Swedish rallycross outfit JC Raceteknik fielded seven cars at the All-Star ‘Magic Weekend‘ and earned five podiums across the two rounds that were held throughout the four days.
The event was a successful start for the team’s season as KYB Team JC’s Robin Larsson used the event to prepare for the World Rallycross event set to take place at Höljes later this month.
Driving the latest-specification Audi S1 EKS RX Quattro, he won the season-opener on Thursday and followed that up with a second place finish in round two. Larsson now leads the RallyX Nordic series, although won’t enter any more events as he foucses on his World RX program.
“We’ve had two very good events here. For the first time in the new car, I got into it quickly and we increased the pace over the weekend. Starting with a win in the first round was a nice result for me and the whole team. In the final on Sunday, it was raining hard and we knew the start would be critical.” Larsson said on his weekend.
“It was a shame that we lost out there to [Johan] Kristoffersson, because apart from that we had the same lap times. At the same time, [Niclas] Gronholm made a mistake in his semi-final, so it shows how small the margins are. It was a tough weekend, so a second place feels good anyway.“
“We came here as a warm-up for the World Championship and now I know that we are okay in the rain too when we get going. Joel the team have made the car have made the car work like clockwork. Our pace was good against the other World RX drivers, Niclas who was really sharp last year is a good measure. Now we just need to make some small adjustments and get better starts.”
Ben-Philip Gundersen, the 2019 RallyX Nordic Supercar Lites champion, made his Supercar debut in the event in the car that Larsson took the European Rallycross title with last year.
Despite being competative throughout the opening round on Thursday, Gundersen suffered electrical problems just metres before the finish-line in the semi-final and he went on to explain: “What worked best was probably the starts, which was unexpected as I thought they would be difficult. The result was still better than expected, and although it is bit of a gap to the fastest drivers, it’s not impossible to get there. “
Former GT driver Enzo Ide continued his transition to rallycross and would have made the final of the Supercar catogery on Sunday if not for a crash after spinning out on a downhill left-hander.
But the Euro RX bound Ide was happy with the experience of competing at the All Star Magic Weekend and commented: “I have tested on many circuits and Holjes is my favourite, and these events have been good for me. I came here with a brand-new car and a new feeling. The speed evolved and I learned over the weekend to challenge the other drivers more. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in rallycross there is a lot that takes time to learn.“
“I didn’t come here with the goal of being on the podium, but to prepare for Euro RX. I’ve done testing in the wet before, but it’s not the same as racing in it. It was a challenge and the track changed quickly, but I was second in the semi-finals and maybe I could have made it to the final if I hadn’t spun. So on the whole I’m happy. Thanks to Joel and his team for a great job all weekend, and EKS who built and helped prepare the car for the weekend.”
Rallycross legend Mats Öhman who is 95% paralyzed and uses hand controls in the car had a mixed weekend at what he calls his favorite track of Höljes. He made some mistakes throughout the weekend but speaking afterwards admitted he was delighted his Q3 result. He said:
“I had never imagined competing in Holjes without an audience, but the event was superb. In terms of driving, this was not really my weekend. I’m most satisfied with Q3 on Sunday, but apart from that I haven’t had good performance. It was difficult in the conditions on the last day, when rallycross it is all about small margins.”
“I’m not really where I want to be with the starts yet, and we will continue to work on that. The team did a great job this weekend. Robin has done very well, Ben-Philip will be deadly in the European Championship this year and Enzo also impressed.”
Supercar Lites driver Jimmie Walfridson was another of the team to have a good weekend and now sits he in third place in the championship standings.
The position could have been higher if not for missing out on the final in round two on Sunday after a late decision by the stewards saw him receive a time penalty after they spotted he has hit a track marker in the semi-final and Mats Oskarsson took his place as a result.
Despite the setback, Walfridson was pleased with his weekend’s work and added:”I’m really happy with my starts this weekend, they really worked well. The times have also been quite okay. However, I have to work a little more on my consistency. Overall the weekend went well, but a DNF and the time penalty in the semi-finals put a good result out of reach on Sunday. We will fight back.”
The JC Raceteknik Junior Team also had a sucessful four days in Sweden with two of its drivers making the podium.
Isak Reiersen in the CrossKarts series sits second in the championship after taking a third place on Thursday and a second place on Sunday and he said: “It’s been a good weekend with a lot of positives in both rounds. That was exactly the goal for the weekend and second place in the championship looks promising for the rest of the season. The competition in the class is fierce and you have to be on the limit all the time.”
“In the first race it was solid in qualifying and the semis, and I came third even with a mistake. In round two I struggled in qualifying with bad starts and traffic. But when the rain came I made a quick change and got help from Joel and other drivers. I had not driven much in the wet before, so it was a good lesson and now I feel ready for the rest of RallyX Nordic.”
Gustafsson became the first-ever driver to claim a victory in the new Crosskart Junior class in round one but stalled on the start grid on his semi-final of round two. He leaves the Magic Weekend in fourth place in the championship as a result.
“The season started very well for me, and it feels great to be the first to take a win in the new Crosscar Junior RallyX Nordic class. I gained self-confidence after the victory, and took that good feeling into the second race. Round two started very well and I was the fastest from practice until Q3. We tried to keep a dry setup in Q4, but the rain came sooner than we though, so it was difficult, but I still was second fastest.” Gustafsson added on his weekend.
“In the semi-finals I was on pole position, but when I released the clutch the engine died. I tried fight back, but the visibility was poor and I couldn’t attack fully. It was really a shame, but these things happen. I’m just behind the championship leader and I’m going to fight for the title this season. I want to thank the team for a fantastic weekend, RallyX Nordic and Finnskoga MK who delivered an incredibly good event.”
With both the World and European Rallycross series’ beginning to get underway in the next few weeks, Team Princiapl Joel Christoffersson admitted that it’s unlikely to see any of the Supercar drivers compete in anymore RallyX Nordic events this year.
The team will however continue to field both Junior team drivers and Walfridson in the championship as Christoffersson explained: “The team is really pleased with how the event went. It was a different start to the season to how we expected, the plan was that only Jimmie, Isak and Alex would race in RallyX Nordic. But this was a great warm-up for our Supercar drivers and Robin’s first race with KYB Team JC.”
“Although we planned mainly to test, a race is always a race. The new car worked perfectly and we are very happy with a win and a second place for Robin. Isak and Alex impressive efforts in their classes. Alex started strong with a victory, and was very fast in round two. Isak had had a mixed weekend, but he had good speed which showed his potential.”
He continued on his team’s performance last weekend: “Ben-Philip impressed me a lot on his Supercar debut, both in the dry and wet. Had we not had any technical problems he would have been even better, but now we are better prepared for the European Championship. Enzo did his second rallycross event and the first in the new car. “
“He still struggles a bit at the starts and when there is a lot of traffic, but the pace is there and his development is great to see. With Mats we have had a bit of a tough weekend, but overall he did a good job. We simply need to go home and test more to help improve the car for him. In Supercar Lites, Jimmie had good speed, and is closer to the top than last year. It was a shame about the penalty on Sunday that meant he missed the final.”
“This is one of the best rallycross events we have been to. The event was been fantastic thanks to Finnskoga MK, NEP and RallyX Nordic. The TV show was something out of the ordinary and I hope we get to experience this again. This has given a good feeling for the World and European Championships, the whole team is raring to go!”