After his first season with Olsbergs MSE, Niclas Grönholm will stay competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with the GRX outfit owned by his father, the WRC champion Marcus Grönholm, with a slightly different machine for 2017.
Truth is that Niclas will still be driving a Ford Fiesta ST RX, but instead of being one of the many cars built by Olsbergs MSE, which are pretty popular in Europe, he will be in a car built by M-Sport, the same organization that takes care of the Bentley GT3 effort, of the Ford private effort in the World Rally Championship and of the Ford Focus RS RX used by Andreas Bakkerud and Ken Block from Hoonigan Racing Division. This Fiesta ST RX was previously raced by Block himself, and prior to the current Focus RS RX project this was the M-Sport built car to participate of World RX, with a best finish of 3rd at Hell, Norway, in 2014.
The GRX effort will be a partnership with Set Promotion, a respected Finnish team with strong ties with Niclas Grönholm, being the team who brought him to RX Lites and a third place in the event at Kouvola, Finland, in 2014. Along with the GRX driver, Set Promotion has or had links with various rallycross stars and young guns like Andreas Bakkerud, Reinis Nitiss, Janis Baumanis and more recently Simon Wågö Syversen and Timur Shigabutdinov.
This year, Grönholm has on his side the knowledge of all World RX venue but one, being this the new Killarney Circuit in South Africa, which should help him achieve more than his two participations in semi-finals at Höljes and Trois Rivieres last year. He admitted than not only the lack of track knowledge but also the lack of early testing proved to be a tough barrier to break in 2016, and this year this shouldn't be a problem for driver and team.
PHOTO: FIA World Rallycross