Glorious sunshine and a dry track greeted team GCK on the first race day of round 9 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the picturesque track in Riga, Latvia, which ended with Rokas Baciuska in P1 and Anton Marklund in P3 overnight. Meanwhile, Guerlain Chicherit dropped to P7 overnight following a spectacular Q1 performance, and GCK Academy’s Cyril Raymond finished the day in P9 with team mate Guillaume De Ridder in P14.
ROKAS BACIUSKA – P1 O/A
Q1 P1; Q2 P4
A big fight with lots of contact into turn 1 of Q1 saw Baciuska in P3; he jokered straight away and charged ahead, overtaking one after another to win the race, posting the fastest time of the day.
Q2 saw Rokas race into P2 into turn 1. He jokered in lap 1, coming out in 4th. Flying around Bakkerud as the Swede exited the joker, he finished the race in P2.
“There is no way I’d be P1 overnight without the fans here – being so close to home and having so many supporting and rooting for me makes a huge difference and really is pushing me on. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race action.”
ANTON MARKLUND – P3 O/A
Q1 P5; Q2 P2
Q1 saw Anton fight into P2 into turn 1, a position he defended until he crossed the finish line in 2nd, and 5th overall.
Q2 saw Anton race around the outside into P1 into turn 1, racing cleanly to joker in the last lap and taking the chequered flag.
“I’m really happy with today’s performance but know that we still have room to push for even more tomorrow. The team is working hard on all the technical feedback, so let’s see what tomorrow brings!”
GUERLAIN CHICHERIT – P7 O/A
Q1 P4; Q2 P13
Q1 saw Guerlain race ahead to take the lead into turn 1 following a great start; he jokered in the last lap and finished in 1st with the 4th fastest time overall.
Q2 saw Chicherit in 4th into turn 1, where he raced cleanly until a mistake in lap 3 saw him go too wide; he jokered in the last lap to finish the race in 5th.
“We’ve put down some good lap times today and the pace in general is good although we have some changes to make overnight to optimise further. The mistake in Q2 is really frustrating but I just have to drop it and move on to prepare for tomorrow.”
CYRIL RAYMOND – P9 O/A
Q1 P12; Q2 P11
A brave fight into P3 overtaking Baumanis into turn 1 had Cyril defend position against Gronholm in Q1 until the joker, following which he was pushed into 4th.
In Q2, Raymond went into the first corner in P3, jokered behind Nitiss in lap 1 to finish the race in P3.
“It was a clean and constructive day for our GCK Clio R.S. RX. I feel really good in the car, I had a lot of fun during the qualifiers”.
GUILLAUME DE RIDDER – P14 O/A
Q1 P15; Q2 P14
Guillaume finished Q1 in 2nd behind Szabo having managed to defend his position against Nitiss, much to the local fans’ dismay, through an action-packed Q1 that saw Timerzyanov land on his roof.
In Q2, De Ridder went into turn 1 in P4, jokered in the last lap to come out ahead of Bennett to finish the race in P4.
“The day was good, especially as it was my first time ever at this track. I think the Clio has the rhythm to be in the semi-finals.”