Gundersen Wins thrilling Opening RX2 Round in Belgium

by Phil Kinch

The 2018 RX2 International Series got underway at the Circuit Jules Tacheny Mettet in Belgium in its second year of being the official feeder series to the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

With a grid of seventeen starters for the first round and a range of driving talent coming from British Rallycross, European Rallycross and RX2 itself to name just a few, it was 2016 FIA European Touring Car Rallycross Champion Ben-Philip Gundersen who took the win.

Vasiliy Gryazin was fastest in Qualifying but lost out in the RX2 Final in Belgium. Credit: Olsbergs MSE / RX2 International Series

With Vasiliy Gryazin being on Pole Position after the Semi-Finals were completed, the Latvian driver was joined on the front row by Henrik Krogstad. RX2 regular Sondre Evjen and Jami Kalliomaki secured the middle row with Gundersen being joined by William Nilsson.

The start of the race saw Gryazin retire at the first turn after contact from Kalliomaki as the six cars raced to the hairpin. The Set Promotion driver held the lead of the race ahead of Evjen, Nilsson, Krogstad and Gundersen  until the end of the second lap.

Team Faren team-mates Conner Marell and Natahn Heathcote missed out on the RX2 Final in Belgium. Credit: IMG / RX2 International Series

Damage to the car saw Kalliomaki spin at the Final corner and this caused Enjen to take the Joker in avoidance in a move that worked out well for the JC Raceteknik driver.

This also left four drivers fighting for the lead as they headed into lap three.

With a big lead built up due to Kalliomaki’s spin, Gundersen took the joker on lap three and stayed in front to hold the lead as Evjen chased Nilsson for second.

With both Gundersen and Evjen having already jokered, Nilsson was relegated to fourth place when he finally took his joker on lap five.

Gundersen leads the championship as it heads to Silverstone for round two. Credit: Olsbergs MSE / RX2 International Series

Ben-Philip Gundersen survivied he conditions to take his first RX2 win for JC Raceteknik ahead of his eam-mates of Sondre Evjen and Henrik Krogstad.

William Nilsson completed a top four sweep of the results for JC Raceteknik as he was the final runner home in the top four.

The 2018 RX2 International Series heads for round two of the season at Silverstone over the May Bank Hioliday.

The feeder catergory will join World RX, The British Retro Rallycross Championship and the new Americas Rallycross Championship at the Speedmachine Festival.

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