GUNDERSEN WINS RX2 IN CAPE TOWN, ERIKSSON WINS TITLE
As FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson won his 11th final of the season at the World RX of South Africa in Cape Town, Sweden’s Oliver Eriksson ensured his name would be etched on the 2018 RX2 International Series trophy.
Eriksson was confirmed as the RX2 Champion in the semi-finals when his team mate and closest challenger, Belgium’s Guillaume De Ridder, was forced out of semi-final two on the grid with an electrical problem. Eriksson started on pole position for the final and took the lead as Norway’s Ben-Philip Gundersen slotted into second after a busy turn one where he passed Vasily Gryazin and Finland’s Sami-Matti Trogen also climbed positions.
But, Eriksson’s hopes of ending his title winning season in style were ended on the second lap when he was suddenly halted by an electrical issue. Gundersen moved into the lead, followed by Trogen as Gryazin hit Eriksson’s car but continued. Trogen dropped out of the running with a puncture and Sweden’s William Nilsson had a spin while trying to pass the Finnish driver. Amid the drama, Norway’s Sondre Evjen had kept his head and drove a solid race to finish second to Gundersen. Gryazin made it to the finish in third, Nilsson was classified fourth and Trogen was fifth. In the points, De Ridder finished second and Norway’s Henrik Krogstad held onto third in his first full season.
“This means everything to me – it’s an amazing feeling. It’s been a really hard-fought season, but at the same time, so much fun with a lot of good, clean racing on the track and a great camaraderie between the drivers in the paddock. It’s taught me a lot and helped to make me more complete as a competitor,” said 2018 RX2 Champion Eriksson. “We clearly weren’t meant to win in Cape Town, but by that stage, fortunately, the main job was done and the most important trophy was already in the bag.”