WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
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Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
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Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
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Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Thu 06 Jul 2023

A short way from Hell to Heaven for Steinsholt

If the 2023 RX2e curtain-raiser in Hell lived up to its nightmarish name for Ole Henry Steinsholt, the second round at Höljes proved to be heavenly for the series’ newest winner...

If the 2023 FIA RX2e Championship curtain-raiser in Hell lived up to its nightmarish name for Ole Henry Steinsholt, then last weekend’s second round at Höljes proved to be heavenly for the series’ newest winner...

Steinsholt endured a torrid time of things on home soil last month, with a run of costly collisions ruling the Norwegian out of the reckoning before the final. He headed to rallycross’ ‘Magic Weekend’ seeking redemption – and he delivered in spades.

A race win in heat one yielded the fifth-fastest time of the session, prior to pushing defending champion Viktor Vranckx hard in heat two and then getting the better of the Belgian – as well as everybody else in the high-calibre field – to top the timesheets in heat three and climb to second in the overnight standings.

Following a difficult fourth heat after the heavens opened on Sunday morning, Steinsholt proved to be Vranckx’s closest competitor once again in the opening semi-final, securing third on the grid for the all-important final in the process.

Diving to the joker on the first lap dropped the 20-year-old to the back of the pack, but he was not to be denied. Unleashing a scintillating turn-of-speed, he assertively fought his way past championship leader Isak Sjökvist entering the Velodrome section on the penultimate tour, before exploiting a mistake by Nils Andersson at the same place a lap later to opportunistically draw alongside both his Team E rival and Vranckx.

Three into one was never going to work, and it was Andersson who came off worst, as Steinsholt emerged at the head of the order, going on to take the chequered flag less than three tenths-of-a-second clear of his nearest pursuer to cement his maiden RX2e victory.

“It seems it’s a short way from Hell to Heaven!” the Larvik native joked afterwards. “We’ve been working towards this for a long time. It was great to be able to show our true pace at Höljes, and to end up on the top step of the podium after such a horrible first weekend at my home event was perfect.

“I got a bad start in the final, but I kept pushing while focussing on keeping a cool head, keeping the wheels on the track and hoping the others would make some mistakes, which is what happened. Now, we’ll take everything race by race, and let’s see where that leaves us at the end of the season...”