Wed 23 Aug 2023

Andersson aiming to defend ‘dream’ RX2e title

Nils Andersson has described his RX2e title triumph at Germany’s Estering last weekend as a ‘dream come true’ – as he challenged fellow podium-finishers Tommi Hallman and Isak Sjökvist to try to take it away from him in 2024...

Nils Andersson has described his FIA RX2e Championship title triumph at Germany’s Estering last weekend (19-20 August) as a ‘dream come true’ – as he challenged fellow podium-finishers Tommi Hallman and Isak Sjökvist to try to take it away from him in 2024.


Andersson arrived at the Estering holding a slender two-point advantage over Team E stablemate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky at the summit of the standings, with Sjökvist also firmly in contention at just three points further in arrears.


In qualifying practice, the trio proved to be evenly-matched, as Sjökvist pipped free practice pace-setter Andersson to the second-quickest time by a scant 0.026s. The pair were similarly tied together in heat one around the Buxtehude-based track – separated by barely a tenth-of-a-second in the #YellowSquad driver’s favour at the chequered flag – before Andersson turned the tables in heat two, leaving them equal on points in the overnight classification.

As the momentum swung back and forth, Sjökvist came out-of-the-blocks fastest in heat three on Sunday morning, subsequently taking advantage of his rival getting tucked up in traffic in heat four to beat him to second in the intermediate table and keep the pressure on – but all the while, the canny Andersson was coolly and calmly playing the percentages.


The Arvika native seemed to find some extra speed in his semi-final, but maturely elected to shadow Hallman throughout, and when Sjökvist attempted to hang on around the outside of Turn One at the start of the final, Andersson was able to sneak by into second.  


In the knowledge that his countryman had to win to clinch the crown, he followed Hallman to the flag once more to seal the deal with a fifth career podium in the all-electric FIA World Rallycross Championship support series.

“Words can’t describe how good it feels to take this title,” reflected the 23-year-old Swede – the only driver to reach the final in every round this season. “One of my dreams has come true, and I’m forever grateful to all the people around me that have helped me along the way.


“When we sat down for our team meetings back at the beginning of the year, the championship was our goal. We followed that plan as well as we could, and happily, it paid off.


“The level of competition in RX2e this season has been really high. Look at qualifying practice in Germany – there was next-to-nothing between us. It’s such a good school for upcoming rallycross drivers who want to showcase their skills on a more professional level.  


“I have to admit, at the first start of the final, I did think about going for the victory. I was right behind Tommi, and he had a really big moment going into Turn Two. I was so curious to just try the inside line, but I knew it would be stupid to risk it. Big congratulations to him on the win. Hopefully he and Isak will get everything together for next year so that the three of us can continue the fight. I’m already looking forward to it!”

Latvia
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