Third in the 2022 RallyX championship, Thomas Eek Murstad went one step further in the 2023 season, just one point behind Sebastian Enholm in first position. A performance that made the young Norwegian driver extremely satisfied.
By finishing second overall in Holjes at the beginning of September, Thomas Eek Murstad became only the fourth driver in the history of the CrossCar category, after Isak Reiersen, Jimmie Osterberg and Patrik Hallberg, to finish on the final podium of the RallyX championship twice in a row.
With two wins and a total of five podiums from the eight races on the 2023 schedule, the Norwegian came very close to succeeding Oskar Andersson in the CrossCar Senior category.
A performance that left the native of Nottoden thrilled.
“I’m really happy with the way we’ve managed this season,” says Thomas.
“We already showed last year that we were capable of competing with the top drivers in 2022 by finishing third in the championship, but we did even better this year by finishing just one point short of the title. I’m also proud of the fact that I was able to show my pace in all the events of the season, even though the level of the CrossCar category was extremely high”
And with good reason: throughout the 2023 season, Thomas was just as fast as Elias Svensson, setting seven fastest race laps and five fastest qualifying times. In 26 qualifying sessions, the Norwegian managed 17 top-10 finishes and shared the record with Elias Svensson for the most qualifications in a final with a total of six.
“We certainly had our ups and downs in qualifying, but so did everyone else in the class,” says Thomas.
Coming so close to the championship crown at the end of an intense 2023 CrossCar season is inevitably a source of regret, but Thomas keeps his eye on the bigger picture.
“To be just one point away from first place and the championship title inevitably leaves me with a few regrets. You always tend to think that if you’d done things better at this or that point in the season, the result might have been different. Nevertheless, I’d like to congratulate Sebastian Enholm on his title.”
“Our duels on the track were always fair, even though we’ve been elbow to elbow since the first round of the championship in Nysum. I even managed to overtake him in the final to win the first race of the 2023 season there. I’m also proud of my home performances in Grenland. Second place on the podium again was very satisfying because I know how quickly things can go wrong on this track.”
With a total of three wins and eight podiums since joining the RallyX championship, Thomas Eek Murstad will be back as the clear favourite in 2024.
“At the moment I feel good in this championship and in this CrossCar category. It’s really where I want to be at the moment. The budgets are much more affordable and it gives me the guarantee of having a competitive car every weekend.”