Two-time FIA World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson won the Supercar final in the second round of the 2020 RallyX Nordic series ahead of Robin Larsson and rallycross returnee Oliver Solberg.
The second round of the championship, held as part of the All Stars ‘Magic Weekend’, saw Kristoffersson dominate throughout Sunday to take the Q4, semi-final and final victories in front of round one winner Larsson.
A delighted Kristoffersson said on his win: “It’s very nice to be back! When the sniff of a win was there, I felt I could be really threatening on pure pace. It was great to get back into a super-competitive mode, analysing everything and trying different lines in the rain when I had a gap behind me.
“My start in the final was very good – all three wet starts were very good, in fact. The Polo is easy to launch in the wet, controlling it with the clutch and throttle. I made sure to spray the cars behind me so they couldn’t see anything – that was planned! From there on, I tried to push a little harder on the first lap while making no mistakes, and then just focussed on banging the laps in with a safe margin.
“I haven’t driven this car much before, so it was nice to see how it handles and it worked very well, with no problems whatsoever. I’m very happy.”
Larsson, winner of the season-opener on Thursday afternoon, had to settle for second place in Sunday’s final but did later admit he thought he’d improved the performance of his privately entered Audi S1 gradually throughout the day.
Solberg meanwhile ended round two of the season in third. The young Norwegian won Q3 on Sunday morning driving the Citreon DS3 both him and his father Petter have driven in recent seasons on a soaking wet Holjes circuit.
Oliver Eriksson, arugably the unluckiest driver in the season-opener, turned his fortune around in round two to finish fourth. Another man to have a roller-coaster of a weekend, Thomas Bryntesson, rounded out the top five.
Bryntesson, who very nearly rolled his car in the opening day of action on Thursday as well as suffering several mechanical problems during practice and the qualifying heats, finished ahead of Supercar debutante Fraser McConnell.
Young Jamaican driver McConnell made the most of drama for top qualifier Niclas Grönholm to make the final after the young Finn stalled in their semi-final heat. He recovered, although only finished fourth, enabling McConnel to advance to the final and a sixth place finish as a result.
Grönholm later explained the car was also suffering from a misfire, but was relieved to be able to gather some important data for the World RX round at Höljes next month.
The story of the weekend however arguably goes to Andreas Carlsson, after the Swede managed to repair his badly burn’t DS3 in time for the semi-final after a dramatic fire in qualifying.
Young Finn Jesse Kallio dominated in the Supercar Lites series and took the round two win. After suffering technical problems in the first round earlier in the weekend, he went on to dominate the class on Sunday, winning three out of four qualifying sessions on his way to the win.
“This is payback for what happened on Thursday! It’s been a really up-and-down weekend. We’ve been quick throughout, which is encouraging, but the technical issues we suffered in round one were obviously frustrating. I also struggled with the starts, which meant I gave myself a bit too much work to do at times.” said the pleased Kallio.
“The weather then threw a curve ball into the equation on Sunday, which was the first time I’ve ever driven a Supercar Lites car in fully wet conditions. It was really tricky out there, and whilst I was pushing hard, you have to be slightly cautious too when it’s like that. I got a bit lucky in the semi-final with the coming-together between Linus [Östlund] and Marcus [Höglund], but after Thursday, maybe I deserved some luck…” Kallio continued.
“This is a great way to start the season. It was a disappointing end to last year, so it’s nice to come out fighting and I think we’ve taken a decent step forward over the winter, which bodes well for the races to come.”
Mats Oskarsson surprised everyone by taking the runners up spot in the final that up until minutes before he wasn’t even set to compete in. After Jimmie Walfridson received a three minutes penalty the start, this promoted fourth-place Oskarsson into the race and went onto finish second, despite not having a spotter to help either.
Linus Östlund made it a double podium weekend after finishing Sunday’s event third ahead of Henrik Krogstad with round one winner Simon Olofsson only managing fifth in the class.
In the high caliber CrossCar/Crosskart class it was Max Rundberg who crossed the finish line in first after making the most of an early joker lap in the final. He finished ahead of Isak Reiersen and Thomas Eer Murstad.
“I had a bad start, really bad. When it’s wet, the car doesn’t start so well. That’s mostly my problem, I think, but I took the joker on the first lap like I used to do and it worked out well. In these conditions, you need to have a clean run and avoid getting too much spray or dirt on the windscreen. My spotter kept telling me, ‘push, push, push’ and then when I got ahead of Isak [Reiersen], I just concentrated on keeping it steady. It’s been a good start to the season.” Rundberg said.
Rallying star Thierry Neuville returned on Sunday following engine failure earlier in the weekend and would win a pair of heats as he continued development of the TN5 CrossKart.
Raoul Dahlqvist took the Crosskart Junior victory after on the road winner Erik Andersson received a three second penalty for a track infringement that dropped him to third and behind Rasmus Persson.
“I was a little bit surprised when I reached parc fermé and they told me I’d won – I wasn’t expecting that! Going into the final, I knew it would be tough because we had seen in the other races that it was very slippery underneath the front row grid slots, but I pushed as hard as I could. I have a lot of seat time in the wet and that clearly paid off.” Dahlqvist said.
Finally the Legends class, it was two-time FIA World Rally champion Marcus Grönholm (father of Niclas) who won took the win on Sunday He took the victory ahead of Henning Solberg (brother of Petter Solberg) and Stig-Olov Walfridson.
Walfridson battled throughout the final with Andreas Eriksson and took third after the Swedish driver spun coming out of his joker lap and dropped time as a result.