RX2 International Series and Supercar Lites regular Simon Olofsson will be teaming up with the Americas Rallycross ARX2 and RX2 driver Lane Vacala in the STS RX for a campaign in the RallyX Nordic this season.
Olofsson was one of the title contenders last season and he took the fight for the crown all the way to the wire, but lost out to the reigning champion Henrik Krogstad. He has had many misfortunes over the recent seasons but last year it was a great turnaround for the Swede as he started off his season with a sought after victory in Höljes, and since that he never got placed lower than seventh overall in the qualifying sessions throughout the year.
In 2016 he became the Supercar Lites champion in the RallyX Nordic and that was a start of a hat-trick of top three championship finishes in the series, for this season he is now looking to challenge for the crown once again as he brings his new team mate along.
“I changed my approach last year, I was more relaxed, and I think that was reflected in my results – even our bad days were still pretty good days, which hadn’t always been the case in the past!” Olofsson said.
“I just focussed on enjoying the racing, and that paid off. That’s the most important thing for me moving forward. I don’t know how many more seasons I’ve got ahead of me – none of us do – so I want to make sure I enjoy every moment. If I do that, my driving will naturally benefit and the results will follow.
“Obviously I hope we will be competitive this season. We know we need to find a little bit more pace still before we go racing, because whilst we were always there-or-thereabouts in 2020, we were rarely the outright quickest, but we have some more testing planned so the goal is to keep chipping away. It’s going to be an extremely tough field again, which is exactly the way I like it, and consistency will definitely play a major part in the overall outcome.”
“My goal is clearly to win the championship, but if we can’t manage that, as long as we’ve been in the mix and put up a fight, I’ll be satisfied. It’s no longer the be-all and end-all that it perhaps once was, but at heart, I’ll always be a racer, so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ultimately want my title back…”
For Vacala´s part of the journey, he will be attending all rounds except the two at Höljes at the end of May, Vacala is no stranger for Olofsson as he has raced for STS RX for two rounds in the 2019 season of the RX2.
The American hopes he can come over to the Europe despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which can led to his chances to be postponed.
“We had full intentions to race in RallyX Nordic last year, but due to obvious reasons we were unable to make it happen, I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to sign with STS RX again in 2021 and get back to racing. To be joining the stacked grid this year is very exciting, and I’m looking forward to competing and getting some solid results,” Vacala said.
“In my first year on the rallycross scene with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2019, I was learning the car, the tracks and the flow of a race weekend. I also had zero dirt experience prior to my debut in ARX2 at Trois-Rivières, so the main goal was to get as much seat time as possible and learn each time we took to the track.
“One of the biggest learning experiences for me was being able to race overseas in the RX2 Series in a completely different environment. There was always something to learn, whether it was from the level of competition on-track or the interaction with fans.
“This year, we are looking to be more competitive and have some consistent finishes. The level of competition in RallyX Nordic is a huge draw for me, along with being able to gain more experience in preparation for Nitro Rallycross later in the year.
“Having Simon as a team-mate will be a huge help. Having someone with experience on these tracks and good data to compare against mine will definitely expedite my learning process and help to bring me up-to-speed much more quickly.”