Driver

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN FOR GRONHOLM

Saturday 9th of November 2019

Three drivers will fight to become the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Drivers’ Champion in the closest ever World RX finish this weekend at the SABAT World RX of South Africa in Cape Town.

One of Team Hansen MJP’s Timmy and Kevin Hansen and Monster Energy RX Cartel’s Andreas Bakkerud will walk away as champion at the end of the weekend, but if things had been a little different, it could have been four drivers battling to become the fourth name on the FIA World RX Drivers’ trophy.

Finland’s Niclas Gronholm showed his intention with a battle for victory in round one in Abu Dhabi this year. Driving GRX Taneco’s Hyundai i20, Gronholm has been one of the drivers capable of winning any event and took victory at the World RX of Norway in Hell.

He is P4 in the drivers’ standings but was forced to miss round three at Spa in Belgium and round four at Silverstone in the Great Britain through illness. If he hadn’t missed those two events, it could have been a very different story. Finland’s Joni Wiman deputised as the points’ scoring driver for GRX in those two rounds. He finished P3 in Spa and also showed fast pace at Silverstone until an unlucky roll in the semi-finals.

However, if you add the 25 + 14 points that Wiman scored to Gronholm’s total, he would be currently leading the driver’s championship by nine points into the final round. And taking an average of the points Gronholm has scored in the seven events he has raced at (average 22 points) he would be 14 points in the lead.

Gronholm will enter the final round of World RX this in South Africa weekend hoping to take his second win of 2019 but it will be a year of what if for the Finnish star. “It’s been a long break since Latvia and I can’t wait to race in South Africa. Sure, it’s a bit sad that I don’t have so much at stake in this race, but on the other hand I want to end the season on a high and win the race, so I will go all-in,” he said.

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