Evjen scores Cape Town podium, De-Ridder secures third in RX2 2017
Norwegian driver Sondre Evjen put a difficult season in the RX2 International Series behind him by delivering a fast and mature performance in the final round of the Championship at Cape Town in South Africa (November 12) to secure his first podium of the campaign with JC Raceteknik.
It was a solid weekend for the Swedish team, owned and run by Joel Christoffersson. Competing in his very first season of rallycross, Belgian driver Guillaume De Ridder entered the event with the aim of securing an overall podium (top three) position in the series and stunned the 27,000-strong South African crowd with his pace.
Fasted in both Q1 and Q2, De-Ridder led the Intermediate Classification at the end of day one, but contact in Q3 damaged his Supercar Lites’ geometry and he lost ground. However, a big push in the semi-finals secured victory and a position in the all-important final, but unfortunately a technical problem forced him to retire. Regardless, the Renault F1 engineer had done enough to secure third in the series.
For once, Evjen suffered no such misfortune and an accomplished drive though the semi-final and final stages of the event secured his first RX2 podium since the Latvian round in 2016.
RallyX Nordic Supercar Lites Champion William Nilsson entered RX2 for the first time in 2017 with the target of finishing in the top five overall. Nilsson experienced a difficult weekend in South Africa at the Killarney International Raceway, which started with a jump start in Q1. The Swede was later stuck in traffic in his semi-final and didn’t make it into the final. Despite that, he achieved his goal.
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal :
“Finally Sondre had a good weekend and was really able to show that he has the speed. He has struggled a lot this year and he’s had some bad luck, so it was really great for him to finish on the podium. He drove really well in the final.
Guillaume drove very well on Saturday but today we struggled a bit more. We had some problems in Q3 and then in Q4 he bent the steering. He was faster than Cyril (Raymond) in the semi-finals so we were hoping for a good final, but he had to retire with a fuel sensor problem. He has only done one test day this year, our plan from the start was to just do five races but his development has been so good and he’s such a fair driver. Hopefully we can work with him next year.
“William’s weekend started badly in Q1 with the jump start, but he set a really good time in Q2. He had a crash in Q3, and when you have a difficult qualifying and start at the back in the semi-finals, it’s really hard to find a way through the dust. It’s a shame he didn’t finish fourth in the championship but for his first year in RX2 against the other drivers who have experience of these tracks I think he has done very well and can be happy.”
RX2: Sondre Evjen (NOR) :
“We came a long way to do be here so it was really nice to finish in this way. It was just amazing for my team, my family and my sponsors. It was the perfect weekend for me to finish on the podium. Everything has been new for us this season compared to last year, it’s been a good experience so I’m looking forward to next year already and hopefully we can continue this result to get a higher place in the Championship next year, I can’t wait to be back.”
RX2: Guillaume De-Ridder (BEL) :
“This has been an amazing year for us, it’s my first year in rallycross, my first year in RX2; the tracks, the cars, the setups, basically everything. If at the beginning of the season someone had told me that we would have been third in the championship, I would have taken it with both hands, and feet! I’m really happy, we’ve shown a constant improvement through all of the races. What we need now is to be in the car more, that’s the key for next year. I felt really comfortable in the car on Saturday, but was a bit more complicated and even though we managed to win the semi-final, unfortunately we retired from the final with a problem.”
RX2: William Nilsson (SWE) :
"The atmosphere here in Africa has been really cool, but on track I have not managed to just get that little extra, combined with a lot of difficulties in traffic. Everyone has a bad event at some point and unfortunately for me it was here. My goal this season was to be top five in RX2 and to win the RallyX Nordic Championship. I knew they were high goals and the competition would be really hard, but I achieved them so I cannot be anything but satisfied.”
RX2 International Series, Cape Town, South Africa, Result:
1 Cyril Raymond (FRA)
2 Sondre Evjen (NOR)
3 Tanner Whitten (USA)
4 Vasily Gryazin (RUS)
5 Guillaume De-Ridder (BEL)
6 Dan Rooke (GBR)
10 William Nilsson (SWE)
RX2 International Series standings:
1 Cyril Raymond (FRA) 198
2 Dan Rooke (GBR) 154
3 Guillaume De-Ridder (BEL) 138
4 Tanner Whitten (USA) 105
5 William Nilsson (SWE) 98
6 Simon Olofsson (SWE) 98
8 Sondre Evjen (NOR) 69