Larsson and Reiersen score Flisa podiums with JC Raceteknik
Swedish rallycross team JC Raceteknik endured a weekend of mixed emotions as RallyX Nordic visited the Finnskogbanen circuit in Flisa, Norway for the first time.
Supercar title-contender Robin Larsson entered the Norwegian round a week after claiming his first Nordic victory of the season in Latvia, and he again ran at the front of the Supercar field in Flisa. Fastest times in Q1 and Q2 was a solid start for the FIA European Rallycross Championship leader with the team’s Audi S1, but a throttle problem in Q3 caused a retirement and he ended up second in the Intermediate Classification. By winning his semi-final Larsson started on the front row of the final, but an outside move at the first corner on the 800m circuit didn’t work out. He dropped down the order before climbing back to second, and moved to second in the points. Supercar team mate Mats Ohman showed solid pace and was fourth in qualifying to join Larsson on the front row of the grid in the semis, but a mistake in the joker lap section meant he just missed a place in the final.
In the Crosscar category, 15-year old JC Raceteknik Juniorteam driver Isak Reiersen finished on the podium, despite rolling his car in Q4 and severally damaging his Crosscar. Thanks to the efforts of the team and other volunteers, Reiersen made it onto the grid for the semi-finals, where he finished second to qualifying for the final. There he finished third, and moved to third in the points.
Home driver Ben-Philip Gundersen did everything right in the Supercar Lites category and looked set to score his second victory in the space of a week, qualifying on pole position for the final and taking the lead at the start. But, on the second lap he picked up a puncture and dropped to fifth. For compatriot and team mate Sondre Evjen, it was an up-and-down weekend. After struggling on the first day, Evjen found good speed on Sunday, made it into the final after a close fight in the semi-final then like Gundersen suffered a puncture in the final and finished sixth. Jimmie Walfridson meanwhile had a strong weekend in qualifying, winning his race in Q4 with second quickest time. But, contact at the start of the semi-finals pushing him into a spin and he wouldn’t make the final. Gundersen continues to lead the points, Evjen dropped to third and Walfridson remains sixth.
The next round for RallyX Nordic Supercar and Supercar Lites will at Kouvola, Finland (August 24-25). For Crosscar, the class will next run at the Nordic finale at Tierp, Sweden (September 21 – 22).
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal:
“Overall, we’re satisfied with two podium places. Robin led until the end of Q2, then won in Q4 by over two seconds and easily won his semi-final, but unfortunately he didn’t have the best starting position for the final and you must basically take the start at this track to be able to win. Mats makes progress every weekend and has found even more speed in the car. Unfortunately, a mistake in the joker cost the final place, but otherwise the team is very happy with his weekend.
Ben-Philip was by far the fastest driver in Supercar Lites, so it was a pity that he got that puncture in the final. Sondre has also had speed but he also got puncture. That’s motorsport, it can happen. Even though Jimmie has had good speed, that little last piece hasn’t been there. He did a very good job in Q4, but unfortunately missed the finals after the start in the semis.
Isak performed well, even though he didn’t have his usual speed so he was fighting. After the roll in Q4, the team did a good job to get him into the semis and we are absolutely happy with his third place.”
Supercar: Robin Larsson (SWE) :
"Like many other times in this series we had bad luck this weekend. After the throttle broke and we stopped in Q3 it was difficult to climb back up and we had to start from second in the final. I tried to go around the outside, but instead slid wide and dropped places. I saved a few points by getting back to second. It was the first race for me at this track, so on Saturday I wasn’t so smooth. We have to be better at the starts so we do not need to rely on the joker to take places. But now we’re looking ahead to the race in Finland, we need to take maximum points in order to challenge for the championship. There’s 60 points still to drive for and I’m not going to stop fighting.”
Supercar: Mats Öhman (SWE) :
"I'm not happy with the weekend really, there is so much more to give. I've made too many mistakes and haven’t been consistent in my driving. This is a good car, there is no question about that, but it requires special settings for me. The more time I get in the car, the more things we start to find that can be improved. Among other things, we would have to work to improve the hand brake, and I have ideas on how to rebuild it before Finland. We have worked a great deal on the system for the starts so it is getting better, and I’m actually quite happy with that now. That the start was bad in the semi-finals, however, I must blame myself, because there I was sleeping. As always, I would like to thank the team, mechanics and everyone else for the race in Flisa.”
Supercar Lites: Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR) :
“The weekend overall was very good until the final. Although we have had some problems along the way, including with the power steering and gearbox, we have always been able to come back and show that we are the fastest on track. So it was very disappointing that we got a puncture in the final. I don’t think we deserved that after this weekend - but then it is like this sometimes in rallycross. I’m still leading the championship, and hope to extend the lead even more during the event in Kouvola. All in all, it has been a nice race here at home. I had several sponsors, friends and family present, so thanks to everyone who came here. Also thank you very much to my club who made a good event here at the circuit.”
Supercar Lites: Jimmie Walfridson (SWE) :
“The speed has been there this weekend and I have set fast lap times when I had a free track. But unfortunately, I haven't really got to that little extra that has been needed. The starting positions have been critical and it didn’t help me starting from the second and third places. In Q4 when I started from first I could run my own race, so I could win and be second overall. In the semi-finals I had a good starting place and it went well at the start, but unfortunately I got a bang in the side, then had nowhere to go and got hit from behind. I almost rolled and my chances ended there. It was a pure racing incident, they happen sometimes. I would like to thank a group of my sponsors from Glasurit who came and supported me this weekend, it’s just a pity that we didn’t get a better result.”
Supercar Lites: Sondre Evjen (NOR) :
“The weekend started very badly during practice and Q1. I simply didn’t find the rhythm. But then I went around the track on Saturday evening and pushed hard on Sunday. I set the fastest time in warm-up, the pace was really good. But unfortunately after that I was in bad starting positions and on the outside every time, on a track where those who take the start always get into the top three times, so it was difficult. The guys did a good job of fixing the car after every race. In the semi-finals there was a fight over the final place in the final and I came third by just a few hundredths to the driver behind. In the final I got a puncture on the second lap, so the race was ruined for me. In the championship, it’s basically now not possible to win, so I will continue to race for good results in each event instead.”
Xtreme: Isak Reiersen (SWE) :
“It feels nice to be able to finish on the podium after an event that was very much up and down. I didn’t really have the same speed that was there in Riga, but we made constant changes to the setup and improved the pace through the event. In Q4, what happened, happened. I was faster than the driver in front and tried to overtake on the outside, but our wheels hooked up and that’s like a catapult with these cars. I rolled and ended in the wall, and there was a lot of damage. The time was tight to get everything ready for the semi-final. A lot of people were involved, not just from the junior team but mechanics from the Supercar team and even other people. Without them we would might as well have gone home and I’m so grateful that so many people chose to fight for us. We took this result thanks to team work. After the weekend I’ve climbed to third in the championship again. It’s tight in the standings and everything can happen in the final in Tierp.”