Driver

WORLD RX TEAM BY TEAM REVIEW - GRX TANECO

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Team: GRX Taneco Team

Car: Hyundai i20

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

Teams’ Championship Points: 228

Teams’ Championship Position: 3rd

 

GRX Taneco ended the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship as arguably the team to beat, with Finland’s Niclas Gronholm taking victory in the final round in South Africa. Had he not missed two rounds through illness, Marcus Gronholm’s son would have been right in the title battle, but the team wasn’t often able to repeat that form in 2020.

The Hyundai i20 didn’t have the pace or consistency it had in 2019, but Gronholm did score a remarkable victory at home in Finland, in a weekend that returned three podiums for the team. But, with Gronholm scoring the bulk of the team’s points, third in the Teams’ Championship was the best GRX could manage. Hungary’s Krisztian Szabo and Finland’s Juha Rytkonen also drove with the team in a third Hyundai i20.

 

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

 

Quickest Qualifying Times:

TT 0 – NG 2

Gronholm set the quickest time during qualifying twice in the eight rounds of the 2020 World RX season, once in Finland in round four (in Q2), and the other at the very next round in Riga-Latvia (again in Q2), where he went on to take the TQ (Top Qualifier) position in the Intermediate Classification. Timur Timerzyanov didn’t manage a fastest time in 2020, but was third quickest behind Gronholm and Sweden’s Kevin Hansen in Q2 of round four.

 

Semi-final starts:

TT 8 – NG 8

All GRX cars made the semi-finals in every round they started in 2020. Gronholm and Timerzyanov qualified for the top 12 at every event, even if Timerzyanov was at several times at the lower part of the semi-final qualifying positions. In rounds two and seven, Timerzyanov only just missed out on a place in the final, with P4. Gronholm won his semi-final in round four, a day after Rytkonen had won his semi-final in round three, also at the Kouvola circuit, on his World RX debut.

 

Final starts:

TT 4 – NG 6

Gronholm was in the final in all but two rounds of World RX 2020, on the Sundays in Sweden and Barcelona-Catalunya. Apart from that, he was in the mix everywhere. Timerzyanov only made the final four times through the season, often caught battling in traffic in the semis. On his first and so-far only World RX weekend, Rytkonen made the final with a semi-final win in round three, but got a time penalty in the semi-finals in round four which meant he missed the final.

 

Podiums:

TT 1 – NG 1

Both Gronholm and Timerzyanov took just one podium each in World RX 2020, and it was both in the same race. Gronholm took an emotional win in round four, but in the last corner battle for position Timerzyanov also made it onto the podium, in third. A day earlier, Rytkonen took one of the shock results of the season by finishing second to Johan Kristoffersson in round three.

 

Wins:

TT 0 – NG 1

GRX only claimed a single victory in 2020, but for Gronholm to do so at his and the team’s home track, and in dramatic fashion made the champagne taste even sweeter in Kouvola. Gronholm’s previous success had been thanks to fast pace, but this time his win was all about holding his nerve, leading from two of the World RX’s biggest names, Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekstrom in wet and slippery conditions. At the joker merge on the final lap, Gronholm kept his cool and remained in front to take the win.

 

Championship:

TT (10th) 81 points – NG (4th) 147 points

Gronholm replicated his place in the Drivers’ Standings from 2019, in P4, but was ultimately disappointed not to break into the top three for a World Championship trophy. Timerzyanov meanwhile had a string of low scoring events and in the eight rounds ended up 66 points behind his team mate, in P10.

Share this story on Facebook Share this story on Twitter