Driver

YEAR IN REVIEW: GRX GRAB SHARE OF THE LIMELIGHT

Monday 30th of December 2019

In the latest look back at the 2019 World RX season in review we cast our eye over GRX Taneco. 

Team: GRX Taneco Team

Car: Hyundai i20

Drivers: Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) #7, Niclas Gronholm (FIN) #68, Joni Wiman (FIN) #31

Teams’ Championship Points: 367

Teams’ Championship Position: 2nd

 As best of the privateer teams from 2018, GRX Taneco stepped up a level in 2019 and were contenders for both the Teams’ and Drivers’ FIA World Rallycross Championships.

It won three rounds with Niclas Gronholm and Timur Timerzyaov. Illness kept Gronholm away for two rounds, where Joni Wiman stood in as a points’ scoring driver. With wildcard appearances for a third Hyundai i20 Supercar at a number of events, in total four GRX drivers (including Reinis Nitiss) stood on the podium in 2019. The Finnish team entered the season-finale still in the battle for the Teams’ Championship and finished second.

 Here’s how Timur, Niclas and Joni fared head-to-head:

 Quickest Qualifying Times:

TT 1 – NG 7 – JW 0

Gronholm set seven fastest times in Qualifying through 2019, the first three coming all at once at Hell RX on the Finn’s return from illness, where he took the TQ spot. He also took a pair of fastest times in Canada, and on his way to his second career victory in South Africa. It was almost a GRX lock out of fastest times at Trois-Rivieres, with Timur Timerzyanov taking his only quickest time of the season in North America.

 Semi-final starts:

TT 9 –  NG 8 – JW 2

Gronholm and Wiman made it into the semi-finals in all of the rounds they entered, as Timerzyanov missed out on the top 12 in Sweden after a track limits penalty. Wiman rolled out of the semi-finals at Silverstone after being pushed into a tyre wall. Only in Canada, after a poor start in the semis, did Gronholm not make it through into the final in the events he started.

Final starts:

TT 4 – NG 7 – JW 1

The semi-finals were Timeryznaov Achilles heal in 2019, as only four times did he make it into the final. But, only once when he started the final, in Latvia, he didn’t make it onto the podium. Wiman set final qualifying pace in both of his 2019 World RX starts, and Gronholm was a final contender in every event he started.

 Podiums:

TT 3 – NG 4 – JW 1

Gronholm crossed the finish line first in round one of World RX 2019 at Yas Marina but was then classified second after a penalty, but would go on to stand on the podium three more times, including in Latvia where he was also second, and in his two wins.

Timerzyanov netted third place finishes in Canada and South Africa in addition to his Spa victory, and Wiman made an impressive return to World RX to join Timerzyanov in the top three in Belgium.

 Wins:

TT 1 – NG 2 – JW 0

Russian driver Timerzyanov was the first to score a victory for the GRX team at the World RX of Benelux after a close battle with Andreas Bakkerud for the win. After being denied a debut World RX victory in Abu Dhabi, Gronholm benefitted when Anton Marklund was penalised in Norway and took the honors. He scored a second win – what he classes as his first ‘real’ victory – in the final round in South Africa.

 Championship:

TT (5th) 142 points – NG (4th) 186 points – JW (15th) 39 points

Gronholm ultimately finished P4 in the World RX Drivers’ standings, despite missing two events. If he had scored the same points or better as Wiman had done when his fellow Finn stood in, he could have finished three places higher in the Drivers’ Standings.

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