Racing got underway at the super-fast Danish dustbowl of Nysumbanen today (5 September) with the penultimate round of the 2020 RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires campaign, as title battles hotted up and local heroes tasted the podium champagne.
Changeable conditions throughout the qualifying heats yielded some surprise results, while several local wildcard appearances across the four categories disrupted the established order. At the same time, anticipation was building for the title protagonists ahead of tomorrow’s Final Showdown, as thrilling battles played out up and down the field.
An ultra-competitive grid of Supercar Lites drivers lined up on the grid in Denmark, with the leading four title protagonists separated by just six points heading into the weekend. Ultimately though, they were all upstaged today by one-off entry Guillame De Ridder, returning to the category after more than 20 months away. After winning Q1 by 2.5 seconds, the Belgian went on to take a well-deserved victory ahead of a field of top-tier competitors.
The runner-up laurels went to #YellowSquad’s Henrik Krogstad. Following his dominant win at Arvika last month, the Norwegian was on the money from the outset and duly increased his championship lead ahead of the final day of the campaign tomorrow.
Round one winner Simon Olofsson also looked like a man on a mission for much of the day, never finishing outside of the top three. His charge, however, was halted following contact with Krogstad in the final, but the STS RX ace remains firmly in contention for the crown at just seven points adrift of the summit of the standings.
Jesse Kallio was never quite able to challenge the front-runners in the qualifying races, owing to a wrist injury that he picked up at Arvika. Despite this, RallyX Nordic’s own flying Finn battled through the pain to put in an inspired performance and take third in the final. Linus Östlund similarly kept his championship ambitions alive in fourth.
Guillaume De Ridder said: “I didn’t quite get the clean sweep, but still, what a fantastic way to come back after nine months out of a race car! I really didn’t expect to come here and win. There are still some details to work on, like the start which wasn’t my strongest suit today and is an area in which I’m still lacking a little bit of consistency, but we’ll analyse it all overnight.
“Honestly, if somebody had offered me this result ahead of the weekend, I would have signed up for it straightaway. We can celebrate a little bit now, but we need to stay focussed for tomorrow and I can promise you it will be maximum attack again!”
1. Guillaume DE RIDDER (BEL) Olsbergs MSE 5 laps
2. Henrik KROGSTAD (NOR) YellowSquad +0.
3. Jesse KALLIO (FIN) Olsbergs MSE +2.
4. Linus ÖSTLUND (SWE) Olsberg
5. Jimmie WALFRIDSON (SWE) JC Raceteknik +4.445s
6. Simon OLOFSSON (SWE) STS RX +2 laps
1. Henrik KROGSTAD (NOR) 95 points
2. Linus ÖSTLUND (SWE) 90 points
3. Jesse KALLIO (FIN) 89 points
4. Simon OLOFSSON (SWE) 88 points
5. Jimmie WALFRIDSON (SWE) 59 points
6. Mats OSKARSSON(SWE) 54 points