Italy has fantastic things to offer its visitors, but the weekend at Franciacorta International Circuit was not quite the success that Pontus Tidemand and EKS had hoped for. Their fighting spirit was turned up to the max and despite three strong heats, trouble with the suspension caused a leaderboard drop that was difficult to fully recover from.
Ahead of the weekend’s event, Pontus had three finals in a row behind him, and he had gradually improved his performance for every race. Unfortunately the trend did not last. Already in Saturday’s first heat, Pontus got caught in a bit of bad luck. The rear suspension broke and he was forced to retire from his ongoing race. After a brilliant job by the team, the car was back in perfect condition for the next heat and Pontus could end the day with a race win and a fifth quickest time overall.
On Sunday, Pontus was ready to give absolutely everything in order to make it to the semi-finals. He set a third fastest time in the warm-up, continued to perform in the final two qualifying heats and climbed the standings during the day. Despite that he finished in 13th place – just one point from a spot in the semi-finals and a chance for further advancement.
“This is rallycross and you can not affect everything, sometimes you just have to deal with the situation you end up in” says Pontus. “I’m happy with the three problem free heats and this could have been a really great weekend. But with a lineup like this, you can not have as much as one unlucky heat without falling behind in the standings and sometimes four qualifying heats are not enough to fight your way up again.”
With his performance this weekend, Pontus also secured the bronze medal in Euro RX, the European championship which has been running parallel to the World RX.
The hectic schedule continues for Pontus. From Italy, he travels straight to France to start preparing for the upcoming week’s Rallye de France-Alsace, where he will be back in the WRC2 category for the first time since his victory in Germany in August.