5th August, Trois-Rivières, Canada
As round 7 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship saw thousands of fans gather in the picturesque Trois-Rivières near Montréal, Canada, to watch 15 supercars battle it out in extremely humid and hot weather conditions, GC KOMPETITION battled adversity on a track unknown to the entire team as technical issues coupled with some serious amount of bad luck saw both GCK Mégane R.S. RX miss out on a semi-final spot.
Having put down promising speed in the free practice session putting him in P7, Guerlain had a tough Q1, which saw him claw his way back after a slow start due to clutch issues before contact by Demoustier sent him spinning and finishing his qualifier last. Joining Guerlain for the same race for Q1, Jérôme fought hard and finished P3, and in P11 overall.
With wind picking up for Q2 promising rain, both drivers lined up together again and put down a good start, with both leading into turn one.
Chicherit fell back to third after a fair-fight with Timerzyanov and while Grosset-Janin led the race until the last lap when he was sent spinning after clipping the wall in the final sector, which broke the suspension, resulting in a DNF for him.
Sunday saw blinding sunshine beat down on the dusty, dry track as both GCK drivers lined up together again for race 1 of Q3 with Guerlain sandwiched between Larsson and Timerzyanov and Jérôme on the far outside.
Guerlain fought a strong race and showed some great pace before bad luck struck, as Timerzyanov, who was leading the pack up to that point, didn’t make the track’s final corner and crashed, creating a barrier across the track that Guerlain had no chance to avoid and hit at high speed damaging the front left suspension, leaving him unable to finish the race. Jerome lost considerable speed but was able to sneak by his stopped teammate and finished P2 of his race and P10 overall.
With Q4 as a last chance to fight for a semi-final spot, both Guerlain and Jérôme were rearing to go. Guerlain lined up for race 1 on the far outside alongside Loeb, Timerzyanov, Ekström and Demoustier. Chicherit was able to put down promising, competitive pace for the first half of the race until he clipped the tyre wall in the last corner that Jérôme had previously fallen victim to in Q2, putting him face on with the opposite wall in the same way his co-driver had done and also breaking his suspension in the process, ending the weekend for him there.
Jérôme fought hard alongside Eriksson, Baumanis, Grönholm and Larsson in Q4 and ended up missing out on a semi-final spot by half a second as he didn’t quite manage to overtake Larsson coming out of the joker, leaving him with a slower time than Timerzyanov who he was battling against for P12.
Jerome commented: “It has been a great weekend of discovery here in Trois-Rivières. We feel the passion the Canadians have for motorsports which keeps us motivated. It was a tough weekend and coming back from the difficulties we had on Saturday isn’t an easy task. Missing out on the semi finals by so little is disappointing but I am happy with the experience we gained this weekend.”
Guerlain Chicherit added: “What a weekend! It seems luck just really wasn’t on our side here in Canada. Some technical issues with the clutch put me on the back foot from Q1 onwards and then we just didn’t catch a break with me not even being able to finish one of the qualifiers as the car in front of me crashed and blocked me off entirely.
We’ve got a serious amount of work to do ahead of Lohéac, where I’m really looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd – I hope we are able to implement the changes needed to secure consistent overall performance to show the Mégane’s full potential we can clearly see coming through in lap times already.”
5th August, Trois-Rivières, Canada