MARKLUND HOPING FOR IMPROVED LUCK AT METTET RX
Monday 11th of May 2015
Swedish driver Anton Marklund moved from his family team Marklund Motorsport to EKS over the winter, but hasn’t had the easiest of starts to the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Ninth fastest in free practice at Montalegre was a good start for Marklund, who had done limited testing before the event, but a roll in the joker lap section in heat one, then another DNF in heat two put him out of the running for the semi-finals. At the following weekend at Hockenheim, Marklund was disqualified for contact in heat two and again didn’t make it to the semi-finals.
The young Swede feels that although the opening rounds of the season haven’t gone to plan, he has the pace to produce strong results at the next events in Belgium and Great Britain. “My hopes for Belgium are to keep up the good pace that I have in the Audi S1. I’ve had some bad luck with traffic, being stuck behind slower cars and doing some small mistakes in the first two events, but the pace is good. I want to score as good a result in Belgium as I did last year, because it’s a track that I really like. I think when you come to a track that you really like; it’s easier to make good results,” explained Marklund, who thinks he was right to be disqualified for hitting former team mate Toomas Heikkinen at Hockenheim. “I was always in the pack at Hockenheim and didn’t get any clean times. I did one mistake, I missed my braking by a tenth of a second at the tight right corner and hit Topi. I got disqualified, which I think was the right thing from the stewards because it was really bad. It was just a small mistake, but I think I would have been in the semi-finals if I hadn’t made that.”
Marklund says he is feeling more and more comfortable in the EKS Audi S1, and is more focused than ever on his driving. “I have been feeling quite confident with the car, but I still have to learn the small last things to be the fastest. I‘m comfortable enough to be one of the top drivers, but I’m not 100% there yet to be the fastest. I only had five or ten minutes in the car before the first races, then the conditions in Portugal and Hockenheim were really tricky. Even if I was driving well, maybe the track was different; that was hard to get the right feeling in the car. On day two in Hockenheim, when we had dry conditions, I was able to change my driving a bit and get on top of the settings, so now when I come to Belgium I will have a completely different philosophy about how to drive the car. The big difference from last year is that I am already ready for Mettet. I have made a decision about the setup I will run to start and I have spent time checking through data from the first two races. Last year, I would be have been helping the guys at Marklund Motorsport to get ready for the event and not 100% focusing on my driving. It feels really good and relaxing that I feel things under control, but of course there is always work to do.”
Like most of the World RX paddock, Marklund is hoping for the first dry weekend of the season in Belgium. “I think everybody would love to have a dry race in Belgium because everything is so much nicer when it’s dry. For the drivers, mechanics and the audience. For me personally, to drive on a dry surface would be lovely. I haven’t yet shown the pace I have yet this year; I can’t wait to get there to show was I can really do with the S1.”
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