Michalak tames the ‘monster’ on positive Supercar debut

  • Swede reaches semi-final in both rounds on Supercar bow
  • 42-year-old pleased by consistent progress over course of event
  • Supercar Lites graduate now aiming to ‘build upon’ positive start

Anders Michalak enjoyed an encouraging Supercar class debut during RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires’ ‘All-Star’ Magic Weekend (2-5 July), as the Swede took the fight to his more experienced rivals come rain and shine.

Stepping up from Supercar Lites competition, Michalak headed to Höljes with minimal testing under his belt in his 600bhp, Olsbergs MSE-run Ford Fiesta. Not only that, but he found himself facing some seriously tough opposition on his maiden weekend in the category, going up against the likes of two-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, fellow World RX race-winner Niclas Grönholm, reigning Euro RX and RallyX Nordic Champion Robin Larsson and former series title-winner Oliver Solberg.

Be that as it may, in six of the seven qualifying sessions, the 42-year-old placed only just outside of the top ten in the high-calibre, 20-strong field, going on to finish fourth at the semi-final stage in the opening round and third in round two.

Admitting to treating the event in some respects as an extended test session in view of his lack of prior seat time, Michalak was buoyed by his performance as he left Höljes sitting 12th in the points table.

“I’m very pleased with how the weekend went,” affirmed the Almunge-based driver. “There were a few errors along the way, but my lap times were generally very good and with the help of OMSE, I made progress throughout. I was happy with my starts, too – it’s a different procedure compared to being in a Supercar Lites car, but they seemed to go pretty well, which was encouraging.

“I have to say, the Supercar is like a monster to drive, but I already felt more comfortable by the end of the first day of racing and came quite close to reaching the final on the last day – it was only a big mistake going down the hill that allowed Fraser [McConnell] to jump me when he took his joker, but still, it was nice to hold Niclas Grönholm off to the end.

“The calibre of the Supercar field at Höljes was truly world-class, with so many champions from different series on the grid. It was good for me to be able to observe them from close quarters and see what lines they were taking, where I could match them and where I was losing time. Most of the other guys have been driving these cars for years, whereas I’m on a learning curve, so that was a great lesson for me and to beat some of them first time out was really cool.

“I have a lot of VBOX data and on-boards to analyse to help me to improve for the next event. It was a positive debut overall, and now I need to build upon that over the remainder of the season.”