Gronholm plays down expectations on son's World Rallycross season

Two-time World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm has played down expectations of his son Niclas' rookie year in the World Rallycross Championship

Gronholm plays down expectations on son's World Rallycross season

Gronholm Jr and fellow 19-year-old Kevin Eriksson will front the Olsbergs MSE team's assault on this year's World RX series in a pair of Ford Fiesta RX Supercars.

His WRC legend father also returns to Andreas Eriksson's squad - with which he raced in Global Rallycross - but as team manager rather than a driver.

Gronholm Jr won last year's Finnish Rallycross title in a supercar, but he will still be short on seat time when he starts round one in Portugal next month.

"This is a learning year for Niclas," Gronholm Sr told Autosport.

"I thought maybe this was a little bit early for him, but Andreas had some ideas and wanted to do something.

"Niclas could probably do with some more testing and some more time in the race car, we will try to do what we can before the first race."

Gronholm Sr retired after suffering concussion in a rallycross crash at the 2012 X Games.

"For me, it's OK to drive fast again and maybe it would be nice to compete," he said, "but I don't think this would be a good decision at home.

"Tessa [Gronholm's wife] has the memory from X Games, it's not a nice one."

The 30-time WRC winner said his son is currently "a little bit too much of a gentleman" in his racecraft.

"Maybe he needs to be a little bit more aggressive; when the door is open he needs to go through it immediately," Gronholm said.

"This will come with experience. For me, it wasn't a problem - when I pulled on the helmet, straight away I was: 'Grrrr, I'm ready!'

"But, don't forget, I had raced a lot in motorbikes when I was earlier in my career."

Gronholm's long-time WRC rival Sebastien Loeb has switched to World RX with the Hansen-run works Peugeot team this year.

"It would be fantastic to see a Gronholm beating a Loeb," said Gronholm Sr.

"But I don't think [it will happen], not this year. Maybe next year, but you never know.

"I must admit, I was a little surprised when I saw Sebastien is doing all the championship.

"One thing is sure: he will be quick!"

shares
comments
Volkswagen pushing for electric rallycross series

Previous article

Volkswagen pushing for electric rallycross series

Next article

Sebastien Loeb had WTCC options but World RX 'more interesting'

Sebastien Loeb had WTCC options but World RX 'more interesting'
Load comments

About this article

Series World Rallycross
Drivers Niclas Gronholm
Author David Evans
From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10 Plus

From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10

Petter Solberg has called time on his top-flight career after winning titles in two FIA world championships. Here, the 2003 rally and '14/15 rallycross king recalls his 10 best events - including the moment where all his success began

World Rallycross
Nov 7, 2019
How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX Plus

How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX

World Rallycross makes its first appearance at Silverstone this year as part of the 'Speedmachine' festival in May. We take a look at how the new rallycross track fared in its debut event

World Rallycross
Mar 22, 2018
Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely Plus

Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely

Volkswagen's abrupt departure from the World Rally Championship it was dominating was one of the winter's biggest shocks. Now 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg's World Rallycross team has VW support. What does that mean for World RX and what remains of Volkswagen Motorsport?

World Rallycross
Apr 3, 2017
Why rallycross is becoming irresistible Plus

Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Sebastien Loeb started a new journey in his motorsport career last weekend, but he wasn't the only attraction in Portugal. DAVID EVANS examines why the World Rallycross product works so well

World Rallycross
Apr 21, 2016
How good is World Rallycross? Plus

How good is World Rallycross?

The entries are strong, the cars are powerful and it can teach the WRC a thing or two about promotion. But after visiting the Lydden Hill round, DAVID EVANS still has his doubts

World Rallycross
May 30, 2014
New rallycross golden age comes to Britain Plus

New rallycross golden age comes to Britain

The sport began at Lydden in the late 1960s and this weekend the new-look World Rallycross Championship will strut its stuff at the Kent venue. HAL RIDGE explains why it will be unmissable

World Rallycross
May 23, 2014
Solberg: why rallycross is my future Plus

Solberg: why rallycross is my future

PETTER SOLBERG had a rough first season back in rallycross, but that hasn't deterred him from signing up for the first year of its new era in 2014, as he explains in his AUTOSPORT column

World Rallycross
Oct 16, 2013
Solberg: back to school Plus

Solberg: back to school

Petter Solberg says that there's still lots to learn about running a successful rallycross campaign, but he's really enjoying getting back to his roots

World Rallycross
Apr 2, 2013