Gundersen takes pole position as Evjen finishes second in Östersund for JC Raceteknik
Supercar Lites front-runner Sondre Evjen got his 2018 season off to a near-perfect start by finishing second with JC Raceteknik in the opening event of the year at Östersund (February 3).
Contesting the first of four RallyX On Ice races against the strongest field the winter category has ever seen, Evjen improved his pace throughout the day, overcame the difficult changeable and slippery conditions to finish his semi-final in second, behind new team mate Ben-Philip Gundersen, to make it into the all-important final.
In the last race of the day, broadcast live on television around the world on Motorsport TV and SBF in Sweden, Evjen took an early joker lap and closed the gap on those ahead to finish second by the conclusion of the six-lap race.
Gundersen meanwhile stunned regular Supercar Lites racers with his performance. The former FIA European Rallycross TouringCar Champion won every one of his three qualifying races to share top qualifier position with World Rallycross Championship driver Kevin Eriksson. In the semi-final, the Norwegian driver battled for the lead and won, to claim pole positon for the final. But, starting from the unflavored grid slot due to a rutted surface, Gundersen made a slow start and was then forced into the snow bank at turn one, where his race ended.
Swedish rally driver Pelle Willen struggled for visibility in his qualifying races in the snow-dust conditions, but improved on his times and will be stronger at round two in Holjes next week, while Jonathan Walfridson impressed with fourth position at the Intermediate Classification, but got stuck in a snow bank in his semi-finals. His cousin, Jimmie Walfridsson, struggled to find a consistent rhythm on his Supercar Lites debut in the challenging conditions, but will be looking to fight back in just seven days’ time.
JC Raceteknik Junior Team driver Isak Reiersen made his rallycross debut at Östersund, moving up from crosskarts for the first time. Racing in the RX Academy category, Reiersen challenged far more experienced runners throughout the day in the Renault Clio RS RX cars.
The next RallyX On Ice event will be at Holjes, Sweden next week (February 11).
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal :
“It was nice to have Ben-Philip in the team for the first time. We saw that he could be quick in the test and he really slowed it today. He was quick all day and got pole for the final. It’s a shame he got stuck in a snow bank, but that’s how it is in these conditions. He really showed he wanted to go faster. Sondre likes ice driving a lot, he has a new car for this year and I think he has good confidence. His weekend didn’t start so well, but he had one heat win and did a good job in his semi-final to get into the final. Overall it was to good weekend and we’re looking forward to going to our home track at Holjes with good speed from here.”
Sondre Evjen (NOR) :
"I'm very happy about the outcome of today, especially considering how much I struggled to make the starts in the heats. In the final I took the joker straight away, then I pushed hard for the podium and not to let the two drivers ahead of me get too far away. I’m really pleased that I reached second place, and I’m also very happy with my mechanics who always keep the car in perfect condition. At Holjes, I hope to start better, I’m aiming for the podium throughout RallyX on Ice.”
Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR) :
“The weekend was good, we set some good times in the heats, but I had some problems at the starts so we need to do some practice on that. I made a bit of a bad start in the final, I was on the inside but the guys on the outside came into the corner so I hit the wall. I’m happy about the weekend overall, it was good to work with the team and I’m really looking forward to going to Holjes next weekend, I really like that track and I’m excited to race there.”
Isak Reiersen (SWE), RX Academy:
"I've had so much fun this weekend and it actually went better than I expected. For my debut race in a car I'm very pleased. In the first heat I had good speed and lay second, behind Joni Wiman, until the final lap. Then in the snow dust I lost sight and drove into a snowbank in the joker, and got stuck. I just thought, no, no, no. I was so disappointed, but it was just about reloading for the next race. RX Academy has given my many useful experiences and I have got a lot of enjoyment from driving. Thanks to JC Raceteknik and my sponsors for this opportunity.”
Östersund Supercar Lites Result:
1 Oliver Eriksson (SWE)
2 Sondre Evjen (NOR)
3 Cyril Raymond (FRA)
4 Vasily Gryazin (LAT)
5 Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR)
6 Connor Martell (USA)
9 Johnathan Walfridson (SWE)
15 Pelle Willen (SWE)
19 Jimmie Walfridsson (SWE)
RallyX on Ice Standings:
1 Ben Philip Gundersen (NOR) 35
2 Oliver Eriksson (SWE) 32
3 Vasilily Gryazin (LAT) 32
4 Cyril Raymond 27 (FRA)
5 Sondre Evjen (NOR) 26
6. Kevin Eriksson (SWE) 26
7 Conner Maartell (USA) 21
8 Alexander Westlund (SWE) 20
9 Jonathan Walfridsson (SWE) 18
10 Robin Larsson (SWE) 16
15 Pelle Wilen (SWE) 12
20 Jimmie Walfridsson (SWE) 4