Back in action at the beginning of September for the final round of the 2023 RallyX Championship season, Linus Östlund showed off his potential as he discovered the Audi S1 JC Raceteknik for the very first time.
If everyone remembers Linus Ostlund’s performances in 2022 at the wheel of the Hedström Motorsport VW Polo in the European Rallycross Championship, his performances in July 2023 at Höljes at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta OMSE were enough to show that the former RallyX runner-up in the Supercar Lites category was more than ever one of Sweden’s best prospects.
This time, it was behind the wheel of a JC Raceteknik Audi S1 that Linus Ostlund proved his worth as the championship drew to a close, securing a fifth-place finish in the final.
Although Linus was unlucky in Q1 following a collision at the exit of Turn 1, he quickly exchanged his 15th place for 6th place in the intermediate classification at the end of Q4.
Able to set the second fastest lap of Q2, the local hero never strayed far from the top 6 performers of the Höljes stage in terms of pure speed.
At the end of a final dominated by Johan Kristoffersson ahead of Oliver Eriksson, Ole-Christian Veiby and Kevin Eriksson, Linus Ostlund succeeded perfectly in his mission, taking fifth place ahead of former FIA Euro RX3 European Champion Yury Belevskiy.
“I’m obviously delighted with what I was able to show at Höljes,” says Linus.
“I was discovering a new car, but that didn’t stop me fighting against drivers who have the opportunity to drive as much as possible throughout the season. Managing to reach the milestone of qualifying for a final in this context is just the perfect scenario for me.”
“When you are up against world champions and drivers who have proven themselves by winning a host of other championships, and you can compete with them, it’s a sign that things are going in the right direction, because no one is doing anyone any favours at this level of racing. It’s going extremely fast, but we’ve shown that we’ve got the speed to give them a hard time, and I’m pretty proud of that.”
“Obviously, that bad result in Q1 didn’t help me get into a good dynamic, but that’s also part of the game in Rallycross. I lacked a bit of success, but I was able to react in the right way afterwards. In any case, it’s good to see that I can be competitive at the wheel of different Supercars. I quickly managed to find the right level of confidence to perform well at the wheel of the Audi S1.”
“I just need a bit more time and mileage to show what my real potential is with this car. We’ve proved that we’ve got what it takes to take on the best Rallycross drivers, so this can only strengthen our motivation ahead of the off-season”.
While Linus Ostlund hasn’t had the opportunity to rely on a full Rallycross program since a 2021 season marked by a third-place overall finish in the Supercar Lites category in the wake of Tommi Hallman and Nils Andersson, this performance established in Höljes could help give the Swedish driver some ideas for 2024.
“The RallyX championship has once again proved that it’s an ultra-competitive series, so I make no secret that this could be an interesting option for us for 2024. Now, we’ll take care to let the adrenalin drop before going to discuss with our partners as to the best options that might be open to us with a view to next season.”