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Thu 25 Jan 2024

Euro RX1 Driver of the Year: Sivert Svardal

You’ve selected another plucky Norwegian underdog as 2023’s ‘Driver of the Year’ in the Euro RX1 category...

What more can be said about Sivert Svardal’s 2023 season that hasn’t already been said? Fourth in our fan-voted ‘Top Ten Drivers of the Year’ poll comprising all four categories, the Norwegian has now also been selected as the star of the scene in Euro RX1. It is a deserved accolade.


Competing with his small family team, Svardal has gained something of a giant-killing reputation in the sport, regularly doing battle against better-funded rivals in well-developed cars run by more established outfits. In 2021, this earned him the coveted Cooper Tires ‘Rookie of the Year’ award, and in 2022, it saw him clinch a career-high fourth in the Euro RX1 standings, just three points shy of a top three spot.


The statistics will say that the Norwegian slipped three positions to seventh last season, but the statistics do not tell the full story. Far from it.


There was misfortune – plenty of it – that denied Svardal significantly better results in Hungary, Portugal, Belgium and Germany, but the high of triumphing in front of his home fans in Hell more than made up for those lows.


The 23-year-old didn’t just win, however. He did so by fending off a hard-charging Anton Marklund, a driver on his way to a fourth European crown. It was as popular and determined a victory as has been seen in recent years.


To prove that was no flash in the pan, he then produced arguably an even stronger performance at Höljes’ ‘Magic Weekend’ a fortnight later, boldly taking the fight to heavy-hitters Robin Larsson and Andreas Bakkerud, former European champions both. It was only a questionable joker strategy in the final that cost him another podium finish – if not better.


Having thankfully reversed his decision to hang up his helmet at the end of the campaign, one senses there could well be more champagne celebrations for Sivert Svardal in 2024...