African heat and a dry, dusty track greeted team GC Kompetition in Cape Town, South Africa, for the final race of the FIA World Rallycross Championship and following a mixed day of lows as well as great highs and personal bests while tackling the changing track conditions following the watering of the track, GCK finished day 1 of the 2019 season-clincher with 3 drivers in the top 12.
ANTON MARLKUND – P7 OVERNIGHT
Q1 P8; Q2 P5
Anton kicked off his weekend alongside GCK Academy driver De Ridder, racing into P3 into the first corner. Having jokeredstraight away, Marklund pushed the Megane to overtake Baumanis in the last lap to finish the race in 2nd.
Q2 saw Marklund put down impressive pace but had him stuck in traffic behind Szabo until he was able to overtake the Hungarian when he jokered to cross the finish line in 3rd.
“It’s a day of ups and downs – a big positive is that we have the pace. We set the fastest lap time of everyone in Q2 but unfortunately were stuck in traffic so the result didn’t reflect this. We had a similar situation in Q1 and a bit of contact but that’s rallycross and our speed promises some great racing tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing in the results.”
GUILLAUME DE RIDDER – P8 OVERNIGHT
Q1 P14; Q2 P3
Guillaume celebrated his weekend of racing in South Africa with a personal best, posting the 3rd fastest time in Q2.
Having raced Q1 alongside GCK team mate Anton Marklund and finishing in 4th, he put down a great start in Q2, pushing ahead into the lead. Pushing for increasingly faster laps, he managed to increase the gap to the pack for a very strong win, making him P3 of Q2 overall and P8 overnight.
“It has been a great day! I’ve done my best result of the season with a P3 overall in Q2. We’ve been a bit lucky with the track conditions but usually, we are unlucky so, I take it!
The day has been up and down as in Q1 I had issues with the brakes and made some mistakes but Q2 was a perfect race. I’m really, really happy about my 1st day in South Africa, I’ve been wanting to race like this all season.”
GUERLAIN CHICHERIT – P12 OVERNIGHT
Q1 P9; Q2 P15
Guerlain put down a great start but lost power into turn 1 of Q1 to come out in 3rd. Maintaining position, he finished in P3 putting him in 9th position overall.
Q2 saw Guerlain miss the start due to gearbox issues pushing him to the back of the pack and costing considerable time. In P12 overall overnight, the fight is on for a spot in the semi-finals.
“It’s been a tricky day with technical issues putting us on the back foot and keeping us from being able to join the battle properly. The guys are working hard now to try fix the gearbox issues overnight, so we can get off the start line and retain consistent power and speed through the gear changes tomorrow.”
CYRIL RAYMOND – P16 OVERNIGHT
Q1 P12; Q2 P11
Raymond battled into P2 into the first corner of Q1, pushing for faster pace. Putting down a fierce battle, he came out of the joker behindGCK team mate Chicherit to finish in 4th. Cyril then received a 5-second penalty for hitting trackmarkers pushing him down to P12.
Q2 saw Cyril hitting the trackmarkers for the 2nd time in a day, leading to disqualification from the race and pushing him to P16 overnight.
“I’m frustrated because we put down really competitive pace but I got a 5-second penalty in Q1 and then was disqualified from Q2 for making the same mistake – hitting the track markers. It’s hard because the Clio is running well and showing great speed but we still have one more day to go, so tomorrow I will give my best and try to reach the top 12 to be in the semi-finals. Despite today’s results, I really enjoyed racing Killarney race track and I think we have shown good potential.”