As Round 7 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship descended on the picturesque town Trois-Rivieres in Canada, thousands of fans came together to enjoy a weekend of unparalleled motorsport action and entertainment, culminating in a semi-final finish for FIA World RX GCK driver Rokas Baciuska.
Having enjoyed Friday evening’s parade in the town centre of Trois-Rivieres, fans watched on as a unique first qualifier draw saw the Lithuanian land his Q1 position right in the middle of race 4.
Saturday morning’s racing kicked off in warm and humid conditions and saw Baciuska in p12 following the three free practice sessions.
GCK’s Rokas Baciuska lined up alongside GCK Academy’s Guillaume de Ridder sandwiched between Krisztián Szabo, Andreas Bakkerud and Jani Paasonen for the last race of the weekend’s first qualifier.
Following a good start, Rokas was squeezed along the first straight falling into 4th into the first corner.
Baciuska decided to joker straight away in the first lap while the rest of the pack continued until De Ridder decided to joker in lap 3.
With 3 out of 5 cars jokering in the final lap, Baciuska managed to overtake Szabo in the final lap following the joker exit of the Hungarian putting down a daring move to finish the race in 2nd.
Following the race, Rokas received a 5sec penalty for exceeding track limits, pushing him back into 15th overall.
The 2nd qualifier of this race weekend in Canada saw Rokas sandwiched between GCK Academy’s Guillaume De Ridder and Oliver Bennett for the final World RX race of the day.
A good start for Baciuska saw him charging ahead, as he took the lead into turn 1.
He continued to lead, pushing ahead to open up the gap to the pack. Having jokered in the final lap, Rokas managed to come out ahead to finish the race in first with the 3rd fastest time.
Following Day 1 of the race action in Canada, Baciuska was in p9 overall.
A dry and sunny Sunday morning kicked off for Baciuska in the final race of the 3rd qualifier, where he took on Gronholm (on pole) as well as fellow GCK driver Guerlain Chicherit, Timo Scheider and Janis Baumanis.
Baciuska put down a good start but following contact with Scheider, Baciuska fell behind into turn 1 but managed to push ahead into p3 over the next lap. He jokered straight away in lap 1, managing to make up time to finish the race in 2nd overall, putting him in p11 following Q3.
The final qualifier of the weekend in Trois-Rivieres saw Rokas on pole position in race 2 alongside GCK Academy’s Guillaume de Ridder and Janis Baumanis.
Having put down a good start, Rokas took the inside line to fall into 2nd behind Baumanis. He jokered in lap 1, coming out behind De Ridder but overtaking him when the Belgian jokered in lap 2 to finish in 3rd.
Following Q4, Baciuska is in p7 overall, putting him on the 2nd line of the 1st semi-final.
The semi-finals kicked with a good start for Baciuska who tucked into the inside but was pushed back to take the first corner in p5. He jokered straight away following Kevin Hansen and continued to catch up with the pack. An attempted overtake by Baciuska in the 5th lap resulted in contact pushing him into the wall and causing damage to the front of his car resulting in him breaking down and unable to finish the race.
“A good weekend for us having to learn the track quickly as it was our first time here. We quickly tried to adapt, even managing to put down the fastest time throughout one sections and had some good races to make it into the semi- final. Unfortunately, it was the end of the weekend for us there and we weren’t able to finish as the damage to the car was too great but we took lots of learnings from this and I’m excited for Loheac now.”, Rokas commented.