EVJEN FIRED-UP TO BREAK THE ICE!
Sondre Evjen is eager to carry his burgeoning momentum into the 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires after saving his best ‘til last this year with a podium finish in the Cape Town curtain-call – and he is already preparing to show his rivals a clean pair of wheels on the ice in two months’ time.
Evjen was consistently one of RX2’s strongest performers in 2017, reaching the semi-final stage at all-bar one event but until South Africa, he did not have the silverware to show for his evident pace and potential. That all changed with a superb drive to snare the runner-up spoils at Killarney International Raceway – behind only runaway champion Cyril Raymond – which secured the young Norwegian eighth spot in the overall standings.
“It was a mixed season,” he reflects. “We were quick throughout but there were a few mistakes and we encountered more than our fair share of bad luck. Happily, it all came together in the final event in South Africa which allowed us to show what we are capable of – and in front of a big sponsor, too, which made it even more timely.
“I think the first year of RX2 showed a clear step forward from RX Lites, with a much higher level of competition and some great battles all year. Cyril was admittedly a class above to begin with, but the rest of us increasingly closed the gap to him and by the end there were times when he genuinely looked beatable, which was both encouraging and testament to the level playing field in RX2.”
Evjen is planning an all-out assault on RX2, RallyX Nordic and RX2 on Ice honours in 2018, as he continues his career path towards the ultimate pinnacle of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. He has played a key role in the development of the eagerly-anticipated ice racing series and the design of the new track at Ål – as well as the action-packed week of off-track entertainment in-between the two Norwegian events.
“RX2 on Ice is going to be an incredible spectacle!” enthuses the 19-year-old. “Driving on ice is a lot of fun and a unique challenge, and as such, it calls for a different technique. There’s not just a single racing line, which means you can be much more aggressive and really hang the back end out without losing time.
“It’s perfect for gaining experience, especially for newcomers and all those drivers planning to contest the main RX2 Series later in the year. Testing is great, but racing – with five other cars around you all jostling for position – is something else altogether, and you can learn so much from competing in such low-grip conditions. You really can’t replicate that in any other way.
“On a personal level, to have two events so close to home within the space of just one week will be something very special for me. I must have driven a couple of thousand laps around Gol in both folkrace and rallycross, and for spectators, it will be brilliant. It’s packed full of undulation and blind crests and you can see almost the whole track from wherever you are watching, with non-stop action to enjoy.
“We’ve worked hard to make it as cost-effective as possible by putting together a package of exciting winter sports and social activities between Ål and Gol to allow drivers to get to know each other better. There will be sledging to snowmobiling and everything in-between – making it an adrenaline-fuelled week from start to finish!”
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