RAYMOND OVERCOMES ISSUES FOR SOLID CLUTCH OF POINTS
Cyril Raymond defied early drama to set the pace in the opening qualifying race as the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires touched down in Norway today (9 June) – with the rallycross stars of tomorrow putting on one Hell of a show for the appreciative crowd.
R1: Pole-sitter and practice pace-setter William Nilsson found himself out-manoeuvred at the start by Raymond and Dan Rooke, as the Frenchman swept around the outside of both of his rivals to immediately snatch the lead, having earlier lost track time to clutch issues. Nilsson was quick to regain second place from Rooke, but he had no answer to the leader’s prodigious pace. Newcomer Tony Sormbroen was similarly in the mix for the runner-up spot until he clouted the barrier on his joker lap and lost a wheel.
R2: Local star Glenn Haug converted pole position into the lead ahead of new face Jonathan Walfridsson, but it was the early joker played by Guillaume De Ridder that proved to be the ace in the pack as he narrowly pipped his Norwegian rival to victory. The top two had sped well clear by the chequered flag, with Walfridsson repeatedly frustrating Anders Michalak’s efforts to find a way past for third.
R3: Stein-Fredrik Akre took the early lead from Sandra Hultgren and Sondre Evjen, who made contact at the bottom of the hill as they duelled over second. Evjen got past, but having to take two joker laps ruined his challenge while the damage would subsequently force Hultgren out of contention. An early joker paid dividends for Simon Olofsson, who sped clear to win and with it set the second-fastest time of the day, while Andreas Bäckman grittily held off Akre for the runner-up position.
R4: Home hero Thomas Holmen seized the advantage at the start from Vasiliy Gryazin and Simon Syversen, who soon lost touch with the two leaders. Gryazin emerged from his late joker lap just ahead of a charging Tanner Whitten and narrowly held on to win, with Syversen clinging on to third from the recovering Holmen, whose victory chances were undone by a jump-start that obliged him to serve two jokers.
1. Cyril Raymond 50 points
2. Simon Olofsson 45 points
3. William Nilsson 42 points
4. Guillaume De Ridder 40 points
5. Vasiliy Gryazin 39 points
6. Glenn Haug 38 points
7. Tanner Whitten 37 points
8. Andreas Bäckman 36 points
9. Stein-Fredrik Akre 35 points
10. Dan Rooke 34 points
11. Simon Syversen 33 points
12. Thomas Holmen 32 points
13. Jonathan Walfridsson 31 points
14. Anders Michalak 30 points
15. Marcus Höglund 29 points
16. Sondre Evjen 28 points
17. Jessica Bäckman 27 points
18. Tony Sormbroen 24 points
19. Sandra Hultgren 24 points