Titanic RallyX Nordic title fight reaches fever pitch at Finnskogbanen

Titanic RallyX Nordic title fight reaches fever pitch at Finnskogbanen

Norway’s forests await Nordic competitors to kick-start second half of season
Three-way title fight heating up in headlining Supercar class
Local heroes Gundersen and Holmen set for wheel-to-wheel Supercar Lites duel
Semi-finals and finals to be broadcast live and worldwide via Facebook
 

The dust has barely settled on a pulsating scrap in Riga three days ago, but RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires competitors are already gearing up for this weekend’s fast-approaching Finnskogbanen showdown in Norway (27/28 July) – the latest instalment in a gripping championship battle.
 
Three-way title tussle
 
Robin Larsson’s Latvian victory blew the Supercar class title race wide open, with only five points now blanketing the top three contenders in the chase for the coveted crown. Olsbergs MSE’s Oliver Eriksson still leads the way courtesy of his two early-season triumphs, but with a reduced margin of just three points over ultra-consistent ‘Flying Finn’ Jere Kalliokoski, the championship’s ‘quiet man’ continuing to go from strength-to-strength with every round.
 
And then, of course, there is Larsson, whose Latvian result finally confirmed the pace and potential the Swede has shown all season. The JC Raceteknik man is in a rich vein of form off the back of his Nordic and EuroRX successes, and another win this weekend could just catapult him to the top of the table.
 
“Riga was the first time in RallyX Nordic this year that things properly went our way,” reflected the former FIA World Rallycross Championship event winner, EuroRX Champion and current European Championship leader. “It proved what we are capable of, and now we need to carry that momentum forward to Norway. Finnskogbanen is a real old-school, classic rallycross track – all about speed, commitment and balls-out bravery – and I can’t wait to see how we shape up!”
 
In the second OMSE Honda Civic, Ulrik Linnemann has been repeatedly beset by ill-fortune in 2019 but when he has had a clean run, the Dane has proved to be almost a match for team-mate Eriksson, while Philip Gehrman is another who has snuck ‘under the radar’ but is a consistent threat for podium places.
 
Amongst the high-calibre, 13-strong Supercar field will be four locals, with Fredrik Magnussen, Stene Johansen, Mario Hansen and Svein Roger Andersen all eager to channel home advantage and put on a spectacular show for the partisan crowd.
 
Spotlight on Supercar Lites
 
On the subject of locals, they don’t get much more local than Supercar Lites title-chasers Ben-Philip Gundersen (Kjellmyra) and Thomas Holmen (Flisa), both of whom grew up barely a stone’s throw away from Finnskogbanen.
 
Gundersen arrives fresh off the back of victories in the most recent two rounds at Nysum and Biķernieki, and holding a 14-point advantage over countryman and JC Raceteknik stablemate Sondre Evjen in the drivers’ standings. Höljes winner Holmen is similarly in touch in fourth position, and he and Gundersen are sure to benefit from the lion’s share of support.
 
“Finnskogbanen is literally 20 minutes down the road from me, so I really will be competing ‘at home’ this weekend,” acknowledged Holmen. “We’ve been a bit out of luck since winning the first round of the season, but hopefully we can get back on-track and really give the local fans something to cheer about.
 
“There’s a lot of passion for rallycross in this part of the country and it’s a fantastic track both to drive and spectate at, so I’m looking forward to seeing a big crowd and I hope everybody is ready for some awesome racing!”
 
OMSE’s Linus Östlund is the sole non-Norwegian interloper in the top four – just a single point behind Evjen – and the Swede has enjoyed a strong campaign to-date, with three rostrum finishes from four starts. Lars Erik Haug and Hans-Ola Frøshaug complete the homegrown contingent.
 
Swedish Showdown
 
The racing in the supporting CrossCar category has been action-packed since the beginning of the season, and heading to Finnskogbanen, it is a sextet of speedy Swedes at the top of the order – but Norwegian interest will be focussed firmly on the five homegrown drivers, who make up a third of the entry list.
 
Tony Sormbroen (Flisa), Terje Bredesen (Gjesåsen) and Nikolai Haldammen (Kongsvinger) are the most ‘local’ of the locals, and will be aiming to put their specialist knowledge to good use to shake up the Swedish hegemony in the fiercely competitive single-make series.
 
The racing will run from 16h00-16h50 (local time) on Saturday and 11h00-16h50 on Sunday. Weekend tickets are available to purchase on-site during the event, priced at 300 NOK.

For those unable to get to the track, every RallyX Nordic event in 2019 will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/rallyxnordic and www.rallyx.se/rallyx-tv, with live coverage of the semi-finals and finals also set to be broadcast on Viasat in Norway and throughout the Baltic regions on TV6 Latvia.

Entry Lists
 
Supercars

4    Robin Larsson    SWE    JC Raceteknik
9    Christer Dalmans    SWE    Hedströms Motorsport
11    Jere Kalliokoski    FIN    Kalliokoski Motorsport
12    Fredrik Magnussen    NOR    Fredrik Magnussen
16    Oliver Eriksson    SWE    Olsbergs MSE
17    Mats Öhman    SWE    JC Raceteknik
50    Svein Roger Andersen    NOR    Andersen Motorsport
61    Andreas Carlsson    SWE    Andreas Carlsson Rallycross
72    Ulrik Linnemann    DNK    Olsbergs MSE
77    Stene Johansen    NOR    Johansen Motorsport
86    Mario Hansen    NOR    Olsbergs MSE
88    Daniel Thorén    SWE    Hedströms Motorsport
95    Philip Gehrman    SWE    Gehrman Motorsport AB 


Supercar Lites
 
2    Ben-Philip Gundersen    NOR    JC Raceteknik
11    Mats Oskarsson    SWE    Oskarsson Motorsport
12    Anders Michalak    SWE    Michalak Motorsport
18    Linus Östlund    SWE    Olsbergs MSE
33    Lars Erik Haug    NOR    Haug Rallycross Team
52    Simon Olofsson    SWE    Simon Olofsson
54    Petter Nårsa    SWE    Öhman Motorsport
56    Thomas Holmen    NOR    Thomas Holmen
69    Sondre Evjen    NOR    JC Raceteknik
90    Jimmie Walfridson    SWE    JC Raceteknik
91    Niklas Aneklev    SWE    Olsbergs MSE
99    Hans-Ola Frøshaug    NOR    JC Raceteknik 


CrossCar
 
6    Martin Enlund    SWE    Enlunds Motorsport
8    Jonas Ericsson    SWE    SSD Swespeed
11    Jimmie Österberg    SWE    Österberg Motorsport
14    Nils Andersson    SWE    NA Motorsport
20    Julius Ljungdahl    SWE    Yellow Squad by Hansen
21    Lars Söderström    SWE    SSD Swespeed
31    Jan Emil Wilsberg    NOR    Jan Emil Wilsberg
43    Tony Sormbroen    NOR    Tony Sormbroen
50    Terje Bredesen    NOR    Terje Bredesen
67    Isac Egonsson    SWE    Carcontrol
85    Petter Hane    SWE    Petter Hane
170    Isak Reiersen    SWE    JC Raceteknik Junior Team
175    Timmy Enlund    SWE    Enlunds Motorsport
181    Markus Gimle Enger    NOR    Markus Gimle Enger
888    Nikolai Haldammen    NOR    Nikolai Haldammen


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