After a sensational 2023 campaign in the RallyX championship, with two wins and a total of three podium finishes from four races, Mats Öhman is already looking ahead to 2024.
The JC Raceteknik driver couldn’t end the season without a little something extra to wrap up 2023 in style, a year in which he reminded his Supercar rivals of his full potential.
In addition to his first-class performances in the RallyX championship, no one has forgotten his Top 10 finish at Höljes in the FIA Euro RX1 European Championship.
Last weekend, Mats Öhman made his mark on the French track of Dreux. Despite a retirement in Q2 that cost him qualification for the semi-finals, the Audi S1 driver gave it his all in Q3 and Q4, finishing 9th and 12th out of a field of 27 drivers.
“There’s already a nice blanket of snow at home,” laughs Mats.
“Winter has already started, so I thought that coming to take part in this race in France would be a great way to end the season. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan with this retirement in Q2, while I also had to adapt to this track, which is almost exclusively made up of tarmac. It’s totally different from what we’re used to in the Nordic countries.”
“And then, the tires used in France are also different. The rubber is much harder and that didn’t help me at the start of the weekend. In fact, we were forced to make quite a few changes to our setup to try and find some traction and to adapt our car to these tires.”
One thing’s for sure: Mats Öhman hasn’t waited long to think about his options for 2024. Buoyed by his performance this year, the JC Raceteknik team driver is highly motivated to continue his Rallycross adventures.
” It had been almost three years since I’d been back in a Supercar,” adds Mats.
“After such a long break, I clearly didn’t expect to be able to perform so well. In fact, I think I was the first to be surprised by my results. Winning back-to-back races in Kouvola, even though I’d only done one practice session in the week leading up to the event, was beyond my expectations.”
“Quite honestly, it was a really fantastic feeling to get back into racing by finishing on the top step of the podium twice. I’m really happy with what I’ve been able to show this year. This is all the more true as I have the feeling that this is quite simply my best season since I started in Rallycross.”
For the time being, Mats Öhman has no intention of changing a winning formula.
“I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to take part in a full season in 2024, but I’m really thinking of returning to the RallyX championship. In any case, it’s the most plausible option as far as I’m concerned.”
“I’ve really enjoyed this championship. And I can’t hide the fact that the introduction of the Pro Am Supercar category also contributes to this dynamic. In any case, for a ‘veteran’ like me, it’s been a very good thing, because it means we really have something to play for every weekend, that we can win races while setting ourselves targets with a view to the overall standings.”
Indeed, third in the Pro Am RallyX championship despite taking part in only 50% of the events on the calendar, Mats Öhman could well be among the favourites for overall victory in 2024.