Amazing teamwork in horrendous conditions keeps JC Raceteknik top in RallyX Nordic
In a race of attrition during the penultimate round of the RallyX Nordic Championship at the Kinnekulle Ring, Gotene in Sweden (September 9) JC Raceteknik battled hard to score a Supercar podium with Ola Froshaug.
The result lifts Froshaug up to fifth in the drivers’ championship, while fourth place in the final – in which every driver suffered punctures or problems – means that Thomas Bryntesson extended his lead at the head of the Championship with just one round remaining.
Having qualified top of the Intermediate Classification, Bryntesson lined up on pole positon for semi-final one, joined by Froshaug, who was third after the qualifying races. Initially dropping to third, Bryntesson eventually finished the semi-final race second, crossing the finish line just ahead of his colleague’s Ford Fiesta Supercar in the treacherously wet and muddy conditions. In the final, Bryntesson experienced yet more punctures, while Froshaug used all of his experience to finish on the podium.
In the Supercar Lites category, Championship leader heading into the event, William Nilsson, qualified third in the Intermediate Classification before winning his semi-final to secure a front row starting position for the final. However, a pair of punctures slowed the 17-year old’s charge and he would finish fourth. Ahead of the final round, Nilsson is second in the standings, just four points off the lead.
Henrik M Krogstad and Sondre Evjen qualified fifth and 10th respectively in the Intermediate Classification, but in the horrendous conditions of the semi-finals, both drivers were black flagged for unintentional contact with other cars, unsighted by poor visibility.
Swedish rally driver Emrik Smedberg made his debut with the JC Raceteknik team at Kinnekulle and was eighth fastest in Q3. He wound up 14th In the Intermediate Classification, just missing out on the semi-finals, but plans to return for more in 2018.
The team’s next event is the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar in Latvia next weekend (September 16 – 17), before the final round of the RallyX Nordic Championship the following weekend at Strangnas (September 23).
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal :
“We might not have won this weekend, but Thomas extended his lead in the Championship and Ola finished on the podium and climbed in the Championship too. It was a pity that the final went the way it did, the guys went well and pushed hard, but in the end it was only luck whether you managed to get to the finish in a good position or not, there was not much more you could do. This was probably the worse event I’ve been to for track conditions, but you can’t really blame the organisers, there are not many rallycross circuits that could have coped with such weather conditions.”
Supercar: Thomas Bryntesson (NOR)
"We had good speed and made the best of a difficult situation in the end. It’s the Championship title that we’re aiming for and I picked up important points this weekend. All in all, it was a good event for me. In the morning, when the circuit was still in good condition, it was really fun and I got some good results in the heats. But, the weather made the track worse and worse and it was only luck as to whether you got a puncture on lap three instead of lap one.”
Supercar: Ola Froshaug (NOR) :
“Third place feels really good. I’m really pleased, and getting both Supercars into the final was a great result for the whole team. The track was very bad, and it’s exactly these kind of events where experience is so important. I’ve been competing for many, many years and have driven in similar conditions before.”
Supercar Lites: William Nilsson (SWE) :
"Of course I wanted more today, but I just couldn’t so any better in the final, so that’s how it is. I had two punctures on the left hand side of the car, which made it extremely difficult to drive. I have learnt that in such conditions, it’s important to just try to survive each race and try to keep your position. For sure it’s a shame to drop from the lead of the Championship, but I’m ready to push and will be back fighting strong in the final round in Strangnas.”
Supercar Lites: Sondre Evjen (NOR) :
“The conditions were terrible, it’s crazy that they could arrange a race like this. It’s equal for everybody, but you needed to make a good start to be able to get to the finish line. At the start of the semi-final I tried to follow the car in front of me, but he was going the wrong way, so I went the wrong way too – I could barely see his lights. I was quite far behind after the first corner, but I managed to catch up. I hit another driver quite hard in the rear because I could not see anything and got a black flag. In these conditions it’s really difficult to see anything. In the qualifying races, the ones who were ahead at the first corner set the fastest time and I started on the outside [of the grid] every time, which made it difficult for me.”
Supercar Lites: Henrik M Krogstad (NOR) :
“I had a rear puncture from the first corner of the semi-final and the visibility was next to nothing. When I came into the last corner, I tried to slow down, but I couldn’t see how slowly the cars were going in front of me and we had contact. I got a black flag. I went to talk to stewards afterwards, and when we looked at the video footage I understand why I got the black flag. But, after seeing other people in the same race having similar accidents without a black flag it was a bit frustrating, but there was no point to protest. It’s been a very wet day, and the track conditions were really difficult. The gravel turned into a mix of soil and gravel, so it was super slippery, and in Q2 the windscreen wipers got stuck. It was a tough day.”
Supercar Lites: Emrik Smedberg (SWE) :
"Now I've got a had a taste of rallycross, I had a lot of fun and have the desire for more. The conditions were really hard, they were the same for everyone but maybe extra hard when you don’t have the experience. Next year I would like to drive in a season of Supercar Lites with JC Raceteknik, that’s the target. Everything is now about trying to find the budget to do that, but there is good reason to try!
RallyX Nordic Championship, Gotene Supercar Result:
1 Peter Hedstrom (SWE)
2 Robin Larsson (SWE)
3 Ola Froshaug (NOR)
4 Thomas Bryntesson (NOR)
5 Alexander Hvaal (NOR)
6 Oliver Solberg (LAT)
RallyX Nordic Championship, Supercar Points:
1 Thomas Bryntesson (NOR) 134
2 Oliver Solberg (LAT) 111
3 Alexander Hvaal (NOR) 96
4 Peter Hedstrom (SWE) 91
5 Ola Froshaug (NOR) 75
6 Mats Ohman (SWE) 72
RallyX Nordic Championship, Gotene Supercar Lites Result:
1 Simon Olofsson (SWE)
2 Johnathan Walfridsson (SWE)
3 Vasily Gryazon (RUS)
4 William Nilsson (SWE)
5 Santosh Berggren (SWE)
6 Viktor Johansson (SWE)
8 Henrik Krogstad (NOR)
12 Sondre Evjen (NOR)
14 Emrik Smedberg (SWE)
RallyX Nordic Championship, Supercar Lites Points:
1 Simon Olofsson (SWE) 101
2 William Nilsson (SWE) 97
3 Henrik Krogstad (NOR) 83
4 Viktor Johansson (SWE) 66
5 Vasiliy Gryazin (RUS) 63
6 Sondre Evjen (NOR) 56