Handling a Supercar-specification Ford Fiesta packing more than 600bhp is a sizeable challenge for any driver but taking it all the way to the top step of the RallyX Nordic podium on your debut is another… yet Oliver Eriksson has the honour of including this on his growing list of achievements.
The young Swede – son of rallycross legend and Olsbergs MSE boss Andreas Eriksson – is only 19-years-old but currently leads the ultra-competitive RX2 International Series and already has a full season of competing on American soil as part of the factory Red Bull Honda team.
Before this, however, Eriksson made headlines by not only storming to victory in the opening round of the 2017 RallyX Nordic season in Grenland but doing so in his first-ever race weekend at the wheel of Supercar machinery.
Pitched as a ‘taster’ outing before his impending season competing in the US, Eriksson says he didn’t come into the weekend chasing a win and admits things didn’t start so promisingly.
“It was my first ever Supercar race and I didn’t know what to expect,” he reveals. “I had already signed up to do a full season in the US so I was just trying to get a feel for it and try racing Supercars, to come here and just learn
“Save for a few tests beforehand, it was my first time in the car and first time in Grenland, so I was trying to figure out the whole thing with the power. In Lites [which I had raced before] you can think about what is going on, you can see the situation in a better way. In Supercars it was just all the time, super quick… that was the biggest thing to get used to.
“In the first heat I was all over the place… there was a lot going on. I did a few tests in the winter but never a race, so it was an eye-opener how fast everything went!”
Nevertheless, Eriksson found his limit with the car as the weekend progressed, winning his semi-final to start from pole position in the final. From here, he says it was only his mind that would stop him from scoring a famous win.
During the heats we progressed all the time. We didn’t do much, just tried to improve my driving and stay out of trouble. We won the semi-final, started from pole, we kept the lines. From here we led from the front and I managed to keep it clean and keep on the pace.
“I was so nervous! It was my debut I didn’t know what to do and I was leading the race. I kept thinking ‘don’t screw it up!’. At the finish line, I was quite relieved… it was so fun, but being in the lead can be stressful. I didn’t know how to react because we didn’t expect it. It was a fantastic moment.”
Schedule – RallyX Nordic // Round 3 // Grenland
1000 Free Practice (1)
1050 Free Practice (2)
1145 Qualifying Race 1 (Q1)
1330 Qualifying Race 2 (Q2)
Qualifying Race 3 (Q3)