Marcus Grönholm tops Legends qualifying with fastest Magic Weekend time

Two-time WRC Champion takes clean sweep in son Niclas’ Hyundai


Double World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm set the fastest time of the Magic Weekend so far to top qualifying in the Legends class.

Driving his son Niclas’ 2020 World Rallycross Championship-spec GRX Hyundai i20, Grönholm Sr set a time of 2m58.771s, one second quicker than the best of the Supercar times in the RallyX Nordic season-opener on Thursday.

Henning Solberg was second quickest in his Hedströms Motorsport Volkswagen Polo – which he is sharing this weekend with stepson Pontus Tidemand.

Andréas Eriksson, whose RX Promotion company is organizing the Magic Weekend event, sits third in the standings after winning his Q1 heat, driving his son Oliver’s Ford Fiesta.

A late format change meant that a second Q1 race was added to the itinerary in addition to the two-hour free practise session and Legends Shootout.

The first, third and fifth fastest cars took part in the first Q1 race, with the second and fourth fastest lining up in the second.

Lunchtime practise pacesetter Grönholm continued his form into the Shootout and duly set the quickest time, beating Eriksson’s Ford Fiesta by just over three-tenths of a second.

At the age of 74, Per Eklund rounded out the order with the slowest time in his VW Beetle.

A jump-start from Eklund added a delay to the first race of Q1, but once it got going properly, Grönholm led Solberg into the first corner.

Solberg, suffering from an intermittent misfire, initially trailed Grönholm by just over 1.5s but a couple of slides in his VW Polo meant Grönholm was able to rejoin from his joker with more than double the advantage by the end.

“We have improved the car from yesterday, so maybe Niclas can go faster tomorrow. It was good to have a long practise today as well,” Grönholm said post-race.

Eriksson and Stig-Olov Walfridson lined up together for the second heat, with the former just edging Walfridson’s Renault Clio into the first corner.

Walfridson kept pace with Eriksson throughout the opening lap and closed to the back of the Fiesta after Eriksson locked up his front-right wheel at the penultimate corner.

The pair left their jokers to the final lap, but Walfridson spun exiting turn five and struggled to restart his Clio. He eventually finished the race some 18 seconds behind Eriksson but was still fourth in Q1, just ahead of Eklund in the combined classification.

The final for the Legends will conclude the ‘All-Star’ Magic Weekend on Sunday afternoon, with a second free practise session taking place at the end of Saturday’s action at Höljes.