The final day of the 2020 RallyX Nordic season was held at Nysum in Denmark this weekend where champions were crowned in all four classes.
Oliver Eriksson finally won his sought after Supercar title on his third attempt after two previous years of final race misfortune. He claimed his maiden title despite suffering a puncture in the final, but it wasn’t enough for him to be denied the championship for a third successive year.
Ben-Philip Gundersen won his first ever Supercar final and was certainly the man to beat on Sunday. He also stood on the podium the day before as well after not being in the top three in the first two rounds so far this year.
The other championship contender, Fraser McConnell, finally turned his luck around in the final and claimed a well-deserved first podium finish. He did have to fight hard for it though and almost took Eriksson out on the last lap as they made contact over the crest at the bridge section.
McConnell ended his first season in a Supercar as the runner-up in the championship.
Local hero Ulrik Linnemann took a third place finish on Saturday despite suffering problems with power steering. He went on to win the opening qualifying session yesterday but had a massive crash with a barrier after his suspension broke on the car. Linnemann recovered to the final where he had to retire with similar issues, this time with the rear-right wheel.
Stene Johansen finished fourth while Dan Öberg who made his first final appearance of the season, ended the final round in fifth.
It was bad luck for Andreas Michalak who had aimed to finish the season with a bronze medal in the championship. He got spun around two times in the qualifying sessions and in the semi-final he lost out to Johansen at the jokerlap merge. double World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson remarkably finished third in the standings, despite not entering the double header.
“It’s about time, isn’t it!” said Eriksson on his title win. “Arriving here, the aim was to bring the trophy home this year. We came so close last year and the year before only to suffer a lot of misfortune on the final weekend, but I tried to analyse what I could do better from those situations and everything just worked out this time. I’m so grateful.”
“It feels great to be champion, but I think I’m jinxed – the last round never goes my way! I just tried to send it into the first corner and hope for the best; I went really wide, and that paid off. Lap two in the braking zone under the bridge, there’s a bit of a hole that I didn’t know of and I went in and got the puncture – those last three laps weren’t easy!“
He added: “Ben-Philip [Gundersen] is a deserving winner – he drove really well all weekend, so big kudos to him. My spotter told me to try to keep up with Fraser [McConnell], but with the puncture, the car was quite hard to handle and then we touched a bit going over the jump and I tried to slow down to not cause him any trouble. He had a great race as well, coming back from an unlucky result yesterday and to do what he did was a great job.“
In the Supercar Lites class that ran in conjuction with the only RX2 Series round of the year, it was the returning Henrik Krogstad who had been been unbeatable since Arvika and he was to continue his form in the season finale.
Krogstad claimed the well-deserved Supercar Lites title as well as also winning the RX2 Series one-off event by just one point over Guillaume De Ridder. Krogstad was given the upcoming FIA eRX2 Championship fully-funded single-round prize driver by winning RX2, with De Ridder only able to finish second in the final.
Jesse Kallio, who was tied on championship points with Krogstad as they headed to Nysum, finished third and became the championship runner-up. Kallio almost missed the event due to doctors advice not to race after suffering a broken wrist, but the young Finn had great pace the whole weekend and he also won a qualifying heat.
Simon Olofsson completed his season with a third place; he missed out on a second final this weekend by getting disqualified for pushing Kallio off the road at turn two.
Arguably the biggest story of Sunday was when Linus Östlund had a massive crash after a contact with his team mate Martin Enlund at the jokerlap merge in their second qualifying race. The car rolled several times and also took out the championship’s drone in the process.
Östlund escaped the crash unharmed and after a miraculous effort from his team, the badly damaged car was repaired enough from him to continue with the remainder of the day’s action. Östlund unfortunately did go on to miss out on a final appearance and ended the season with a fourth place.
Niklas Aneklev had his best career results to date as he finished fifth behind Jimmie Walfridson who finished fourth. Gustav Johansson had to retire from the final due to broken suspension and the car was left stranded in the middle of the jokerlap entrance.
“The win at Arvika gave me a lot of confidence coming here – we were on the pace all weekend there, and we carried that momentum into this meeting.” Krogstad said.
“Going into the final, I knew we had great speed and that if I kept a good rhythm, there should be no problems. Of course, we then did have a problem – the car in the entry to the joker – but I didn’t really think about the joker until the lap I went for it. It was as close as it can get, and the rest of the joker was great with a little Scandinavian flick.“
“I was extremely relieved to come out ahead of Guillaume [De Ridder], but to be honest, I feel like I won the race at the start. It’s so important to get the start just right, get into the rhythm and keep putting in consistent laps – and that paid off.”
In the CrossCar/Crosskart class it was Max Rundberg who claimed the championship title. He finished the year with a third place, with him having already been confirmed champion after the results on Saturday.
Jimmie Österberg won the final race of the season, and became the runner-up in the class championship as a result. Isak Reiersen continued his bad luck on Sunday. After a disqualification the previous day in the semi-final, he then missed out the final again and had to settle for third place in the championship.
“Becoming champion means everything to me. We have worked so hard this season just to go racing because of Coronavirus, so it really means so much.” said the delighted Rundberg.
“We struggled a bit with the weather conditions on Saturday, but I managed to keep it at a high level and it’s been amazing this weekend.”
In the Crosskart Junior class the title fight went all the way to the final of the last event of the season, where it was Alex Gustafsson who defeated long-time rival Erik Andersson for the win. They had traded positions several times on Sunday afternoon, before Gustafsson found a small gap to pass Andersson and he went on to take the victory.
“I had to fight for it in the end, but I’d like to apologise to Erik [Andersson] – it was a very hard overtake and maybe not as fair as it should have been. I’m so happy to take the title in CrossCar Junior. It feels so good!” Gustafsson commented.
Local hero Peder Jensen made it back to back victories in the SuperNational class on Sunday. Micke Nilsson was leading from the start of the final until the last lap where Jensen found a gap to pass him in what looked like a mistake by Nilsson. He finished second ahead of Johnny Hansen in third.