Erik Hesla Berget, whose first Supercar Lites campaign was rewarded with a 13th place overall finish in 2022, was limited to two appearances in the RallyX championship in 2023. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old Norwegian hopes to return for a full season next year.
After an apprenticeship campaign in 2022 under the colours of the STS RX team, Erik Hesla Berget was forced to scale back his ambitions last winter.
“It was really the budget that held us back this year. Our goal was clearly to participate in a full Supercar Lites season, but we have to recognise that the economic situation is not easy for companies, and that’s why we made the decision to focus on the Norwegian Super1600/RX3 championship,” says Erik.
“It was clearly the only way for us to continue to gain experience. Unfortunately, after two first races rewarded with two third places in the B Final, we had to deal with an engine failure that brought our season to a premature end. It’s a shame because I’m sure we could have achieved some good results. I would have liked to finish my season, but the delivery times for parts were so long that we had to change our strategy.”
This setback did not prevent Erik Hesla Berget from taking part in the last two rounds of the RallyX championship in Grenland and Höljes.
A successful return to racing. Although Erik was unable to qualify for the finals in Grenland and Höljes, his performance in qualifying was remarkable.
In fact, of the eight qualifying heats the Norwegian has taken part in this year in Supercar Lites, he has finished in the top five in the class on five occasions.
“We didn’t really have any pressure for these two races, but we weren’t really successful in Norway with two broken wishbones, brake problems and a collision at the end of the joker lap in the semi-final, which didn’t allow me to defend my chances. On top of that, I’d only done about twenty laps before Grenland, so I still lacked pace. Even though you always want more, this race at least allowed me to see that I can fight with the best drivers in the championship”
A level of efficiency that the Norwegian confirmed a week later in Höljes, where he finished fourth in the intermediate classifications.
“Although I didn’t manage to qualify for the final, I had a very good weekend at Höljes. Although a brake problem stopped me in the first free practice session, the team reacted quickly and everything went perfectly after that, with sixth quickest in the second session followed by fourth and then third quickest in Q1 and Q2. Fourth place in the intermediate classification was very reassuring. Even if I didn’t have as much rhythm and momentum as my rivals, these two races confirm that we could have fought with the best if we had been able to race a full season.”
It’s enough to give Erik Hesla Berget some ideas for 2024.
“Obviously, the aim of these two races at the end of the season was to try and get some good results to convince sponsors to follow us for a full RallyX programme in 2024. I really like this Supercar Lites category. Not only do I have fun behind the wheel of the car, but the fact that everyone is competing on equal terms is what I like most. The difference can only be made behind the wheel and through the work the team can do behind the scenes. It’s clear that if we can find the budget for 2024, we’ll be back for a full championship.”