Kevin Eriksson in Supercar and Simon Olofsson in Supercar Lites made the most of the first race of the weekend in Kouvola to take the lead in their respective categories. While Viktor Johansson in the Open 2WD class and Thomas Eek Murstad in the CrossCar class managed to hold on to their front seats, this was not the case for Mikael Uitto in the Junior class. Forced to retire in the final following contact with Lauri Halonen, Uitto relinquished his championship lead to the winner of the day, Joonatan Ylilammi.
Supercar: 5 out of 5 for Kevin Eriksson
While Kevin Eriksson continues to walk on water in Supercar with a third win and a fifth podium in as many events contested this year, Yury Belevskiy faced a difficult day.
Despite setting the second fastest time in Q1, the turmoil of the field in Q2 and Q3 saw the Volland Racing driver drop to tenth place in the intermediate standings.
While Belevskiy definitely had the speed to win at the start of the day, he was not really rewarded for his efforts as the Audi S1 driver had to be content with fourth place in the final, while Jere Kalliokoski and Juha Rytkonen completed the podium in that order just behind new RallyX leader Kevin Eriksson.
Supercar Pro-Am: Mats Ohman takes first place
In the Supercar Pro-Am category, victory went to rallycross legend Mats Ohman. In his first outing of the season, Ohman won ahead of Maiko Tamm and Edjis Oss. Despite a solid weekend, Viktor Vranckx was fourth. Leader of the category since the opening stage in Nysum, Vranckx sees his advantage over Tamm shrinking. With a 10-point lead heading into the weekend, the Belgian driver now has a mere 7 points advantage over his Estonian rival.
Supercar Lites: Simon Olofsson back to winning ways
Simon Olofsson did nobody any favors in Race 1. Needing to score big points to slow down Lukas Andersson’s progress in the overall championship standings, Olofsson put in a faultless performance.
Winner of all three qualifying heats in Race 1, the RallyX 2022 champion maintained his domination right to the end, winning the final ahead of Martin Enlund and Casper Jansson, who scored their fourth and second podium finishes of the 2023 season respectively.
Only fifth in qualifying, Lukas Andersson could do no better than fourth in the final. For the first time this season, the rookie finished below the 20-point mark, relinquishing his position as championship leader to Simon Olofsson. This Sunday, Olofsson will enter the second race of the weekend with a nine-point lead over Andersson.
Open 2WD: Olli Lahti doubles up in Kouvola
Winner of the intermediate classification with three Top 3 finishes to his credit in qualifying, Olli Lahti managed to hold on to his advantage right to the end, beating Viktor Johansson and Tuomas Venalainen in the final. Having already won Race 2 in 2022 at Kouvola, Lahti has now claimed his second career RallyX victory.
Forced to retire in the final, Simon Tiger helped Viktor Johansson maintain his domination in the overall standings. Leading the championship before Kouvola, the Mercedes driver takes his fourth podium of the season and increases his advantage over Tiger from 16 to 21 points before the kick-off of Race 2.
CrossCar: The rescue of the year
Thomas Eek Murstad, Elias Svensson and Jimmie Osterberg, who finished 12th, 17th and 15th respectively in the intermediate classification, achieved the feat of finishing the final race in that order, taking the top three places in the category.
Murstad, the first driver to reach the milestone of two victories this season, extended his lead over Alexander Heum from 7 to 11 points at the top of the overall standings, while Sebastian Enholm snatched third place from Elias Svenson by two points.
Junior CrossCar: Joonatan Ylilammi keeps his cool
Only third in the championship when he arrived in Kouvola, Joonatan Ylilammi achieved the strongest result of the day.
Lauri Halonen, who won the intermediate classification for the second time in a row, lost all hope of stealing the championship lead from Mikael Uitto. The two teenagers crashed out during the first lap of the semi-final, offering Ylilammi the championship lead.
Second in the intermediate standings, Ylilammi added a second victory to his tally this season, beating Olliver Tveiten Sollie and Joni Turpeinen in final to keep alive his streak of five consecutive podium finishes.
In the overall championship, Joonatan Ylilammi now has a 6 and 7-point advantage over Lauri Halonen and Mikael Uitto.