RX2 Series front-runner Jesse Kallio won the Supercar Lites category at the first time of asking in RallyX Nordic. The Finn and championship leader Ben-Philip Gundersen were the pace-setters throughout the qualifying stages at Kouvola and each won their respective semi-final, but a slightly sluggish getaway for the Norwegian at the start of the final was all Olsbergs MSE ace Kallio required to usurp the advantage.
After bravely holding his nerve around the outside of the first corner, all manner of drama behind allowed the home hero to make good his escape – going on to sprint to a popular and unchallenged success on his series debut.
“It doesn’t get much better than this!” Kallio enthused afterwards. “It’s been a really tough battle all weekend, but we had a good semi-final and final. The first corner was really tight – I just sent it to the outside and after that I didn’t see anybody! This win is for all the Finns who came to support me.”
Gundersen’s day went from bad to worse when he was disqualified for contact as he endeavoured to fight back through the field. That should have given main rival Linus Östlund a golden opportunity to capitalise, but the Swede’s hopes were hit by a puncture that restricted him to fifth.
Simon Olofsson ultimately secured second place despite carrying damage from the first corner – the STS RX star doing an outstanding job to hold onto his position – with a virtual dead heat for third going narrowly in favour of Anders Michalak over Jimmie Walfridson. The result marked Michalak’s second consecutive podium finish in RallyX Nordic.
Sondre Evjen’s title hopes, meanwhile, were extinguished after the Norwegian failed to make the final – having already conceded ground with a spectacular double roll in Q4.
Supercar Lites Final Result
1. Jesse KALLIO (FIN) Olsbergs MSE 5 laps
2. Simon OLOFSSON (SWE) STS RX +5.303s
3. Anders MICHALAK (SWE) Michalak Motorsport +9.183s
Supercar Lites – Championship Standings
1. Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR) 151 points
2. Linus Östlund (SWE) 139 points
3. Sondre Evjen (NOR) 116 points
4. Simon Olofsson (SWE) 94 points
5. Thomas Holmen (NOR) 92 points
6. Jimmie Walfridson (SWE) 91 points
2019 RallyX Nordic Calendar
May 17-19 Rounds 1/2 Höljes, Sweden
June 1-2 Round 3 Nysum, Denmark
July 20-21 Round 4 Riga, Latvia
July 27-28 Round 5 Finnskogbanen, Norway
August 24-25 Round 6 Kouvola, Finland
September 21-22 Round 7 Tierp Arena, Sweden