Despite being put under pressure by Martin Enlund and Lukas Andersson on the final stage of the RallyX championship, Simon Olofsson was able to draw on all his experience to turn around a situation that seemed to have gone badly wrong at the end of qualifying.
Already the most successful Supercar Lites driver in RallyX history, with 13 career wins to his credit and a total of 22 podiums, Simon Olofsson also set a new record by becoming the first driver in the category to claim a second consecutive championship title.
However, Simon Olofsson didn’t have an easy time of it on the final stage of the championship at Holjes in early September. Only eighth in the intermediate classification at the end of Q3, the driver of the STS RX team had to wait until Q4 to finally break through with his 13th qualifying heat victory of the season.
“I was leading my heat in Q1 when my car suddenly stopped and we spent all our time looking for the cause of our problems, while in Q2 I was on three cylinders, something which again prevented me from putting in a good performance,” Simon points out.
“In Q3, I was no more successful as I was tricked by a problem displaying the number of laps still to go. I thought there were still two laps to go when it was actually the last lap and I was simply unable to take my joker lap. Fortunately, Q4 enabled us to put things right by taking the fastest time”.
Although Martin Enlund and Lukas Andersson took advantage of the situation to move back to within 7 and 8 points of Simon Olofsson in the overall championship standings after qualifying, it was with absolute calm that the Supercar Lites leader managed to preserve his advantage. Second in his semi-final, Olofsson showed no signs of weakness in the final, with another second-place finish to secure the championship.
“I stayed calm. If someone had pushed me off the track during qualifying, I’d probably have reacted differently, but this time I just found myself in a situation I was powerless to change. It’s not as if I could have blamed anyone. In fact, it’s just one of those scenarios you have to learn to accept in Rallycross. I’m a bit of a fatalist: sometimes everything goes your way, and sometimes the opposite happens”.
“I’m especially pleased that the finals went off without a hitch and that everyone was able to defend their chances right to the end. Throughout the championship, you generally fight to get to the last race of the calendar with a small margin over your rivals. I managed to do that this year, but after my poor qualifications in Holjes, I absolutely had to perform in the semi-final and final. All the good results I’d been able to achieve so far this season don’t count for much when you’re up against something like this.”
“Rallycross is an unpredictable sport. You can never anticipate how a race will suddenly turn out. In the semi-final, I could have run into mechanical problems like I did in Q1 and Q2, and I could have lost the championship without having the opportunity to defend my chances right to the end. Nevertheless, I’m more than satisfied that none of this happened at such a crucial point in the season”.
One thing is certain: Simon Olofsson has clearly not robbed the crown. In addition to three victories and a total of five podiums in eight races, the Swede also won the intermediate classification on four occasions, while taking 13 of the 26 qualifying heats in the 2023 season.
With 17 fastest race laps out of a total of 50 runs contested this year, Olofsson mastered his subject perfectly. It now remains to be seen whether the Swede will attempt to make it three in a row in 2024, or whether he will decide to put an end to his investment in Supercar Lites and turn to new adventures.
Supercar Lites winners since 2014
2014 – Kevin Hansen (SWE)
2015 – Tobias Brink (SWE)
2016 – Thomas Bryntesson (NOR)
2017 – William Nilsson (SWE)
2018 – Guillaume De Ridder (BEL)
2019 – Ben Philip Gundersen (NOR)
2020 – Henrik Krogstad (NOR)
2021 – Tommi Hallman (FIN)
2022 – Simon Olofsson (SWE)
2023 – Simon Olofsson (SWE)