Fri 28 Jul 2023

Andersson bullish despite Lydden disappointment

Nils Andersson left Lydden Hill in a better place in the RX2e standings than he had expected, despite suffering a suspension breakage in the final...

Nils Andersson says he left Lydden Hill in a better place in the FIA RX2e Championship standings than he had expected pre-weekend, despite the disappointment of failing to finish on the podium due to a suspension breakage in the final.

Andersson travelled to the home of rallycross in determined mood, after looking set for his maiden RX2e victory on home soil at Höljes three weeks earlier, only to see his dream dashed with barely half-a-lap left to run.

From the outset in Britain, the Swede was right in the mix. Fastest by just under three tenths-of-a-second in free practice, he slipped to fourth position in qualifying practice and had to give best to Team E stablemate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky in heat one, but from there on, Andersson turned up the wick and was consistently the quickest of the championship ‘regulars’.

Second behind Tommi Hallman in the following two heats, he turned the tables on the flying Finn in heat four, punishing a tardy launch by his SET Promotion rival to race into a lead that he would not subsequently relinquish. His performance proved good enough to top the timesheets – and secure second spot in the intermediate ranking.

A commanding lights-to-flag triumph in his semi-final then saw Andersson line up alongside Hallman on the front row of the grid for the all-important final. After toughing it out with defending champion Viktor Vranckx to hold position on the opening lap, the 23-year-old Arvika native – a protégé of five-time FIA World Rallycross Champion, Johan Kristoffersson – subsequently came unstuck when his suspension collapsed, relegating him to fifth.

While the misfortune dented his weekend score, it has not dented his confidence, with two rounds remaining on the RX2e calendar in 2023 and just a single point blanketing the top three drivers in the classification.

“Leaving Lydden with a shared championship lead was not really what I expected,” Andersson candidly reflected. “I thought it would be one of my tougher weekends, so to be able to take the fight to Tommi [Hallman] was really positive.

“In heat four and the semi-final, I actually felt like we had a bit more pace than him, so I was really looking forward to the fight but unfortunately, the suspension issue meant we never got that far. That was obviously a shame, but big thanks to Kristoffersson Motorsport, who really put some effort into our cars and helped us with extra eyes on the data. I think that helped us with the starts in particular, which is promising going forward.

“I’ve been in title fights like this before, so hopefully that experience will help and staying cool will be key. With the speed we have now and the way the team is working, I really feel we are moving in the right direction – so let’s do this!”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM