- 2020 CrossCar/Crosskart revelation returns to take care of unfinished business
- Swedish star vows to put ‘all his time and effort’ into forthcoming title fight
- 17-year-old tempering his will to win with the need to consider the bigger picture
Leaving Arvika last summer, Patrik Hallberg sat just a single point adrift of the summit of the standings in RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires’ CrossCar/Crosskart category, but a clashing commitment meant he was unable to contest the season finale in Denmark. Fast forward seven months, and he is back to finish the job.
Despite not ultimately figuring in the tense title fight in 2020 due to having to skip the Nysum double-header, Hallberg was arguably the revelation of the campaign. At Höljes, he posted the fastest time in five of the seven qualifiers and appeared to be a dead-cert for the podium, only for a spin and a stall to shatter his hopes of victory.
Five weeks later at Arvika, the Swedish teenager was not to be denied. In a league of his own from Q1 to Q3, gear selection problems in Q4 might have spoiled what was looking set to be a clean sweep but they could not prevent him from going on to dominate both his semi-final and the final.
To finish fifth out of 49 in the end-of-season standings as a newcomer in the class is a laudable achievement by any standards, but to do so having entered two fewer rounds than any of his immediate rivals was impressive indeed.
Now with a new EDGE Crosskart at his disposal and with the benefit of the knowledge and experience he gained last year, Hallberg has confirmed his return to RallyX Nordic in 2021 – when he is sure to be a leading contender for championship glory.
“It was such a hard decision to walk away empty-handed from RallyX Nordic last summer,” confessed the 17-year-old from Tungelsta. “I really wanted to challenge for the title because I knew that I could make it, but I will take that with me as motivation and hopefully get some silverware at the end of this season. I’m very excited as RallyX Nordic is my main goal this year. We are going to put all of our time and effort into this to achieve the best result possible.
“I definitely know the class better now, and whilst I am in a new car this year which makes it a bit trickier, I will put up a real fight! At the same time, I need to try to stay relaxed like I was at Arvika, because that really seemed to work for me.
“The competition was really tough last season, and I doubt it will be any easier this season. Naturally, I can take confidence from my previous performances, but everyone has been developing over the winter so we’ll see where we are when we get to the first race. For sure, it’s a great feeling to know that I can win and that I already have won at this level – that’s a reminder that I can do it even if things don’t always go perfectly to plan.
“I learned last year that if I could snatch a couple of points away from my opponents in the qualifying stages, that really helped the bigger picture – consistency was and will remain key. Of course the goal is always to win, but ultimately, if I have to let a race win go in view of the overall championship then that’s what I will do because the title is the biggest goal of all…”