Marceau Launay: “This podium is a great relief”

A fortnight after Julien Meunier in Tierp, it was the turn of another Frenchman, Marceau Launay, to experience the thrill of a podium finish in the RallyX championship. It was a performance that took a long time to materialise in Finland, despite his excellent statistics in terms of pure speed.

Marceau Launay never had it easy in Kouvola, to say the least. In this nerve-wracking championship, the level of intensity and concentration required to hope to perform is in no way comparable to what Marceau Launay experienced in the French championship so far.

In Q1 on Saturday morning, a collision with team-mate Casper Jansson cost him valuable points, before a mechanical failure while he was in second place in his semi-final forced him to retire from Race 1.

Returning to action on Sunday morning for the second race of the weekend, the French Junior Champion started Q1 with a bang, setting the third fastest time in the Supercar Lites category. However, the improvement was short-lived as Q2 ended with another retirement following wheel-to-wheel contact with Lukas Andersson.

Only seventh in the intermediate classification going into a decisive Q3, Marceau Launay was able to reverse the momentum of his weekend with a second fastest time to finish fourth in the intermediate classification.

Second in the semi-final behind Simon Olofsson, the Frenchman made the most of his promotion to the final to claim his first career podium behind Simon Olofsson and Casper Jansson.

It was a performance that delighted Marceau Launay, who experienced a proper rollercoaster in Finland.

This podium is a huge relief,” said Marceau.

“We had to deal with some very complicated races throughout the weekend. We’d already had some mechanical problems at Tierp at the start of the championship and that happened again at Kouvola over the weekend, especially in the semi-final of Race 1 when we were second. On Sunday, despite what happened in Q2 with Lucas, the day went perfectly. Although we were disappointed, we were able to bounce back by focusing on performance and I can’t deny that it feels really good to be rewarded for all our efforts and work. I’d also like to thank my mechanic Mattias Ledin, who once again did an incredible job throughout the weekend. Third place is a clear win for us.

Encouraged by his first podium finish, Marceau Launay is eagerly looking forward to the next few races.

“We saw in Kouvola that we have the speed, but that’s not enough in RallyX. You also have to put everything together every weekend and that’s undoubtedly the hardest part. We’re constantly discovering new tracks and, although we inevitably have a lack of experience compared to our rivals, this means that we have to adapt as quickly as possible. That’s why this third place is so special.”

Sixth in the overall standings, 12 points behind Julien Meunier/Tobias Daarkak duo and 13 points behind two-time defending champion Simon Olofsson, this first podium finish will allow Marceau Launay to definitively launch his 2024 season.