Home Blog WRX Season 2018 GCK reaches final in 2nd ever race at Montalegre RX



GCK reaches final in 2nd ever race at Montalegre RX30.04.2018

29th April, Montalegre, Portugal
Round 2 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Montalegre race circuit saw GC-Kompetition successfully introduce both GCK Mégane R.S. RX to the track in the Portugese mountains as Guerlain Chicherit reached the team’s first Championship finals and placed 5th overall whilst Jérôme Grosset-Janin just missed out on a spot in the semi-finals finishing the weekend in P14 after Q4.

With both drivers completely new to this track, Saturday saw them impress with ever-improving pace as the sun beat down on the dusty track, with Guerlain placing 2nd in Q1 and posting GCK’s first ever top 5 qualification result finishing in 4th overall. Jérôme took the lead in his qualifier but a tap by Johan Kristoffersson into the first corner pushed him out resulting in him placing 15th overall after Q1.
Jérôme went on to win his Q2, whilst Guerlain finished 5th in his group, wrapping up day 1 in 14th and 8th place respectively.

Sunday delivered extremely challenging weather conditions with a mix of sun, hail, rain and even snow keeping the teams on their toes throughout the day. Guerlain and Jérôme lined up together for an early Q3 on a very wet track and whilst they finished 1st and 2nd respectively, a 5 second penalty for Chicherit for contact in the first corner and a drying track resulting in quickly tumbling times in the following qualifiers, saw them finish Q3 in 10th and 14th overall.

Q4 saw Guerlain and Jérôme line up together again and, showing increasing confidence on the new track as the rain beat down, Chicherit finished 2nd right behind Timur Timerzyanov with Grosset-Janin placing 4th, resulting in 11th place and a semi-final spot for Guerlain and a 14th place for Jerome at the end of Q4.

The Portugese mountains delivered a beautiful backdrop as the sun made an appearance again for the 1st semi-finals on a dry track. Guerlain lined up on the 3rd row and raced cleanly and strongly beating Kevin Hansen, Mattias Ekström and Niclas Grönholm to a spot in the final, as he finished in 3rd place behind Johan Kristofferson and Andreas Bakkerud.

Lining up for the final on row 3 next to Petter Solberg for the first ever Championship race in heavy snow, race conditions like never seen before in the history of World Rallycross saw Guerlain race his
way into 5th place behind Johan Kristofferson, Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud.

Guerlain Chicherit commented: “It was a really incredible weekend for GC-Kompetition and for me personally as I achieved my first ever spot in a Championship final on the team’s 2nd ever outing in the
newly built GCK Mégane R.S. RX. It’s a really promising start to the season and I’m excited to see what we may be able to achieve as our confidence and experience in the car increases. I really loved racing
this track and can’t wait to be back next year. I’m really proud of the team who works super hard to ensure we continue to improve every time we are in the car.”

Jérôme Grosset-Janin added: “It was a challenging start to the weekend for us as we had to quickly learn the track having never been here before. Our lap times are ever improving as we’re mixing it with the Championship regulars and I’m really happy with the team’s results this weekend. Contact in my Q1 and the resulting time meant I had to continue fighting my way back from then on but I’m getting more and more confident in the car as we learn to adapt to different conditions, so I’m really looking forward to Belgium to continue pushing for that podium position.”