ADVANTAGE ERIKSSON AS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER SETS THE PACE AT SILVERSTONE
RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires championship leader Oliver Eriksson took a clean sweep of fastest times on the opening day of action at Silverstone’s SpeedMachine Festival today (25 May) – as the discipline’s fastest-rising stars entertained capacity crowds at the iconic British circuit.
Nobody could touch Eriksson throughout the first three qualifying races at the celebrated ‘Home of British Motor Racing’, though as in Belgium a fortnight ago, it was his Olsbergs MSE team-mate Jesse Kallio that pushed him closest. Nonetheless, the Swede professed himself satisfied with his performance at the end of Q3.
“The start is pretty key at Silverstone, and in that respect, I got pretty lucky with pole position in the Q1 draw – and I have focussed on keeping that inside line all day,” 20-year-old Eriksson explained. “You need to be smooth round here and make sure not to overdo it, so I have tried hard to remain consistent and now the job for tomorrow is to carry on in the same way. So far, so good.”
Kallio was amongst the leading contenders all day, though he found himself delayed by a first lap tussle with JC Raceteknik rival Ben-Philip Gundersen in Q3 that cost both drivers time. The Norwegian sits third in the overnight standings, ahead of SET Promotion’s Sami-Matti Trogen, the Finnish teenager improving throughout the day to snatch fourth place in the intermediate classification.
Vasiliy Gryazin occupies fifth position for Sports Racing Technologies following a characteristically quick and consistent run, with Swedes Anders Michalak and William Nilsson (JC Raceteknik) tied on points for sixth – the latter winning the plaudits for highest jump and mastering the Turn One switchback move at the start.
Fraser McConnell struggled early on and admitted to overdriving behind the wheel of the third OMSE car, but the Jamaican put in a much punchier performance in Q4 to climb to eighth overall, ahead of Steve Volders, Simon Olofsson and fans’ favourite Albert Llovera.
Olofsson endured a rough day, going well in Q1 but finding himself tipped into a dramatic roll at the start of Q2 following a first corner squeeze – from which he emerged thankfully unharmed. The STS RX mechanics performed miracles in the short turnaround time before Q3 to get the Swede back out on-track, and he will be looking to climb the order tomorrow.
The RX2 action continues at Silverstone on Sunday, with Q3, two semi-finals and the all-important final. The remaining qualifier can be watched LIVE on the series’ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RX2Series) from 09:50 local time (BST), with semi-final highlights and the final forming part of the live World RX television broadcast.
- Oliver Eriksson SWE Olsbergs MSE 150 points
- Jesse Kallio FIN Olsbergs MSE 129 points
- Ben-Philip Gundersen NOR JC Raceteknik 124 points
- Sami-Matti Trogen FIN SET Promotion 118 points
- Vasiliy Gryazin LVA Sports Racing Technologies 115 points
- Anders Michalak SWE Anders Michalak 113 points
- William Nilsson SWE JC Raceteknik 113 points
- Fraser McConnell JAM Olsbergs MSE 111 points
- Steve Volders BEL Nationale Renstal Trommelke 108 points
- Simon Olofsson SWE Simon Olofsson 105 points
- Albert Llovera AND Albert Llovera 100 points