes throughout the morning in his father Petter’s championship-winning Citroën DS3. He faces a race against time to be ready for the semi-finals however after contact from Fraser McConnell and Ben-Philip Gundersen in Q3 left him with heavy rear damage.

Perhaps the surprise of qualifying was Johan Kristoffersson, who finished down in fourth. The two-time World Champion, who is driving a similar Volkswagen Polo to the one he drove in 2016, won his opening heat, comfortably beating Solberg setting the second-fastest time in the process.

In Q2 though he was shuffled out at the start and then was later hit with a penalty for hitting a track marker on the joker merge. After a brief doubt he would make the round because of a technical issue, in Q3 he finished fourth on the road after spending much of the race stuck behind Linus Westman.

Gundersen finished qualifying in an impressive fifth after two convincing heat wins on his first outing in a Supercar. He beat European Rallycross regular Pontus Tidemand and fellow Supercar débutant McConnell who impressed by challenging Grönholm for the lead early on in their Q1 race.

Thomas Bryntesson was eighth, rounding out qualifying with a relaxed run to victory in his final heat – a run that was third fastest overall in the round, while Lukas Walfridson and Oliver Eriksson took the last two spots in the top 10.

With three six-car semi-finals on the way, there are 18 transfer spots to the semi-finals.

That meant that Westman, Anders Michalak – who won his Q3 heat in what is his maiden Supercars event – Christer Dalmas, the returning Enzo Ide, Mats Öhman, Daniel Thorén, Dennis Olsson, and Frank Valle all advance as well, with only Lars Andersson and Andreas Carlsson missing out.