29 April 2018
CHICHERIT REACHES PORTUGAL WRX FINAL
Guerlain Chicherit took the Megane R.S. RX into the final of Round 2 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Montalegre yesterday. It was the first time the GC-Kompetition team had reached a final and he brought the car home in fifth place as snow fell in the Portuguese mountains.
Jérôme Grosset-Janin just missed out on a spot in the semi-finals finishing the weekend in P14 after Q4.
With both drivers completely new to this track, Saturday saw them impress with ever-improving pace as the sun beat down on the dusty track, with Guerlain placing 2nd in Q1 and posting GCK’s first ever top 5 qualification result finishing in 4th overall. Jérôme took the lead in his qualifier but a tap by Johan Kristoffersson into the first corner pushed him out resulting in him placing 15th overall after Q1.
Jérôme went on to win his Q2, whilst Guerlain finished 5th in his group, wrapping up day 1 in 14th and 8th place respectively.
Sunday delivered extremely challenging weather conditions with a mix of sun, hail, rain and even snow. Guerlain and Jérôme lined up together for an early Q3 on a very wet track and whilst they finished 1st and 2nd respectively, a five second penalty for Chicherit for contact in the first corner and a drying track resulting in quickly tumbling times in the following qualifiers, saw them finish Q3 in 10th and 14th overall.
Q4 saw Guerlain and Jérôme line up together again and, showing increasing confidence on the new track as the rain beat down, Chicherit finished 2nd right behind Timur Timerzyanov with Grosset-Janin placing 4th, resulting in 11th place and a semi-final spot for Guerlain and a 14th place for Jerome at the end of Q4.
Guerlain lined up on the 3rd row for semi-final 1 and raced cleanly and strongly beating Kevin Hansen, Mattias Ekström and Niclas Grönholm to a spot in the final, as he finished in 3rd place behind Johan Kristofferson and Andreas Bakkerud.
Lining up for the final on row 3 next to Petter Solberg for the first ever Championship race in heavy snow, race conditions like never seen before in the history of World Rallycross saw Guerlain race his way into 5th place behind Johan Kristofferson, Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud.
Guerlain Chicherit said: “It was a really incredible weekend for GC-Kompetition and for me personally as I achieved my first ever spot in a Championship final on the team’s 2nd ever outing in the newly built GCK Mégane R.S. RX. It’s a really promising start to the season and I’m excited to see what we may be able to achieve as our confidence and experience in the car increases. I really loved racing this track and can’t wait to be back next year. I’m really proud of the team who works super hard to ensure we continue to improve every time we are in the car.”