After last year’s third-overall finish, young Swedish driver Simon Olofsson has just announced his commitment to the 2017 RX2 International Series, clearly aiming at defeating reigning champion, Cyril Raymond, to bring the title in his hands.
22-year-old Olofsson, from Charlottenberg in Värmland, began his sporting career in football, then moved to alpine skiing. He made the full-time switch to rallycross last year, running as a private entry in the RX Lites series (now rebranded as RX2), turning heads with his four consecutive podium finishes, crowned with a win on home soil at Höljes, granting him a third-overall finish in the series, complemented by the Swedish national title, as well as a runner-up spot in the RallyX Nordic championship.
“After what we achieved last year, there can be just one goal for 2017 – to win the title,” stressed Olofsson, whose half-sister, Sandra Hultgren, will also join this season’s grid. “There is no doubt that the standard has stepped up a level this year, but that only gives me extra motivation to try to beat everybody else!
“With so many quick drivers already confirmed, I think consistency will be key – and that was one of my strong suits last year. I can’t wait for the season to start!”
This year’s RX2 campaign will start next May at the Belgian round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Mettet, before moving on to Lydden Hill, Great Britain. The support series will then visit the crowd-packed Scandinavian weekends of Hell and Höljes, before crossing the Atlantic for the Canadian event at Trois-Rivières. After the summer break, back to Europe for the French round at Lohéac, then it’ll be a long wait till the season finale at Killarney, South Africa, in November.
The field for the inaugural RX2 International Series is set to be particularly competitive: so far, alongside Olofsson, Hultgren and reigning champion Raymond, the other drivers to have announced their commitment are American ace Tanner Whitten, Swedish up-and-coming youngster William Nilsson, karting siblings Jessica and Andreas Bäckman also from Sweden, the Norwegian trio of Thomas Holmen, Glenn Haug and Sondre Evjen, Russian rally star Vasiliy Gryazin, fellow rally driver Guillaume De Ridder from Belgium, and experienced Swedish Crosskart competitor Anders Michalak. A full entry list will be released over the coming days.