Froshaug impresses in challenging Euro RX season-opener for JC Raceteknik
The first round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship was a challenging affair for Swedish team JC Raceteknik at Barcelona in Spain (April 14-15).
Held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Formula 1 venue, for the second season in a row at the championship’s most Southern circuit, RallyX Nordic Champion Thomas Bryntesson ran into problems and wasn’t able to show his true speed in Spain.
His team mate, Ola Froshaug, started his 2018 campaign in solid fashion and set a pair of third-fastest qualifying times in Q2 and Q3 to make it into the semi-finals and only just missed a place in the final.
The JC Raceteknik pair had been fourth (Froshaug) and fifth (Bryntesson) at the end of day one, but despite showing strong pace in both the wet conditions of Saturday and the hot dry weather on Sunday, neither driver was able deliver on their promise.
Bryntesson suffered a damaged front subframe in Q3 on Sunday morning and with a short turn-around between Q3 and Q4, despite the efforts of the JC Raceteknik team, the car broke again in Q4, putting the Norwegian star out of the event.
Froshaug also had similar problems in Q4 but he still made the semi-finals, where unfortunately the issues reoccurred, the Norwegian missing out on a place in the final by just one position.
JC Raceteknik now looks forward to the first round of RallyX Nordic at Holjes in Sweden, in three weeks’ time (May 6).
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal :
"That was a really, really tough weekend for us. We had hoped to fight for victory, but we were not able to do that. There’s no doubt that we have good speed, but this weekend we never got into the flow that we usually have with Thomas, which is so frustrating. On the other hand, Ola did a great job and had a great rhythm all the way up to Q4. He made a big step forward compared to last season. Unfortunately, we had problems with both cars. Thomas had problems with broken front suspension in Q3, Ola had similar problems in Q4. There are four rounds of Euro RX left, so the season is far from over. Now we will recharge ahead of the first RallyX Nordic event at Holjes and we will work hard to make sure the same problems do not happen again.”
Euro RX Supercar: Thomas Bryntesson (NOR) :
"It’s been a crazy event for me, one of the worst in my whole career. Firstly, I didn’t find the speed, then the car broke down in two heats. Breaking down twice makes it impossible to fight for a good end result. Unfortunately I scored no points in Barcelona, so in order to have a chance of fighting for the title I need to have a brilliant result in the next four races. It will be tough to be on the top of the podium this year, but I will push to get as good a final result as possible. Now we need to go home and do more testing so we can find the speed to be with the other drivers. But, I know we can do that. I would like to thank all of my sponsors and especially the mechanics who did everything they could after Q3 to get the car ready to race again.”
Euro RX Supercar: Ola Froshaug (NOR) :
"I’m really pleased with the pace I had this weekend. The starts have all gone really well and I’ve been up to speed on the track. I’m very pleased. The development we did on the cars over the winter has worked perfectly for me. In Q4 we had some problems and the team did everything they could to fix it before the semi-finals, but we had some more problems there too and I wasn’t able to be any faster than I was in the semi-final. But, I have a good feeling for the coming races and have high amnitions for this year now – anything can happen yet.”
FIA European Rallycross Championship, Barcelona, Spain, Result:
1 Reinis Nitiss (LAT)
2 Anton Marklund (SWE)
3 Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (FRA)
4 Philip Gehrman (SWE)
5 Ulrik Linnemann (DK)
6 Peter Hedstrom (SWE)
7 Ola Froshaug (NOR)
18 Thomas Bryntesson (NOR)
FIA European Rallycross Championship Points:
1 Reinis Nitiss (LAT) 30
2 Anton Marklund (SWE) 26
3 Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (FRA) 22
4 Ulrik Linnemann (DK) 21
5 Philip Gehrman (SWE) 19
6 Peter Hedstrom (SWE) 16
7 Ola Froshaug (NOR) 13
18 Thomas Bryntesson (NOR) 0