Strong pace goes unrewarded for JC Raceteknik in Norway
Swedish rallycross team JC Raceteknik showed strong pace with its Supercar and RX2 drivers at Hell in Norway, but huge efforts by both the team and drivers went unrewarded in Hell (June 11).
Competing in the second round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, reigning RallyX Nordic Supercar Lites Champion Thomas Bryntesson and multiple Supernational rallycross champion Ola Froshaug battled through wet, dry and mixed conditions to make the semi-finals.
Bryntesson was fastest in Free Practice one, second in Q2 and fastest in Q4 to put him in a prime position for making it into the final, but gearbox issues while fighting for victory in the semi-finals meant he just missed out. Froshaug set a best time of sixth in the qualifying stages and achieved his weekend objective by making it into the semi-finals, where he finished fifth, culminating in ninth overall.
A week after claiming his first Lites victory at Arvika in RallyX Nordic, William Nilsson was fastest in Free Practice one in Hell and showed consistency through the qualifying stages of the event to be third at the Intermediate Classification. He finished second in semi-final one to make it into the final where he battled for a podium finish, but lost time fighting for position and ended up sixth.
Joint RallyX Nordic Supercar Lites Championship leader Sondre Evjen was fastest in Q2 but mistakes in Q3 and Q4 cost positions. Regardless, the Norwegian qualified fifth in the Intermediate Classification to join Nilsson in semi-final one. Unfortunately, Evjen’s hopes of making it to the final were dashed by a broken alternator belt.
Belgian driver Guillaume De-Ridder made his third ever RX2 start in Hell and again impressed with his pace while learning another new circuit. The rally driver also had to contend with wet conditions for the first time in rallycross and joined Nilsson and Evjen in semi-final one, but lost time on a watered circuit and behind Evjen to finish fifth.
Marcus Hoglund returned to RX2 after making his debut at Holjes in Sweden last season and again proved his potential by finishing 10th at the Intermediate Classification. Sixth place in semi-final two was a solid result. Hoglund will remain with the team for the third round of RallyX Nordic this weekend at Solvalla, where JC Raceteknik will be back in action, after a brief visit to its workshops in Kil.
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal :
“The weekend has been really frustrating. I feel a bit sad for Thomas, he did a very, very good job. In the semi-final he was the quickest guy – he was on it but then he got the gearbox problem. I think he would have been on the front row in the final if that hadn’t happened, but it is like it is, we need to look forward. We struggled a lot with the speed in Q1 and Q2 and had some issues too, but we got it together and he was quickest in Q4 to show the speed we have. It’s frustrating not to fight for the win. I’m happy with OIa, he showed good speed and really develops as a driver every time he gets in the car. The semi-finals was the aim for him this weekend, so we’re happy with that.
In RX2, to have all four cars in the semi-finals was good. We didn’t have the ultimate speed in the semis and to have three cars in one semi wasn’t so good. William did a good job, it’s nice to see him keep his speed from Arvika and he raced in a clever way. Sondre’s problem meant he could get to the final, and Guilleme was struggling to see because of the water on the track. The result is not what we wanted so for sure we’re disappointed, but that’s racing.”
Euro RX Supercar: Thomas Bryntesson (NOR) :
“I’m disappointed with the result. I was the fastest driver in the semi-final before we had the gearbox problem, which caused me some problems. It's a shame because I think we could have gone a long way in the final today. I have shown that we have the speed many times before, so I just hope the whole race will flow soon. Even though we didn’t get what we wanted in Hell, I feel more and more at home in the car all the time. If you look at the times and compare with the others, we are even setting similar times to World Championship teams. It’s awesome, because we’re a small team that doesn’t have the same budget as the factory teams.”
Euro RX Supercar: Ola Froshaug (NOR) :
“I’m really pleased. Apart from a bad start in the semi-finals, when the car almost stopped, I had been at the top all weekend and my goal was always to make it into the semis. There has never been more competition in the European Championship than there is right now, and it’s amazing to compete in such a big field. I've driven at Hell several times before but this was the first time in Supercar. Of course it felt completely different to racing in Supernational, but I know the track which helped. I’ve never been to Solvalla before, but it will be exciting. I will watch in-car videos this week to get to know the track, where my aim is to also make the semi-finals.”
RX2: Sondre Evjen (NOR) :
“I made a couple of mistakes in Q3 and Q4 so I could have been third before the semi-finals, but we still managed fifth. In the semi-final, the fan belt broke, so the battery wasn’t charging and my engine only revved to 6500rpm. I pushed as hard as I could, but we were too slow because of that unfortunately. I love racing at home, it’s the best. It’s been a good weekend with a lot of fans, a lot of spectators and a lot of people we know, so it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t make it to the final. I’m looking to next weekend. I want to keep the lead in the RallyX Nordic Championship. We’re going for a win in Solvalla.”
RX2: William Nilsson (SWE) :
“The event started well, I was the fastest in practice which was thanks to a lot of effort. The final was not really as I had planned but sometimes it’s like that and after all, we are in Hell. I for sure had the capacity to get a better position, but the momentum wasn’t with me. However, I have taken good championship points, which is nice. The next race in Solvalla is not a favorite, but this year I will try to make it a favorite. It’s a temporary track built with concrete and tyre stacks, which means that there can be a lot of contact. But, I'm aiming for a good weekend and I'll try to collect as many points as possible for the championship.”
RX2: Guillaume De-Ridder (BEL) :
“This was a good weekend for us because I quickly found a good rhythm straight away in Q1, in the dry. I won my race and was fourth fastest, which was a surprise for us because I didn’t expect to be so fast straight away, because the track is more difficult to learn than Lydden Hill. In Q2 I had my first experience of the wet in an RX2 car, so I struggled a bit, but it got much better in Q3. Even though I made a mistake in joker I set the second best lap, so that proved even in the wet we have the pace. I got stuck behind Sondre in the semi-final with his problem, I think we had the pace to make the final so I’m a bit disappointed not to do that. Had it not been my team mate, I think I would have pushed him harder to overtake. Overall, it was a positive weekend and I’m looking forward to Holjes where it will be tough to even make the semis with a big entry.”
RX2: Marcus Hoglund (SWE) :
"Tenth position is something I can be satisfied with, after all it’s my second RX2 race. When it was raining it went better, because I’ve hardly driven a Lites car in the dry before. I made a few mistakes but I understand that it takes time to learn the car. The other drivers are really quick, especially those in our team. I will sleep on it then discuss the weekend with Joel, watch the in-car videos and work on it. In Solvalla I hope I can improve and that it will get better and better.”
FIA European Rallycross Championship, Hell, Norway Result:
1 Robin Larsson (SWE)
2 Anton Marklund (SWE)
3 Alexander Hvaal (NOR)
4 Peter Hedstrom (SWE)
5 Tamas Pal Kiss (HUN)
6 Tommy Rustad (NOR)
7 Thomas Bryntesson (NOR)
9 Ola Froshaug (NOR)
FIA European Rallycross Championship Points:
1 Anton Marklund (SWE) 56
2 Robin Larsson (SWE) 44
3 Tamas Pal Kiss (HUN) 40
4 Tommy Rustad (NOR) 37
5 Thomas Bryntesson (NOR) 33
6 Alexander Hvaal (NOR) 30
13 Ola Froshaug (NOR) 14
RX2 International Series, Hell, Norway Result:
1 Cyril Raymond (FRA)
2 Tanner Whitten (USA)
3 Dan Rooke (GBR)
4 Glen Haug (NOR)
5 Andreas Backman (SWE)
6 William Nilsson (SWE)
7 Sondre Evjen (NOR)
8 Guillaume De-Ridder (BEL)
10 Marcus Hoglund (SWE)
RX2 International Series standings:
1 Cyril Raymond (FRA) 85
2 Dan Rooke (GBR) 73
3 Tanner Whitten (USA) 59
4 Glenn Haug (NOR) 52
5 Simon Olofsson (SWE) 50
6 Guillaume De-Ridder (BEL) 47
7 Sondre Evjen (NOR) 42
8 William Nilsson (SWE) 42
14 Marcus Hoglund (SWE) 8