Jimmie Österberg is aiming to secure his first RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires CrossCar/Crosskart title this season after a number of near-misses, but the Swede’s task is far from easy.
Österberg is currently level on points with both Isak Reiersen and Patrik Hallberg at the top of the standings after dropped scores are taken into account, with just one round of the 2021 campaign remaining.
The trio are therefore set for an epic showdown when the RallyX Nordic paddock arrives at Arvika in Sweden later this summer (August 13-15), but the Power RX driver feels he is a more rounded racer now than earlier in the year and is ready to rise to the challenge.
“With three drivers level on the same points with one race left, I think everyone will be thrilled to watch the CrossCar/Crosskart class in Arvika,” said Österberg.
“My season has been almost as good as I could have hoped. My plan was to be as consistent as possible, and that is something that I have improved on throughout the year.
“Maybe the results could have been better at the start of the season, but I’m actually the only driver that has appeared in all the finals so far – so that is proof that I’m doing something right!
“The win in Round 5 at OuluZone in Finland gave me a big push up the points standings, so now we are in the game for real.”
Österberg was CrossCar/Crosskart runner-up in both 2019 and 2020, while he has once again shown his title credentials by demonstrating excellent pace and reliable race craft this season.
The 26-year-old was fourth and fifth in the season-opening double-header at Nysum, then followed that up with a sixth-place finish at Höljes before chasing Reiersen home in Round 4 – which also took place at the iconic Värmland circuit.
Österberg finally climbed up to the top step of the rostrum with an almost wheel-perfect performance during Round 5 at Ouluzone, and still managed to place fourth in Round 6 despite being caught up in a turn one incident.
This relentless consistency has seen him gradually close the gap on his rivals, and now Österberg is primed to strike when the season finale gets underway at his local venue.
“As usual, racing at Arvika will be a bit special,” he said. “It’s my home track, and I live just 10 minutes away, but I don’t think that I have that much of an advantage because Arvika is very technical.
“I’m really looking forward to being in the title fight, hopefully in front of a home crowd and plenty of supporters!
“Before the season started, I did my homework and picked out which two drivers I thought would be my biggest rivals this year. And here we are now – Myself, Isak Reiersen and Patrik Hallberg – all on the same points ahead of the last race of the season. They are both really good drivers and it will not be easy to get the win in Arvika.
“Of course I want that title this year, after two years of second places and one year finishing third, but to be on the podium for the fourth year in a row is good proof of the hard work we have put in.”
The RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires Championship reaches its dramatic conclusion with Round 7 at Arvika in Sweden (August 13-15). Remember to catch all the action live and for free on the RallyX TV YouTube Channel.