Thursday, May 17, 2018

G-FORS shows grit at Mettet RX

Last weekend saw G-FORS conclude round 2 of the European Rallycross Championship at Jules Tacheny circuit, in Mettet, Belgium, in front of 27,000 spectators.

Saturday started strong for both G-FORS drivers with JB Dubourg posting the fastest time in the free practice and Jere Kalliokoski finishing 11th. JB and Jere continued to build on this showing good performances in Q1 as they finished 3rd and 8th respectively, both having had great starts.

JB repeated this performance in Q2 and after another great start, he finished the day in 3rd overall despite some mechanical problems. For Jere Q2 was more difficult, however, he managed to rank 10th overall at the end of day 1 of racing in Mettet.

After blazing sunshine on Saturday, Sunday brought rain. JB unfortunately didn’t make it to the starting grid for Q3 due to technical issues and Jere received a penalty after a contact with Münnich in the first corner, putting him in 19th position.

Both G-FORS drivers stayed focussed and determined, coming back strong in Q4, with JB finishing 4th and Jere 3rd, showing very good lap times on a wet track.

Despite his efforts in Q4, it was not enough for JB who just missed out on a spot in the semifinal, finishing Mettet RX in 13th position but being able to look back on very competitive performances in Q1, Q2 and Q4, as well as excellent pace on the wet track on Sunday in Q4.

Mettet RX was a fantastic display of Jere’s growing confidence in the R.S. RX Clio. He showed increasingly competitive pace and impressed with his 3rd place finish in Q4. As a result, Jere went from 19th to 12th position, managing to qualify for the semi-finals. Jere concluded his weekend in Belgium with a good 5th place in his semi-final showing great promise of what is to come in future EuroRX races.

Jean-Baptiste Dubourg commented: “We were unlucky with the mechanical problems but despite all that, when we were on the track, we showed good performance and were always in the first 4 positions in qualifying and first in the free practice on Saturday morning. We managed to find the engine issue just before Q4, which is frustrating because I think we could have had a good opportunity to end up on the podium again, especially since we showed fast pace on the dry as well as the wet. Motorsport is sometimes frustrating, especially in a five-race championship, but I’m staying positive and thank my team for all the work they did this weekend.”

Jere Kalliokoski added: “It was a weekend of big learnings for me. I’m feeling better and better in the car and more confident to push which showed in my lap times. Contact in a couple of races meant I was losing positions but I didn’t give up and kept fighting to end up in the semi-final. I can’t wait to get back into the Clio R.S. RX.”

Team Manager Atte Varsta said: “We had a weekend of varying emotions here at G-FORS. We saw some great improvement in confidence and strong driving from Jere, with JB showing incredibly competitive pace which put him in a sure position for the final. However, technical problems for JB meant he was unable to race Q3 resulting in him missing out of a semi-final place. Some contact in Jere’s races had an effect on his positions but he fought back to finish 5th in his semi-final. Both drivers didn’t give up despite being put in positions where they had to show grit and determination to fight their way back into the competition and we have some really good data and show of competitive pace to take with us into the next race.”

Source: G-FORS