Sun 18 Jun 2023

“I just want him to learn from his mistakes...”

Not only did Patrick O’Donovan and Anton Marklund top the Euro RX1 standings on the opening day in Hell yesterday, they also clashed on-track – twice. Safe to say, they didn’t entirely agree about who was at fault...

Drawn together in the same race in heat one, the action had barely got underway when Patrick O’Donovan and Anton Marklund first made contact, with the Swede attempting to sweep right the way around the outside from fifth on the grid only for pole-sitter O’Donovan to stand his ground and send the SET Promotion car wide.

Their results saw them line up in the same race again in heat two, with Marklund on pole and his British rival third. This time, it was O’Donovan who made the best launch, but as he tried to turn in for the first corner, he found himself tipped 180 degrees sideways by Jānis Baumanis and Marklund, saving the slide with a supreme display of car control and going on to win the heat.

Inevitably, when the pair gathered to discuss the incident later, they didn’t see entirely eye-to-eye...

“The contact actually looks a lot worse now I see it from this angle,” Marklund mused after being shown a replay of the heat two start. “That should have been my corner and it should definitely have been a penalty.”

WATCH: O'DONOVAN PULLS OFF SPECTACULAR SAVE

“It’s too late now,” O’Donovan chimed in, “and in any case, I disagree. It’s all been about track position this weekend, and with Anton being so fast, if we can stay ahead of him, it’s happy days. To be honest, I think we need to add success penalties by filling cars up with lead, like they do in some other series – but only his car!”

“I think I’ve had enough trouble already this year,” Marklund swiftly retorted. “It’s up to you to go back home and analyse the V-box data before Höljes to come back faster...”

When it was put to him that he perhaps preferred slightly ‘dirtier’ racing, O’Donovan was quick to clarify.

“I wouldn’t say dirty, I would say exciting!” the 19-year-old reasoned. “There’s always give and take, but some people seem to give more than they take. Equally, that’s part of rallycross. It’s never been a formula-style sport. There’s always a bit of rubbing and touching, and that’s what makes it so good.

“I like to push the limits sometimes, and I think that’s down to age more than anything else. When you have kids, you start to think about not destroying yourself every time you go out...”

On this point, the two were finally able to agree.

“As you get older, you get cleverer,” concurred Marklund. “I’m not angry – I’m cool as a cucumber. I just want him to learn from his mistakes. Let’s see if he can do that...”

The Boliden native also made sure to have the last word.

“It’s only the winner that gets invited to the end-of-event press conference, so I think that will be me.”

Well, almost the last word...

“We’ll see about that!”

Watch the continuation of Marklund and O’Donovan’s duel for glory on RX+ today, with monthly and annual subscriptions available to purchase here.

Latvia
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Italy
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Hungary
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