Monday, June 11, 2018

Hell tests GCK at Norway RX

As round 5 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship saw 24,000 fans gather in Hell, Norway, to watch 23 supercars battle it out on tarmac and a gravel dirt section, GC KOMPETITION battled adversity as technical changes to further development of the two GCK Mégane R.S. RX resulted in some tricky moments on the track that saw both drivers miss out on a semi-final spot, with GCK not represented in the semi-finals for the first time this season.

Having put down promising speed in Friday’s practice session following a day’s test of some technical updates to the Mégane RS R.X on a Norwegian track nearby, Jérôme finished in P4 and Guerlain in P10 ready to take on the pack in the next day’s qualifiers. Saturday saw both boys line up at the start line together for the same Q1 race in blinding sunshine and whilst a solid team strategy had been built for optimum performance, unfortunately gearbox issues for both Guerlain and Jérôme saw them struggle with their Méganes, leaving them in P20 and 21 following Q1.

Q2 saw both GCK drivers line up together again with Guerlain in pole position and Jérôme sandwiched between his teammate and Demoustier. A strong start had Jérôme take the lead with Guerlain following tightly behind. After they squeezed each other into turn 1 resulting in some contact, Guerlain strategically took the joker lap on the second lap, creating space between the two GCK drivers and allowing for a fast, clean race for both, with Jérôme finishing first and Guerlain second. A rapidly evolving track resulted in Jérôme finding himself in P11 and Guerlain in P14 following Q2.

Continuing Saturday’s trend, Guerlain and Jérôme again lined up together for Q3 on Sunday, with Jérôme in pole and Guerlain second in from the outside. Both drivers had good starts and whilst Guerlain was putting down some strong, fast lap times, a repeat of yesterday’s gearbox issue saw the car stuck in neutral in the joker lap, pushing him back to P5. Jérôme lead the race until his joker lap in lap 3 leaving him to finish in P2 behind Marklund.

The final qualifier of the 5th FIA World Rallycross Championship round in Norway saw Guerlain put down an impressive start, with a reaction time of only 0.1 of a second, which he continued to build on as he left the pack behind to cross the finish line in first. Jerome took off in the third race, strategised well and kept a clean line, only for his right transmission to break blocking the handbrake and thus not allowing him to turn as he took his joker in lap 3, resulting in a P3 finish.

GCK finished this weekend of adversity with Jérôme in 14th and Guerlain in 15th overall, missing out on a semi-final spot for the first time in GCK history.

Guerlain Chicherit commented: “Of course this weekend was quite frustrating as the lap times were there but unfortunately a number of mechanical challenges meant it just wasn’t to be here in Norway. We’ve got to remember that we’re still developing this brand-new car and our focus is now on finding reliability and consistency to get us back into the fight!”

Jérôme Grosset-Janin added: “We had a tough weekend here in Norway. The times are there as proved during the practice run and the Q4, unfortunately the mechanical issues in three out of four of the races this weekend - gearbox, suspension and transmission - made it hard for us to make it into the semi-finals. We’ve got three weeks ahead to prepare for The Magic Weekend in Sweden and the battle that awaits us.”

Source: GCK