Driver

ERIKSSON SAYS DRIVER WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN ERX2

Tuesday 6th of October 2020

FIA European Rallycross Championship leader and official test driver for the new-for-2021 FIA eRX2 Championship, Sweden’s Oliver Eriksson, has been busy away from race weekends working on the development of the new eRX2 car, in preparation for the class joining World RX next season.

Eriksson won rounds one and two of Euro RX Supercar 2020, and has also been working with technical partners QEV Technologies and Olsbergs MSE on the development of the new eRX2 car, starting with gathering data and reliability.

“It’s not so much about performance at this stage. That will come later. We’re trying to do our homework and make sure we have all our ducks in a row. I’ve had four days in the car, split between Spain’s Circuit de Calafat and Nysumbanen in Denmark, and although we’re only at the beginning of the eRX2 car’s development, we’re already making good progress,” Eriksson explained.

“The car actually feels pretty similar to what I’ve been used to in RX2. Of course the transition to electric power is a big step, but it’s a step rather than a leap. At the end of the day, it’s still a car, it still has four wheels and a steering wheel. It’s the instant power that’s the main difference. It’s not as different to drive as you might think. The car handles quite similarly and the driveability is excellent, but like I say, the power is the biggest change. It’s like an electric rollercoaster – you step on the throttle, and it simply takes off and then keeps on accelerating. The Supercar Lites car has a lot of top-end power, but when you put your foot down in the eRX2 car, it just goes. That’s the advantage of electric, and it’s all about learning how to handle and harness that power. As a driver, that’s very exciting. It’s also much noisier than people think too, both inside and out of the cockpit. There’s a lot of noise from the transmission, and it will be good to witness drivers’ reactions when they try it out for the first time. It still sounds very much like a rallycross car, I promise you that.”

QEV has built a new rallycross test track in Spain, where Eriksson will drive the new car to put it through its paces. “The next stage will be to hit the track at Calafat and truly put the chassis and dampers to the test. QEV have constructed a completely new rallycross circuit there, adding a gravel section with big jumps to the existing tight-and-twisty asphalt track. Basically, it now has everything a rallycross circuit needs, so we’ll really be able to put the eRX2 car through its paces.”

The double RX2 International Series Champion believes the new eRX2 series will produce very close, competitive, exciting racing in 2021. “The great thing about eRX2 is that it will be entirely new for everybody – nobody will go into it with a prior advantage. It will be a level playing field, and money will not be a factor. That means that ultimately, it will be the driver that makes the difference, not the size of somebody’s wallet. It will be interesting to see who adapts the quickest, and that will come down to talent and hard work. I genuinely think it will be the hardest-working driver that wins the championship.”

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