Incredible top-four RX2 lock-out for JC Raceteknik in Belgium
Swedish rallycross team JC Raceteknik scored an incredible top-four lock-out in the opening round of the RX2 International Series at Mettet in Belgium (May 13), as Ben-Philip Gundersen scored his maiden victory in the FIA World Rallycross Championship support-category.
Fastest in Q2, Gundersen qualified second in the Intermediate Classification, before finishing third in semi-final two behind team mates Henrik Krogstad and Sondre Evjen to make it through to the final.
Reigning RallyX Nordic Supercar Lites Champion William Nilsson finished third in semi-final one, putting every one of the Kil-based team’s cars into the main event.
The quartet then survived first-corner contact to run second, third, fourth and fifth on the opening lap of the final, before Gundersen moved into a lead which he maintained even after taking his joker on the third lap, followed by his team mates.
Running line-astern in the closing stages of the race, Nilsson dropped from second to fourth when he took his joker, as Evjen and Krogstad climbed into podium finishes to score JC Raceteknik’s best-ever result in the RX2 series.
In the second round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar, RallyX Nordic Championship-leader Thomas Bryntessonexperienced difficulties on the opening day with the setup of the Ford Fiesta Supercar, before fighting back on day two, only for the car to be sent into limp-mod after receiving a heavy hit to the rear in his Q4 race. Still making it into the semi-finals, Bryntesson was ruled out of contention when he was pushed off at the first corner by another competitor. Ola Froshaug had a challenging event in the sister car and was 20th in the Intermediate Classification.
Find full results and championship standings here.
JC Raceteknik will return to action for the second round RX2 International Series at Silverstone in Great Britain in two weeks’ time (May 25 – 27).
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal :
“This is a very, very unreal result for us. I thought when we were 1,2,3 in Arvika last year we would ever do that again, so to be 1,2,3,4 is fantastic. The boys have worked very hard and I’m really proud of my whole team. We had good performance in the cars and on the driver side from the beginning of the weekend they were on the pace. Ben-Philip has been really, really good and also showed how good he can be under pressure. Sondre did a good final as well and we can be very happy with them all. Henrik had some damage in the final but it was otherwise an almost perfect weekend for him. William struggled a little bit, he is a top driver and can do the times, but we need to help him find a little more for Silverstone. It’s been a mega weekend in RX2.
In Supercar, It was very bad for Thomas that he got spun in the first corner of the semi-final after he made a good start. We struggled a lot with the pace on Saturday but found something for Sunday. We were new to this track with Supercar but the rest of the tracks we have been to before, so we will do everything we can to win. We know we have the speed and we know Thomas is a good driver.”
RX2: Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR) :
“It’s fantastic to win. [Jami] Kalliomaki made a mistake and I managed to be first. Then I had a good joker and we stayed ahead. I saw William was beside me but I had a little bit more speed and I was on the right line into the first corner and stayed ahead. I just had to stay safe and make sure I was on the dry lines. I’m very surprised [by winning]. I know the competition is very hard here and the level is very good. I’m really happy.”
RX2: Sondre Evjen (NOR) :
"This is a good start to the RX2 season for me, I wanted to be on the podium and I can build on this result. The event started with tough races in Q1 and Q2, but in both Q3 and Q4 had good times, and in the semi-final I finished second. I got a really good start in the final and came out second on lap one. It’s a tough first corner and it helped me to get to the front. I dropped to third in the race but managed to get back to second and I’m pleased with that. The goal is to be at the top of the Championship at the end of the year; I’m in the top three and will continue to fight for good results.”
RX2: Henrik Krogstad (NOR) :
“It’s been a hard weekend, we struggled a lot with starting on the outside of the grid. I fought very hard and I’m happy with the result. It’s a long championship so it’s good to be at the top of the list at the start and to collect good points. In the final I don’t know exactly what happened, but it was a big crash in the first corner and my left-rear wheel was bent, so it was hard to drive but I managed to keep good speed anyway and it’s good to come third. After everything, I’m happy with that. I think it will be a very good Championship, there are a lot of guys who can win so it will be a hard fight.”
RX2: William Nilsson (SWE) :
"For my part, it’s a been a tough weekend. Everything started with some problems where the car dropped onto three cylinders. It was difficult to find the pace but we worked on the setup and I had to make the best of the situation. On Sunday it rained which worked to my advantage. In the final, there was a lot of contact and traffic at the start. After a couple of laps I was third, but the driver in front spun and blocked the road and I lost a lot of time, otherwise I would probably have been on the podium. Generally, I’m happy and really looking forward to the next round at Silverstone.”