European Rallycross Championship leader Anton Marklund and the SET Promotion team finally turned potential into result for the first time in the 2023 season, by claiming victory in the Belgian round of the campaign at Mettet.
Racing in extreme mixed conditions throughout the weekend, Finnish team SET Promotion and triple Euro RX title-winner Marklund had to work hard on the setup of the Ford Fiesta RX to find the pace on a totally difference circuit to those used so-far in the 2023 campaign, but fastest times in Heats 2 and 4, along with consistent performances in the other qualifying races ensured top qualifier position in the Ranking.
Marklund was then spun across the pack in turn one of the semi-final, but recovered to take the race win after post-race penalties had been applied, to line up on the front row of the final.
In the last race of the weekend, conditions having changed from extreme wet to drying, Marklund made a strong start in the final to lead from the front, and came out on top in an event of attrition, to claim a maiden victory of the season.
With his nearest rivals not making it into the final, reigning Euro RX Champion Marklund now sits 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor in the standings, with just the final round in Germany still to take place in two weeks’ time, with a maximum of 23 points available.
In the all-electric RX2e support category, former RX Academy driver and Estonian Rallycross Champion Marko Muru contested his second event and finished on the podium in third.
Anton Marklund (SWE) #1:
“It feels like a big, big relief to win here to be honest. This weekend has really been a roller coaster. For the rest of the year until this point we have been really quick but not been able to take the victory so that has been frustrating. But this weekend was also very frustrating, I really didn’t have the pace that I needed in some of the conditions, but in the end on Sunday I started to have more confidence, we worked a lot on the setup and when we got it right the times started to be there. The conditions were very, very difficult. It was really difficult to understand where you could take the risks and gain time. We had great starts all weekend, the final was really calm but we had a small issue with the alternator so I was watching the voltage but it was enough to make it home. It still hasn’t sunk in how good this weekend has gone from a championship perspective to be honest. I really hope we can have a big fight for the race win with everyone in Germany – I go there to try to win the event as always.”
Aleksi Koskinen, SET Promotion Euro RX1 Team Manager:
“Many weekends this year we have been the fastest but not left the track with the result we deserved. This weekend we were not the fastest many times, but I cannot really describe how hard our small team worked to find the pace we needed from both the car and Anton, and the performance was brilliant. This result, in a much older car than almost any of our rivals, is a big credit to Anton and the whole SET team, and like Anton has said, after coming into this weekend with the points so close, we could not really have dreamed to be in the position in the championship we are now heading to Germany. We have always enjoyed to go to Estering, it will be a special place to end the season but we go there with no expectations other than to continue working as we always do to come away with the best results we can achieve.”
FIA Euro RX1 2023 Calendar
R1 – Nyirad, Hungary – April 29 - 30
R2 – Montalegre, Portugal – June 3 - 4
R3 – Hell, Norway – June 17 - 18
R4 – Holjes, Sweden – July 1 - 2
R5 – Mettet, Belgium – August 5 - 6
R6 – Estering, Germany – August 19 - 20
Full Euro RX information can be found on the FIA World Rallycross Championship website.
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