Wed 11 Oct 2023

Work to do for CE Dealer Team following ‘tough weekend’ in Cape Town

CE Dealer Team has work to do ahead of the 2023 World RX season finale in Hong Kong, after a disappointing double-header in South Africa saw Niclas Grönholm slip from second to fourth in the standings.

CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment has work to do ahead of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship season finale in Hong Kong next month, after a disappointing double-header in South Africa last weekend (7-8 October) saw Niclas Grönholm slip from second to fourth in the title standings.

Returning to Cape Town following a four-year absence, the Finn was the most recent World RX winner in the ‘Mother City’, but he could manage no better than fifth and sixth on the two race days this time around, as CE Dealer Team struggled to get onto the pace at Killarney International Raceway.

Both drivers picked up punctures on the opening day, with only Grönholm progressing through to the final as Klara Andersson in the sister ZEROID X1 missed out. The Swede showed significantly improved speed 24 hours later, holding off Kevin Hansen in heat two and going on to take the chequered flag fourth in the final, prior to being penalised for contact with Timmy Hansen that dropped her to fifth.

“It was a tough weekend,” the 23-year-old acknowledged. “Both myself and Niclas struggled to find the feeling in the car. It’s a difficult track, and the fact that I was there for the first time also played into it.

“We had the same problem all weekend, but we experimented with the set-up and it felt a bit better on Sunday. We need to analyse everything before Hong Kong and hopefully find more speed. There are two rounds left and a lot of points to fight for.”

Andersson wound up one place ahead of her team-mate in Sunday’s final, with Grönholm finding himself repeatedly caught up in contact not of his own making during the heats.

“It was a tricky weekend,” mused the seven-time event-winner. “I couldn’t put a whole race together. There were some positive lap times, but something was always missing. I need to work hard to get back on pace in Hong Kong.”

Those sentiments are echoed by Team Manager, Jussi Pinomäki, who is hopeful of a better performance around World RX’s first-ever city centre circuit on 11-12 November.

“We struggled to get the feeling in the cars to be able to push to the limit,” he explained. “To get both cars into the final was the minimum we expected on Sunday. We saw signs of good speed from heat three onwards, so now we need to analyse, keep learning and work hard to bounce back stronger.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM