- Eriksson leads the field into Nysum, but rivals are breathing down his neck
- Home favourite Linnemann returns as defending race-winner and with a point to prove
- A third of 18-strong CrossCar grid are local specialists
- Semi-finals and finals to be broadcast live on series’ Facebook page
The 2019 RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires campaign resumes this weekend (1/2 June) with what promises to be another edge-of-the-seat instalment, as spectacular Danish track Nysumbanen plays host to a fast-developing and intriguing title fight.
All four classes – Supercar, Supercar Lites, RX Academy and CrossCar – were fiercely-contested over the course of the double-header curtain-raiser at Höljes earlier this month, with a particularly close battle in the headlining Supercar category culminating in the top four drivers being separated by just three points in the championship standings.
Rounds one and two were all about the Erikssons. After Kevin Eriksson led home a slow-starting Peter Hedström and the increasingly impressive Jere Kalliokoski on Saturday, it was the turn of younger brother Oliver to take the win – and with it the championship lead – on Sunday. The Swede looked set to finish third until a controversial collision between Robin Larsson and Sebastian Eriksson at the exit of the joker put the former into a spin and earned the latter a five-second penalty.
Oliver duly leads the field into Nysum, a circuit that has established itself as a pillar of the RallyX Nordic calendar in recent years, providing thrilling action for drivers and fans alike. Characterised by a fast-and-flowing, 1,160m lap, the track is unique in the series for its figure-of-eight layout and bridge/jump combo – ensuring spectators are in for a true rollercoaster ride as the championship builds momentum.
Eriksson took the chequered flag first in Denmark last year, but was relegated to second by a post-race penalty for clipping a track marker on the exit of the joker. This time round, ‘Flying Finn’ Kalliokoski, last weekend’s Silverstone FIA Euro RX event-winner Larsson and Hedström are all within just three points of the early leader in the title chase – setting the scene for some sensationally close racing – and that is without even counting fifth-placed Ulrik Linnemann, who will arguably be the most fired-up of all to shine this weekend.
The Dane made a head-turning RallyX Nordic debut on home soil last year, registering a hugely popular victory in the final following Eriksson’s demotion – a result he is eager to replicate 12 months on. Linnemann was out of luck at Höljes, displaying front-running pace on both days before falling victim to a run of punctures. After Olsbergs MSE team-mate Eriksson proved what the new-to-Europe Honda Civic is capable of, he would like nothing more than to open his 2019 account with a podium finish – if not better – in front of family and friends.
“I’m really looking forward to racing on the track where I grew up,” the 31-year-old enthused. “I think Nysum will suit the Honda well and I have high hopes of taking revenge after my bad final results in Sweden. Lots of people are expecting great things of me at my home circuit, so I hope I can make them proud…”
In evidence of the unpredictable and top-tier action in RallyX Nordic this year, no fewer than 11 drivers occupied the 12 available final slots at Höljes – amongst whom were Philip Gehrman, a podium-finisher then and also in Denmark last year, so the Swede will doubtless fancy his chances on his return. Nysum will mark seasonal debuts, meanwhile, for JC Raceteknik’s Mats Öhman – who lost 95 per cent of his mobility following a snowmobile accident in 1998 – and local favourite Dennis Rømer.
The competition is every bit as hot in the supporting Supercar Lites category, with Norwegian teenager Thomas Holmen stunning his rivals by racing to victory in the opening round of the campaign following an 18-month absence from the cockpit. So tightly-disputed is the class, Holmen could only manage sixth place in Sunday’s final, but that was nonetheless enough to maintain the championship lead heading to Denmark.
Sunday’s top two – Sondre Evjen and Ben-Philip Gundersen – mirrored the top two from Nysum last year, meaning the JC Raceteknik pairing will return in confident spirits, and the former sits just a single point behind countryman Holmen at the summit of the standings. Simon Olofsson was similarly a podium-finisher in both events, and can always be counted upon to put in a crowd-pleasing performance.
The RX Academy and CrossCar showdowns at Höljes were equally as gripping, with the promise of more to come – particularly with a clutch of local heroes in the 18-strong CrossCar field in Denmark.
The racing will run from 16h00 – 18h00 on Saturday and 09h30 – 17h00 on Sunday. Adult entry tickets are available from 250 DKK (c.€33) for Sunday or 350 DKK (c.€47) for the full weekend, with camping an additional 100 DKK (c.€13). Children aged 13-16 get in for 150 DKK (c.€20) on Sunday or 200 DKK (c.€27) for the full weekend. Accompanied children aged 12 and under will be admitted free.
More information can be found here: http://www.mnj.dk/Salgslinks-til-billetsalg-til-RallyX
For those unable to get to the track, every RallyX Nordic event in 2019 will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/rallyxnordic and www.rallyx.se/rallyx-tv, with live coverage of the semi-finals and finals also set to be broadcast on Viasat in Norway and throughout the Baltic regions on TV6 Latvia. In Denmark, highlights will be shown on Viasat channels, TV3 SPORT, TV3 MAX, Viaplay and five local TV 2 regional channels approximately a week after each event.
|4||Robin Larsson||SWE||JC Raceteknik|
|8||Peter Hedström||SWE||Hedströms Motorsport|
|11||Jere Kalliokoski||FIN||Kalliokoski Motorsport|
|16||Oliver Eriksson||SWE||Olsbergs MSE|
|17||Mats Öhman||SWE||JC Raceteknik|
|27||Dennis Rømer||DNK||Dennis Rømer|
|61||Andreas Carlsson||SWE||Andreas Carlsson Rallycross|
|72||Ulrik Linnemann||DNK||Olsbergs MSE|
|88||Daniel Thorén||SWE||Hedströms Motorsport|
|95||Philip Gehrman||SWE||Gehrman Motorsport AB|
|2||Ben-Philip Gundersen||NOR||JC Raceteknik|
|11||Mats Oskarsson||SWE||Oskarsson Motorsport|
|12||Anders Michalak||SWE||Michalak Motorsport|
|18||Linus Östlund||SWE||Olsbergs MSE|
|20||Nathalie Petersson||SWE||Hedströms Motorport|
|52||Simon Olofsson||SWE||Simon Olofsson|
|54||Petter Nårsa||SWE||Öhman Motorsport|
|56||Thomas Holmen||NOR||Thomas Holmen|
|69||Sondre Evjen||NOR||JC Raceteknik|
|90||Jimmie Walfridson||SWE||JC Raceteknik|
|91||Niklas Aneklev||SWE||Olsbergs MSE|
|99||Hans-Ola Frøshaug||NOR||JC Raceteknik|
|3||Joni Heikkinen||FIN||RX Academy|
|22||Rasmus Tuominen||FIN||RX Academy|
|27||Marko Muru||EST||RX Academy|
|44||Jonne Ollikainen||FIN||RX Academy|
|66||Luka Nurmi||FIN||RX Academy|
|72||Clémentine Lhoste||FRA||RX Academy|
|87||Tommi Hallman||FIN||RX Academy|
|95||Jimi Kalliomäki||FIN||RX Academy|
|6||Martin Enlund||SWE||Enlunds Motorsport|
|8||Jonas Ericsson||SWE||SSD Swespeed|
|11||Jimmie Österberg||SWE||Österberg Motorsport|
|12||Fredrik Arnesson||SWE||Fredrik Arnesson|
|14||Nils Andersson||SWE||NA Motorsport|
|20||Julius Ljungdahl||SWE||Yellow Squad by Hansen|
|21||Lars Söderström||SWE||SSD Swespeed|
|46||Thomas Eek Murstad||NOR||Murstad Motorsport|
|85||Petter Hane||SWE||Petter Hane|
|99||Leon Sørensen||DNK||Leon Sørensen|
|170||Isak Reiersen||SWE||JC Raceteknik Junior Team|
|175||Timmy Enlund||SWE||Enlunds Motorsport|
|768||Dennis Munch||DNK||Dennis Munch|
|924||Soren Jelsbak||DNK||Soren Jelsbak|
|958||Rasmus Larsen||DNK||Rasmus Larsen|
|987||Lars Nielsen||DNK||Lars Nielsen|
|990||Tobias Andersen||DNK||Tobias Andersen|
2019 RallyX Nordic Calendar
|May 17-19||Rounds 1/2||Höljes, Sweden|
|June 1-2||Round 3||Nysum, Denmark|
|July 20-21||Round 4||Riga, Latvia|
|July 27-28||Round 5||Finnskogbanen, Norway|
|August 24-25||Round 6||Kouvola, Finland|
|September 21-22||Round 7||Tierp Arena, Sweden|