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

Wed 13 Dec 2023

Svardal promises ‘more to come’ as he commits to 2024 Euro RX1 assault

Sivert Svardal’s breakthrough Euro RX1 victory on home soil in Hell last summer was one of the feel-good stories of the year. The Norwegian is targeting further champagne celebrations in 2024 after confirming his series return...

Sivert Svardal’s breakthrough FIA European Rallycross Championship victory on home soil in Hell last summer was one of the feel-good stories of the year, and the talented Norwegian is targeting further champagne celebrations in 2024 after confirming his series return.

The 2023 campaign was meant to be Svardal’s swansong in Euro RX1, but his performance has thankfully convinced him otherwise. A giant-killing effort saw him achieve more top three heat race results than anybody except Anton Marklund, Jānis Baumanis and Enzo Ide, as he routinely took the fight to more experienced drivers competing for professional outfits in ex-world championship cars.

Although Svardal’s upgraded Volkswagen Polo was unquestionably a step forward compared to what he had driven before, his small, family-run team did not have the resources to develop it in the same way as many of his bigger-budgeted rivals – but that only served to make his results all-the-more impressive.

While Hell was clearly the highlight – as the Konsmo native held off a hard-charging Marklund by a scant 0.065 seconds in a thrilling photo-finish – he was just as competitive elsewhere, similarly advancing to the final at Höljes and Mettet and only missing out at Nyirád, Montalegre and the Estering due to niggling technical issues or incidents outside of his control.

That ill-fortune indisputably denied Svardal a better championship finish than seventh, and it would not take too much to envisage a title tilt for the likeable 23-year-old, who has also expressed his interest in a wildcard ICE entry in the World Championship should the opportunity arise.

“We had planned that 2023 would be our last year in the European Championship, but after the season we had and the strides we made, it would have been dumb not to continue so we have decided to go again in 2024,” he explained.

“Whenever I reached the final in the old car in 2022, I always felt there wasn’t much more I could do as the other guys in the race were simply faster. This year, I felt like I could really do something – that we had the speed to push for a place in the final everywhere and genuinely challenge for the podium. It’s a completely different mindset now.

“I would still love to be able to drive with a professional team, but if we want to do the full season – which we do – sticking with the family team and the Polo is our only real option. We’ll do our best to maximise the potential of the equipment at our disposal, and I believe there’s still more to come, both in terms of the car set-up and my driving.

“Motorsport clearly isn’t cheap, but we’re working on securing a bigger budget so we can do some more testing with the Polo to gain further experience and try to extract a bit more speed.

“I have no doubt that it will be another really competitive season in Euro RX1, but when you win, you naturally want to do it again. Of course I know that will not be easy, but the target is definitely to score some more podiums next year.”