The 19-year-old Swedish driver came close to turning the RallyX championship to his exclusive advantage on the final stage of the 2023 season at Höljes in early September, but a puncture in the semi-final decided otherwise for the Casmat driver.
The frustration was obvious for Elias Svensson at the end of the final round of the RallyX championship.
With two wins and a total of four podiums, the Swede is also the only driver in the 2023 season to have won the intermediate classification three times after qualifying.
Able to score eight qualifying heat wins out of the 26 runs contested since Nysum, Elias Svensson also shared with Thomas Eek Murstad the greatest number of qualifications for a final (6 finals in eight races), as well as the record for best race laps (7 in 42 runs contested since Nysum).
Yet it was in third place overall, in the wake of Sebastian Enholm and Thomas Eek Murstad, that the Casmat driver finally concluded his 2023 season.
“Inevitably, it’s a difficult situation to accept,” stresses Elias.
“I have no words to express how I feel after this last event of the season. I really tried to give my best in the last two races of the championship. Up until that semi-final in Höljes and the puncture, everything was going perfectly. In Norway, during the penultimate race of the year, I had done the job very well, winning the intermediate classification and maintaining that top position right up to the finish of the final.”
“In Höljes, I managed to repeat that performance in qualifications. In fact, I was feeling perfectly fine before this semi-final. I had the sensation that I had a great chance of securing pole position for the final and going for first place in the championship, but the puncture put a definitive end to my ambitions”.
For Elias Svensson, this failure echoed the one he had already experienced in 2022. Back then, it was a disqualification in Höljes that prevented the Sunne-based driver from clinching the RallyX title.
“The most frustrating thing was that I hadn’t had a puncture since the start of the championship. This time, it happened at the worst moment of the season. Nevertheless, I’m proud of what I’ve been able to show this year. Our start to the championship wasn’t as good as we might have hoped with brake problems in Denmark, but from the second event in Tierp, we showed our real ability.”
“In Race 1, contact with Thomas Eek Murstad at the start of the final prevented us from defending our chances, but we were able to react in Race 2, bagging victory and the maximum score of 30 points. After that, we were able to confirm our efficiency in Kouvola. Even though I was disqualified from Race 2 for overtaking under yellow flags that I hadn’t seen, I know that whenever reliability was there, we had the speed to win races”.
Although disappointed by the conclusion of his season, Elias Svensson was nevertheless quick to acknowledge the merits of RallyX 2023 champion Sebastian Enholm.
“The level of this championship is so high that we can’t afford to slack off in any way,” reminds Elias.
“You have to drive perfectly from the beginning to the end of the season if you want to have a chance of winning, while avoiding the slightest mistake, and I think Sebastian Enholm is the perfect example of this. He may not have been the fastest driver over the whole season, but he was there at every decisive moment. He built up his championship in a very clever way, and I’d like to congratulate him on winning this title”.
One thing is certain: after two consecutive seasons in which Elias Svensson has seen the title slip from his hands, the Casmat driver has no intention of giving up.
“From now on, we’ll be looking at what we can do next year. I feel more than ever that I have a job to complete in this championship. It’s been two years in a row that I’ve missed out on the title for very little. I thought that this 2023 season would allow me to take my revenge on 2022, but now I know that I’ll have a double revenge to take next year. In other words, I have every intention of coming back in 2024 and proving that I can be even faster than I was this year”