Thu 07 Dec 2023

RX2e Season Review: Andersson keeps cool to clinch the crown

Three drivers went into the 2023 RX2e season finale in the hunt for outright honours following a closely-contested campaign. But at the end of the day, only one of them left Germany’s Estering clutching the coveted trophy...

Three drivers went into the 2023 season finale in the FIA RX2e Championship in the hunt for outright honours, following a closely-contested campaign in the single-spec FIA World Rallycross Championship support series. But at the end of the day, only one of them departed Germany’s Estering clutching the coveted trophy...


The scene was arguably set in the curtain-raising contest, when Swedish stars Isak Sjökvist, Nils Andersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky locked out the podium places in Hell, blanketed by barely two seconds at the chequered flag. The trio would similarly occupy the top three spots in the classification come season’s end – albeit not in the same order.


Following his recruitment by Hansen Motorsport junior outfit #YellowSquad, Sjökvist looked to be in pole position off the back of his maiden triumph in Norway, but thereafter, the 22-year-old struggled to replicate his stellar start to proceedings.


By the time the field left Lydden Hill towards the end of July, the ever-present Andersson and defending champion Viktor Vranckx had supplanted Sjökvist at the summit of the standings, and travelling to the Estering for the all-important showdown, the Uppsala native found himself five points adrift of the lead.


He salvaged one of those points by pipping Andersson to second in the intermediate ranking, but entering the final, Sjökvist knew he needed to win to have any chance of clinching the crown. With Tommi Hallman on imperious form, that was always going to be a tall order, and when his first corner tactics left him high-and-dry, the path was cleared for Andersson to race on to title glory.


Astonishingly, the Arvika-born ace did not top the podium all season – indeed, he has yet to do so in 12 appearances in RX2e – but Andersson was the only driver to reach every final and that commendable consistency ultimately reaped the biggest reward.


Team E stablemate Åhlin-Kottulinsky was similarly impressive, building upon her rostrum result on her debut in Norway with a runner-up finish to guest star Johan Kristoffersson in Belgium that catapulted her firmly into contention heading to Germany.


Spain’s Pablo Suárez produced another solid performance in fourth, two points clear of Ole Henry Steinsholt, who enjoyed his day of days with victory at Höljes’ ‘Magic Weekend’ but got too frequently caught up in contact to put together a genuine title bid.


Flying Finn Hallman went unbeaten on his two outings at Lydden Hill and the Estering, while Vranckx was well in the mix to become RX2e’s first double champion prior to leaving the series ahead of his home round at Mettet in August.


Championship Standings

1. Nils Andersson 76 pts
2. Isak Sjökvist 69 pts
3. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 66 pts
4. Pablo Suárez 52 pts
5. Ole Henry Steinsholt 50 pts
6. Filip Thorén 50 pts

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