After missing out on the RallyX championship since 2021, when he finished ninth in the overall standings, Niklas Aneklev took advantage of the 2023 campaign to return to action, with obvious success in the Supercar Lites category.
Indeed, although the 32-year-old Swede made do with just two outings, taking part in the double header at Tierp and then closing his season at Höljes last September, the former Enduro specialist didn’t miss the opportunity to shine, managing to qualify for a final three times in as many events contested this year.
An impressive performance considering that, since his debut initiated in 2019 in the Supercar Lites category, Niklas Aneklev had settled for a total of three qualifications for a final over the 2019/2021 period.
“Since the end of my last Supercar Lites program in 2021, I’ve simply made the choice to take some time out for my now growing family,” Niklas points out.
“So I settled for a small program in SxS Nordic, which is a new off-road championship in Sweden. Nevertheless, I’m still enjoying driving a Supercar Lites and that’s why I chose to get back to business this year. The Tierp stage was naturally a must for me, as I live only a few kilometers from the circuit, while Höljes is always an event I can’t afford to miss. This is all the more true as I’ve always managed to get good results on this track”.
Despite technical problems in the second free practice session and in Q3 and Q4 in Holjes, with two retirements to his credit, Niklas Aneklev was able to trade his tenth place in the intermediate standings for an unexpected qualification for the final.
“Qualifying for a final was my goal when I arrived in Höljes. Nevertheless, it wasn’t such an easy weekend with differential problems during Free Practice 2, which defines the starting order for Q1 in RallyX. Inevitably, this put me in a bad dynamic with a bad starting slot in Q1, but thanks to a sixth-fastest time, I was able to recover pole position in Q2 to claim a second consecutive Top 6.”
“Admittedly, Q3 and Q4 were once again marked by mechanical problems, but we managed to get the car back up to speed for the semi-final and final”
There’s no doubt that Niklas Aneklev’s third finals qualification of 2023 may well give him a few ideas for next season.
“I really came to Höljes to have fun and, as always, I clearly got my money’s worth,” laughs Niklas.
“We’ll see what we do in 2024, but the idea is really to get back into the RallyX championship. It now remains to be seen whether we’ll continue to compete in the Supercar Lites or whether we’ll take the gamble of trying our hand at the top category.”