Jesse Kallio, the 2017 Set Promotion RX Academy series champion will be returning to the RX2 International Series together with in the Swedish Olsbergs MSE team for another full-season campaign.
Kallio debuted in the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2018 after winning the RX Academy series, taking a race win in the Super1600 class at Hell in Norway that year.
Last season he entered the RX2 International Series with Olsbergs MSE where he was looking likely to take the runner-up spot in the championship but after electric failures with the car at the season-finale, he dropped down to third as Ben-Philip Gundersen claimed that spot. His teammate Oliver Eriksson became the champion for the second time.
Kallio stood on the podium five times on his first season, nearly taking the win at Spa-Francorchamps. Beside doing the RX2 series, he entered the home round of RallyX Nordic in Kouvola where he took his maiden win in a Supercar Lites machinery.
“My rookie season in RX2 was amazing, the series, car and team were all completely new to me and it was my first time running with four wheel-drive – and I finished on the podium first time out!” Kallio said.
“That was incredible, particularly given how competitive the series is and how many fast drivers there were in the field with much more experience than me in Supercar Lites machinery – it was really rewarding to be able to take the fight to them.”
“By the time we got to Spa, I was challenging for victory, which was way more than I had been hoping for. I hadn’t expected to be pushing for the podium until later in the season, but we were up there right from the start.“
“It was obviously a difficult end to the year. We were well on-course to clinch second in the championship, but that was taken away from us through no fault of our own. That gives me a lot of motivation for the new season, and I’m feeling really fired-up and hungrier than ever to come out fighting for victory.” Kallio added.
Before the RX2 International Series kicks off in Barcelona on 18 April, he will be entering the RallyX on Ice in Luleå on 23 March. Kallio is looking to do a full-season campaign in the RallyX Nordic series too beside the RX2 to gain more seat time in the car.
Kallio is one of the title contenders this season and a fan favourite as his teammate Eriksson is stepping out from the class.
“The calibre of the competition looks set to be exceptionally high again – perhaps even more so than last year – and that means consistency will be key in the championship battle, the continuity with OMSE is definitely an advantage in that respect. They have so much experience in the sport, and we established a very strong relationship last year so I’m really excited to work with all the guys again.” Kallio continued.
“Montalegre is a tricky circuit to get to grips with, so it’s good to have some prior knowledge of it – that will hopefully play in my favour – and I’m looking forward to going to the Nürburgring, too. We don’t yet know what the rallycross track will look like, but it’s always fun to discover new venues – especially one with so much history behind it.“
“In a single-spec series like RX2, the racing is always extremely close but my goal for this year is clearly to win the title – and I’m confident that with OMSE, I have everything I need to mount a very solid challenge.”