Gustafsson claims RallyX Nordic Crosscar Junior title and Gundersen scores maiden Supercar victory at Nysum
JC Raceteknik Juniorteam driver Alex Gustafsson claimed the first ever RallyX Nordic Junior Crosscar title in the season-finale at Nysum in Denmark as Ben-Philip Gundersen finished on the podium in both rounds of the double-header and scored his first-ever Supercar win in the final round.
The fight for the Junior Crosscar title went all the way down to the wire, with 13-year old Gustafsson making an overtake in the very final corners of the season to take the biggest prize. He had finished fifth in round four on Saturday after a problem in the joker lap, but finished second in the last race of the campaign to return to the top of the points table when it mattered most. Juniorteam team mate Isak Reiersen had entered the final rounds leading the Crosscar points, but the 16-year old didn’t make the final on either day in a difficult weekend. However, a strong start to the season means he still takes third overall in the Crosscar class.
For former European Rallycross Champion Gundersen, driving the JC Raceteknik Audi S1, the Nysum weekend was his best yet in Supercar. He finished second in round four, then won the final from the front on Sunday to claim his first win. Supercar Lites driver Jimmie Walfridson made good starts throughout the weekend and had good pace on track. He reached the final on both days and took a fourth and fifth place finish. He ended the season fifth in the RallyX Nordic points and fourth in the RX2 International Series.
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal:
“Alex has really impressed me this year. He had a tough race on Saturday, but managed to turn it around by keeping a cool head and not giving up. This is his first championship gold medal, and that’s brilliant. I'm proud of his achievements this year. Isak really has the potential and showed it at the beginning of the season, but this weekend didn’t work out for him or the Crosscar. That’s sad for him, but he will be back to get revenge.
We did the race this weekend with Ben-Philip mostly as a test before the next European Championship rounds and to get more comfortable in the Supercar. He succeeded in doing that, to say the least. He has had good pace and it will be exciting to see what he can do in the next European race in Latvia. Finally for Jimmie he had good pace, and drove really well. He’s struggled a bit to find the pace this year but this weekend he was very good and showed it wasn’t a one-off in Saturday by doing the same on Sunday.
It was a different RallyX Nordic season to what we expected this year. Many thanks to RallyX Nordic who put together a championship despite the difficult circumstances. And of course thanks to the whole team who always fight hard in all events.”
Supercar: Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR):
“We had two fantastic races this weekend. Many thanks to the team for a fantastic job. It has been a very demanding and educational weekend. We didn’t have much to fight for in the championship because I hadn’t done all the races, but it was fun and good testing for us. The weather was very changeable on Saturday, that made it difficult to find the right set-up. But the mechanics and the team did a great job and delivered a car that suited the track every time. There was a bit of chaos at the start of the final on Saturday which gave Oliver [Eriksson] a head-start and we had to fight back. On Sunday the conditions were much more consistent and we constantly improved. I lost a bit in the final at the start, but again we fought back to take the win.”
Supercar Lites: Jimmie Walfridson (SWE):
"It was really nice to be able to end the season with good speed. The previous race in Arvika was a difficult event for me, but, both today and yesterday we were in the final again. I aimed for the podium, but we can be satisfied with these results this weekend. Given the situation with Covid-19, I'm glad we've actually been able to compete at all, so I want to take this opportunity to thank JC Raceteknik, my sponsors, friends and family.”
Crosscar Junior: Alex Gustafsson (SWE):
"This feeling is indescribable, I don’t think it has sunk in yet. When I realised I’d won, there were so many emotions at the same time with screams, tears of joy and hugs. Becoming the first ever champion in RallyX Nordic's CrossCar Junior class feels absolutely magical. So many thanks to everyone that in various ways have helped me this season. The team that always delivers, JC Raceteknik for everything, RallyX Nordic for forming the class and of course all my sponsors. We are happy to have been able to deliver another gold for JC Raceteknik.
The weekend was a bit up and down for me. It started problems in both practices, so I had to go straight into Q1 without knowing the track. Then we had some mixed results and in the final on Saturday I had a stall in the joker so finished last. That put me second in the championship, so it was just to think positive and recharge for Sunday. On the whole, the second day went better. The final was going to decide everything and there are many good drivers in the class. On the last lap I was third, but saw a gap in the last corner and took it. That was what was needed, and I'm so happy about the championship victory. Of course, it's sad that Isak [Reiersen] could not take first place either, but a medal is always good."
Crosscar: Isak Reiersen (SWE):
"Of course it’s a bit disappointing. I would be lying if I said I was happy with a third place when I was fighting for the title. The season started very well for me, with consistent performances where I always picked up good points. But that didn’t last until the end. It was a combination of bad luck and not finding the right pace this weekend. Even if my lap times have very good, it’s not enough with such a strong field if you are not consistent. For the most part Sunday went better, but the semi-final was difficult with a lot of dust and a problem with the gearbox.
For Alex, things went much better. He did the best final I’ve ever seen him do. That was really fun to see, he deserves this! I want to take the opportunity to thank the team for this season. Even though it was a short and a bit different to normal, it was nice that we still got it together. The season is not completely over for me, I have a little different driving left in the future, but that’s news for a later date.”