Tuesday | 12 Jul 2022

World RX #GOAT Top Ten Countdown: Niclas Grönholm (6th)

A little while ago, we asked you for your thoughts on the best drivers since the inception of the FIA World Rallycross Championship back in 2014. You responded enthusiastically, with more than 15,000 votes cast in total – and now, in reverse order, we can reveal the top ten…

6th: Niclas Grönholm

World RX Titles: 0
World RX Wins: 6
World RX Podiums: 10
Best Championship Finish: 3rd (2021)

The son of two-time FIA World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm, Niclas Grönholm made his FIA World Rallycross Championship debut at Höljes in 2015 – the same year that he clinched the Finnish Championship’s headlining Supercar class crown – going on to finish inside the top half of the high-calibre, 35-strong field on his maiden appearance.

That toe-in-the-water outing would be the prelude to a full-season assault in 2016 with Olsbergs MSE, scoring points on eight consecutive occasions before switching to the family-run GRX outfit for 2017, when Grönholm reached the final for the first time with fifth position in Germany.

2018 marked a significant step forward for the Finn, with four visits to the final behind the wheel of the new Hyundai i20 yielding seventh place in the overall classification – comfortably the top independent entrant.

That paved the way for a full-on title tilt in 2019, when a brace of victories and two further podium finishes left Grönholm just 25 points shy of the coveted crown, despite missing two rounds due to appendicitis. His points-per-event tally was unrivalled, while a popular home soil success at Kouvola in 2020 cemented fourth spot in the standings for the second straight season.

The third-generation driver then overcame a slow start last year – missing out on the final in each of the opening two rounds – to fight back to a career-best third in the title table. Triumphs in Latvia, Portugal and Germany saw him tie with eventual champion Johan Kristoffersson for most race wins over the course of the nine-round campaign.