WRX: Anton Marklund celebrates his first podium
Tough wheel-to-wheel duels, spectacular drifts on gravel and asphalt, and 600-horsepower racing cars that accelerate faster than a Formula 1 racing car – that’s what rallycross is all about! Since last year we have been successfully involved in this particularly fascinating motorsport discipline.
What is Rallycross?
Rallycross is particularly spectator-friendly because large parts of the track can be seen by the fans on site. Up to six cars compete against each other in short, action-packed races. The circuits have both asphalt and gravel parts and are usually only a little longer than one kilometre. Most rallycross races go over five to eight laps, depending on the championship. The so-called “joker lap” is a slower alternative route of the course and has to be driven through once per race.
In four qualifying runs (“Qualifying heats”) the drivers must qualify for the semi-final. The 12 fastest pilots of the qualifying runs will compete in two semi-finals with six starters each. The winner and the runners-up in each semi-final qualify for the final run in which the winner is determined.
Successful start into rallycross
After one year with Marklund Motorsport in the European Rallycross Championship, which Anton Marklund finished with the vice-champion, we start 2019 in the Rallycross World Championship, the “FIA World Rallycross Championship”. Together with the team of the four-time ski freeride world champion and rallycross specialist Guerlain Chicherit, this year’s World Championships will take place on four continents.
Highest demands on the shock absorbers
For us, rallycross also means a return to unpaved ground – with all the challenges that gravel and the mega-jumps that are almost obligatory for rallycross bring with it. Above all, it is these jumps that have conjured up a bead of sweat or two on the forehead of our motorsport specialists. According to motorsport engineer Daniel Pitsch, the damping forces required for the sometimes very violent jumps are the greatest challenge. Overall, the development of rallycross shock absorbers resembles the squaring of the circle. After all, the shock absorbers also have to work on different surfaces.
For the Renault Mégane supercars of GC Kompetition we developed completely new shock absorbers in winter, which are 5-fold adjustable. One advantage: Our many years of experience in long-distance motorsport, because just like most GT cars, the GCK Mégane also has double wishbone wheel suspensions.
Anton Marklund: Want to be at the top of the podium
The first races of the season were very positive for us and GCK. But in view of the strong competition in the World Rallycross Championship, Anton Marklund, as of yet, still refrains from bragging. “My goal, of course, is to finish in the front places. We did a lot of development work in the winter and I think we will continue to develop the car together with GCK and BILSTEIN throughout the season to hopefully be at the top of the podium before the end of the season”.
In the past race in Silverstone, Marklund and GC Kompetition mastered the challenge of the biggest jump of the season and a tough track by finishing 3rd in the finals. This is the first Podium for Marklund in the WRX. Our journey together has just begun.