16 June 2015
RX: Marklund aims for podium in Germany
After a problematic outing at Lydden Hill, FIA World Rallycross team Marklund Motorsport is hoping for better fortunes as the series moves onto Germany.
Swedish FIA World Rallycross Championship team Marklund Motorsport is aiming for a podium finish at the fifth round of the series as it looks to bounce back from a troubled outing in the UK.
Located outside the town of Buxtehude on the Este River in Northern Germany, the Estering is one of the traditional rallycross venues on the World RX calendar but, while the Marklund squad has race-winning pace with both of its Volkswagen Polo RX machines, driven by Toomas 'Topi' Heikkinen and PG Andersson, over the opening four rounds, it suffered a number of technical gremlins at Lydden Hill and has since been back to base in Sweden looking for a solution.
“In Hockenheim, we were fourth and, in Belgium, we won but, in England, we didn't make it to the semi-finals,” third round winner Heikkinen said, “This season has been quite different to last year, we've had some problems with the car, but we know we have the speed.
“I think that Buxtehude can work for our cars,” Heikkinen, a finalist in Germany last season, continued, “It's hard to overtake there, and the first corner is really tight - it's an old school rallycross track and it's more about the driver than the car. It's really technical and you need to push really hard to make a good lap time, but I think we are well prepared.”
Two-time Junior World Rally champion PG Andersson switched to rallycross for 2015 and has been in the final in two of the four events so far, but also struggled in Britain and is keen to bounce back next weekend.
“In general, the season has been quite good,” the rookie surmised, “It started out well in Portugal and, sure, when you get a place in the final at the first event, you want to reach the final at each event. I think we would have been able to do that without our small issues. Things are running okay - we are not where we want to be yet but after this short break we will come out much stronger.”
While most of the tracks on the calendar are totally new to the Swede, he does have previous experience of the Estering circuit, and is confident ahead of round five.
“We haven't been able to show our potential 100 per cent yet, and I think there is more to come from what we have,” he noted, “I like the track in Germany, where we will come back fresh, and I think we can have a good result there.”
Joining Marklund Motorsport at the German event will be FIA European Rallycross Championship driver Tommy Rustad, competing in the second round of the Euro RX championship in a Volkswagen Polo RX run in conjunction with HTB Racing.
“I hope I can have the same speed that I had in Belgium in Germany,” the Swede, who currently lies second overall in the European standings, said, “I've had good results there before; I finished third in 2006 and went well last year. It seems to suit me well so I'm looking forward to it.
“I scored quite good points in Belgium, but we need to push harder and survive all the heats and try to be on the podium in every single race. That's important.”
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