At the penultimate round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for 2022 at Montalegre in Portugal, Swedish driver Anton Marklund and SET Promotion secured the Euro RX1 championship title.
The team entered the weekend with a healthy lead in the standings, but had a difficult opening day, with a start issue in Heat 1 meaning Marklund had to fight through the pack in the first race of the event, before contact from another driver when racing for the win in Heat 2 sent the Hyundai i20 RX1 into a spin.
An amazing save from Marklund ensured he finished P2 in the session, by just over a second, despite spinning through 180 degrees on track, before the Swede set the fastest time in Heat 3 on Sunday morning.
But, despite making it to the final in the competitive field the SET team didn’t have an outright advantage, and Marklund lost out in the first corner, getting forced wide to the outside of turn one.
Managing the race situation, Marklund came home fourth and despite it being only the second time in five races that he did not stand on the podium, the position was enough to secure his third Euro RX Championship crown, with still the final round of the season to take place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium next month.
Marklund’s crown also marks the tenth title in Euro RX history for the SET Promotion team, run by Finnish brothers Jussi and Kalle Pinomäki.
Anton Marklund (SWE) #92:
“To be honest, it’s a big, big relief to win the title here. There was a lot of people telling me that I am already the champion before coming here but I have been in motorsport too long to take a victory like that for granted. We just tried to stay focused. This has been one of the tougher weekends for us, we didn’t really get it to work like we know we can, and we also had some action on track, so it has been really tough. Then to go through turn one in the final and the steering wheel got blocked and we were coming out last – let’s say it was a bit nerve-wracking inside the car, but it’s an amazing feeling to win the championship here with a race to go. Together with SET and my guys – Adam, Johan and Laurent, it’s really been a pleasure to be working with everyone this year. I am usually a bit of a control freak, wanting to see what’s going on with the car and all that, if there is a problem or not, but as soon as I’m coming into the tent I can leave the car to them because they know exactly what they are doing and that’s also helping me to perform. It will be amazing to go to the last race in Spa and just drive with no pressure, because I really want to win that last race of the season.
Aleksi Koskinen, SET Promotion Euro RX1 Team Manager:
“It’s very hard not to think about the championship situation when you enter a weekend knowing that you could secure the title, but as a team we simply just focused on the next race and getting the best result we could in Portugal this weekend. In the end, we didn’t get the result in this race that we wanted, it wasn’t the easiest weekend at all actually – we had a real fight on track, but, to win the championship is amazing and our goal for the season has been achieved. We have had a great atmosphere this year, and it’s been a pleasure for us to work together with Anton and his guys. I first worked with Anton in the Marklund Motorsport team in 2014, so to win this with him in 2022 is special for me personally too. And we still have one race to go, where will be working extra hard to try and finish the year in style.”
Jussi Pinomäki, SET Promotion Team Principal:
“We are so proud of the small team we put together for this season to work together with Anton. To win a race in the European Championship is always special, but to win the title is even more so. That was our goal, together with Anton, for this year. He has been very, very good as a driver, and our guys, together with the people Anton has brought to this operation have been strong as a complete team. Kalle (Pinomaki) and I have been less involved on event this year than before, but we have been very comfortable that the team has been in safe hands and for SET to have claimed a 10th Euro RX title has not really sunk in. Well done to everyone.”
FIA Euro RX1 2022 Calendar
R1 – Nyirad, Hungary – May 21 - 22
R2 – Holjes, Sweden – July 2 - 3
R3 – Hell, Norway – August 13 - 14
R4 – Riga, Latvia – September 3 - 4
R5 – Montalegre, Portugal – September 17 - 18
R6 – Spa, Belgium – October 8 - 9
Full Euro RX information can be found on the FIA World Rallycross Championship website.
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