Encouraging day for JRM Racing in Latvia
Riga, LAT – 1.10.16: JRM Racing driver Guy Wilks claimed an on track victory at the World RX of Latvia in Riga on Saturday and set encouraging pace through both Q1 and Q2 as the British team continue to develop the Mini RX Supercar. Guerlain Chicherit had a challenging first day of competition, but is looking to progress up the leaderboard on Sunday.
The World Rallycross Championship is visiting the Bikernieku Circuit near Riga for the first time this weekend, meaning teams and drivers have to learn the circuit from scratch. Both JRM Racing drivers set lap times inside the top 20 in Saturday morning’s Free Practice session, but were hampered in Q1 by a broken prop shaft for Guerlain and a development set-up on Guy’s car that didn’t work as expected.
Loco Energy Drink-supported Guy then made a great pass for the lead of his race in Q2, on the first lap, to win the encounter on track in his #37 car and set the 17th overall time, which would have been considerably quicker had minor contact when moving into the lead of the race not caused a broken anti-roll bar link.
World RX action continues on Sunday morning, with Q3 and Q4 being held in front of a sell-out crowd at the new venue.
Guy Wilks said: “We can definitely take some positives from today, which is a really good step forward. We’re making progress and you can see that in the total times of the races and our lap times.
We changed the car after practice for Q1 and it wasn’t right, but we made improvements for Q2 and it was unfortunate that when I managed to pass Münnich for the lead we had very small contact and it broke the rear anti-roll bar link, so it cost us quite a lot. I think that cost us half a second a lap, which would have put us inside the top 12. That is a massive step forward in dry conditions.
It’s a great feeling to lead out front. I made a good start, we had good pace and it was a good team decision to take the joker when we did, we were just unlucky. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Guerlain Chicherit said: “I don’t have much experience of the tracks in World RX, but for me this is one of the best tracks in the championship, maybe the best. They have done a really good job with the track, it is super-fun to drive.
Making starts all the time is good to build my experience. The starts are a big part of the racing here and I’m less stressed by that all the time. I still need to get more used to the start procedure, but it is coming and at least I am driving some laps, even if I didn’t complete all of the laps today.
We broke something in the propshaft in Q1, then in Q2 it was difficult to drive because I didn’t have a lot of confidence and motivation. I need to find some motivation for tomorrow and keep driving and learning. That’s motorsport – it’s not easy.”
JRM Racing Team Principal, James Rumsey, said: “We’ve had a mixed day in Latvia today, but Guy’s pace in Q2 was very encoring for everybody and it shows that we are making progress in the right direction. It’s great to have won on track, it might not have been the fastest qualifying race but we are here to race and for Guy to take the lead and win is a good boost for all of the guys that are putting a lot of effort into this project.
We will work hard tonight to give both Guy and Guerlain the best opportunity we can to climb the leaderboard tomorrow. I must add that the event here is very impressive, the Latvian promoters have done a superb job with the circuit and venue.”