UNTOUCHABLE ERIKSSON GIVES HIS RIVALS HELL IN NORWAY
Championship leader Oliver Eriksson wasted little time in picking up from where he had left off at Silverstone on the opening day of RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires action in Norway today (9 June), taking a clean sweep of qualifying race wins to top the intermediate rankings in Hell.
Eriksson defied a fifth-place starting slot on the far outside of the Q1 grid to vault to the front of the field, and from pole position in Q2, the Olsbergs MSE ace maintained that stellar form to secure a maximum score.
JC Raceteknik star Sondre Evjen delighted the home fans with a consistent and rapid run to second in the overnight table, artfully staving off the threat of a hard-charging Guillaume De Ridder (OMSE) in both races. The Norwegian and Belgian are split in the classification by America’s Conner Martell (Team Färén), who kept the pressure on Eriksson in Q2 as he continues to impress in the official FIA World Rallycross Championship feeder series.
Just behind De Ridder in the standings sit Ben-Philip Gundersen (JC Raceteknik) – who claimed victory in his Q2 race – and SET Promotion’s Simon Syversen, to make it three Norwegians inside the top six on home soil.
William Nilsson (JC Raceteknik) completed a solid day in seventh, ahead of Vasiliy Gryazin (Sports Racing Technologies), Henrik Krogstad (JC Raceteknik) and Jami Kalliomäki (SET Promotion). The latter pair found themselves needing to fight back after conceding ground in Q1 – the Norwegian suffering engine failure and the Finn neglecting to serve his joker lap, thus incurring a penalty – but hauled themselves firmly into the reckoning with a clean and quick blast through Q2.
The last two drivers currently in the ‘safe’ zone for progression through to the semi-finals are Nathan Heathcote (Team Färén) and Swede Simon Olofsson, who pulled off a spectacular move to grab the lead at the start of his Q1 race.
That leaves Finnish teenager Sami-Matti Trogen, series returnee Marcus Höglund, Norway’s Glenn Haug, OMSE’s Cole Keatts, Sweden’s Anders Michalak – the victim of contact in Q2 – and former Olympian Albert Llovera outside of the cut. With the racing as close as it is, however – and just 16 points blanketing third position all the way back to 15th – nothing can be taken for granted.
Stay tuned – with two more qualifiers, the semi-finals and the all-important final still to come, the action on Sunday is going to be hot as Hell!
1. Oliver Eriksson SWE 100 points
2. Sondre Evjen NOR 84 points
3. Conner Martell USA 79 points
4. Guillaume De Ridder BEL 78 points
5. Ben-Philip Gundersen NOR 75 points
6. Simon Syversen NOR 73 points
7. William Nilsson SWE 72 points
8. Vasiliy Gryazin LVA 72 points
9. Henrik Krogstad NOR 70 points
10. Jami Kalliomäki FIN 69 points
11. Nathan Heathcote GBR 67 points
12. Simon Olofsson SWE 65 points
13. Sami-Matti Trogen FIN 63 points
14. Marcus Höglund SWE 63 points
15. Glenn Haug NOR 63 points
16. Cole Keatts USA 58 points
17. Anders Michalak SWE 56 points
18. Albert Llovera AND 55 points