Fri 07 Jun 2024

Hedström in for Höljes, with a new car and victory on his mind

‘Fan favourite’ Peter Hedström is ready to climb back into the cockpit at Höljes next month, as the Swede rejoins the Euro RX1 grid on home soil for rallycross’ legendary ‘Magic Weekend’ (6-7 July) – and he has only one goal on his mind.

The opening round of the 2024 FIA European Rallycross Championship campaign will mark two decades since Hedström’s debut in the series. While his appearances have generally been sporadic, his performances are invariably of the front-running variety, with seven podiums to-date testament to his raw pace and racecraft in the dual-surface discipline – the most recent of which he achieved in Rīga in 2021.

Three of the Torsby native’s rostrum appearances have come at Höljes – in 2012, 2017 and 2020 – and he has no fewer than eight top ten championship finishes to his name, highlighted by a career-best fourth overall in 2014. In his latest Euro RX1 outing, Hedström vied for victory at Germany’s Estering last summer, pushing eventual winner Jānis Baumanis for the lead in the final prior to suddenly slowing with mechanical issues.

Buoyed by that form and his Johan Kristoffersson-beating drive in the 2023 RallyX curtain-raiser at Nysum in Denmark – on his way to fifth in the title table, despite missing two of the rounds – the double Swedish Supercar Champion will now return to the track at Höljes. When he does so, he will be behind the wheel of car he spent some time studying at Buxtehude back in August – Baumanis’ ex-Hansen Motorsport Peugeot 208 WRX.

“I thought about my own racing over the winter and came to the conclusion that if I’m going to drive something this year, it should be Höljes in a competitive car,” he reflected, admitting that the desire to participate in another ‘Magic Weekend’ ultimately became too great.

In preparation for his Euro RX1 outing, Hedström – who celebrated his 40th birthday at the end of last year – tested the Peugeot at Höljes earlier this week, completing 16 laps of the Värmland circuit and showing an impressive turn-of-speed.

“It’s very similar to the Hyundai (that he drove last year),” he remarked. “It’s a little more nervous on the fast downhill section, but it is also shorter than the Hyundai and has good traction and a nice engine that pulls from low revs. The goal for the race weekend is to win!”

Alongside the Team Manager, the family-run Hedströms Motorsport outfit will field a second car at the ‘Magic Weekend’ – a Volkswagen Polo for 22-year-old Filip Thorén, who has been earning his spurs in the FIA RX2e Championship over the past two seasons, advancing to the final three times out of five in 2023. Höljes will represent the young Swede’s Euro RX1 bow.

“It’s such a cool event with a great crowd,” enthused Thorén, “and it will be exciting to come back in the VW. “I’m not creating any big expectations, beyond wanting to set some good lap times and trying to reach the semi-final stage. If I can get that far, anything can happen...”

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