Grönholm aims for world championship title – “Now it’s time to win!”

Niclas Grönholm, who has won bronze in the World Rallycross Championship for the past three seasons, is aiming for the world championship in the 2024 season, which starts this coming weekend in Höljes, Sweden.
Niclas Grönholm
Niclas Grönholm. Photo: CE Dealer Team
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The 2024 World Rallycross Championship season, which switched to electric two years ago, kicks off this weekend with two rounds in Höljes, Sweden. Since 1991, Höljes has held a place in the sport’s calendar and now hosts the season opener, where the world championship will be contested for the first time with both fully electric RX1e and combustion-engine RX1 cars. The promoter of the sport markets this new era as the “duel of power sources.”

Grönholm’s teammate remains 24-year-old Klara Andersson from Sweden.

“There’s no point in participating if the goal isn’t the world championship. We take it one race at a time. I don’t think about points or positions in advance. The new scoring system means that every start and position over the weekend is important. Times no longer decide but the positions in the heats, from which points are distributed,” Grönholm notes.

“It’s important to keep a cool head and focus only on our own performance, and good positions will come as a result. It’s not an easy season, but it’s certainly going to be an interesting first world championship weekend.”

CE Dealer Team tested last weekend in Kouvola Finland, and earlier this week in Höljes.

“The beginning was a bit shaky because it’s been 11 months since I last drove a four-wheel-drive RX1e electric car. The new tyres from the series’ new supplier, Hoosier, also required some getting used to. The first test of the season was more challenging than expected, but I got to drive many laps and several days in a row, and that’s a good thing,” Grönholm explains.

The World Championship is marketed as a duel between two power sources. Grönholm competes with a fully electric car, while reigning and multiple world champion Johan Kristoffersson from Sweden and Norway’s Ole Kristian Veiby have opted for combustion engines.

“I expect that duo to drive fast with combustion engine cars too. I don’t doubt for a moment that they would enter with a bad car. The combustion engine car is 90 kilos lighter than the electric car, and they can use any FIA-approved fuel. We’ll see what happens in Höljes,” Grönholm comments.

“New tyre doesn’t forgive driving errors”

Grönholm’s CE Dealer Team is fully prepared for the new season. The team has a lot of data and experience with the PWR RX1e car, which has a peak power of 500 kW (670 hp) and 880 Nm of torque, so they already have a setup window for the Höljes track.

“We’re clearly wiser about the setups than, for example, a year ago. The new tyre is the only question mark. How we get it to work on various tracks will be crucial because the tyre is completely different from those we’ve raced on before. You have to drive very precisely all the time. The new tyre doesn’t forgive any driving errors, but the situation is the same for everyone,” Grönholm reminds.

The classic Höljes track has not favoured Grönholm at the world championship level. A year ago, the Finnish driver narrowly missed out on the final.

“I’ve won in Höljes in other series, but the success at the world championship level hasn’t been as good. Now it’s time to win and get a good start to the new season. You need to be alert and at the front at the start of the series. The first race and the first world championship weekend could possibly be the most important of the season,” Grönholm summarises.

World Rallycross Championship calendar for the 2024 season:

6.7. Höljes, Sweden
7.7. Höljes, Sweden
27.7. Nyirád, Hungary
28.7. Nyirád, Hungary
17.8. Mettet, Belgium
18.8. Mettet, Belgium
7.9. Montalegre, Portugal
8.9. Montalegre, Portugal
30.11. Australia
1.12. Australia

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