- Kristoffersson claims Supercar title at Arvika
- Hallman crowned Supercar Lites champion
- Reiersen victorious after CrossCar/Crosskart thriller
- Tiger, Andersson take Open 2WD, CrossCar Junior honours
Johan Kristoffersson and Tommi Hallman lifted the major honours in Supercar and Supercar Lites respectively as the thrilling 2021 RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires Championship reached its dramatic conclusion at Arvika.
Kristoffersson picked up his third race victory of the season to cap a dominant campaign, while Hallman finished second in the Supercar Lites final behind Casper Jansson but was officially crowned champion at the Intermediate Standings stage after entering the weekend with an unassailable lead.
The CrossCar/Crosskart championship battle went right down to the wire, with Isak Reiersen, Jimmie Österberg and Patrik Hallberg entering the final separated by just a single point, and it was Reiersen who emerged victorious – pipping Hallberg on the line by just 0.042 – following a breathtaking wheel-to-wheel battle.
Simon Tiger was made to work hard for his sixth victory of the season but comfortably secured the Open 2WD title, while Alex Gustafsson beat Lukas Andersson in the CrossCar Junior final but the latter lifted the championship by a point.
Johan Kristoffersson was the class of the Supercar field despite a highly-competitive entry at Arvika, with the three-time FIA World Rallycross Champion holding off Fraser McConnell to secure yet another race win and add a maiden RallyX Nordic title to his trophy cabinet.
Fastest times in Q1 and Q3 resulted in Top Qualifier honours and set the Swede up for a drama-free Sunday, with victory in the semi-final followed by a win from the front in the showpiece event for the Kristoffersson Motorsport ace.
McConnell showed a blistering turn of pace to claim his semi-final and lock in a front-row start for the final, which the Jamaican subsequently converted into a second-place finish – securing second in the overall standings in the process after Sondre Evjen could only manage sixth on the day.
Anton Marklund, who produced a stunning time to win Q4, steered his Hedströms Motorsport VW Polo to third while Enzo Ide was fourth for EKS JC despite topping the standings in Q2 and Olsbergs MSE wildcard entry Kevin Eriksson came home fifth after a successful weekend of testing in his Honda Civic.
Johan Kristoffersson said: “It’s always nice to pick up another trophy! I have won the Swedish Championship once before, here in Arvika last year at my home track, and it is good to keep that winning streak going.
“I love this sport, and it is down to Volkswagen Sweden and Bauhaus that we are actually here. The competition throughout the year has been very tough. Niclas Grönholm has been competing in a few races this year and the other guys have also put up a proper fight. It’s always very important to be in a competitive mode, and we have had to squeeze everything out of our car as no two races are the same.
“I love driving my VW Polo, and I like to compete as much as possible. I don’t like to be away from home so much, but you want to race as much as possible! I started motorsport quite late – at 20 years old – so I always felt like I had to catch up with championships!”
Tommi Hallman entered the weekend with an unassailable lead in the Supercar Lites standings, so the champion-elect could have been excused of taking things easy at Arvika.
However, the Finn was keen to end the season on a high and was among the pacesetters throughout the event as he hunted his fifth win of the campaign – although he ultimately failed to find an answer for an inspired Casper Jansson.
The Enlunds Motorsport youngster was quickest in Q3 and Q4 to secure Top Qualifier status then led from the front in both his semi-final and final, highlighting the huge improvement he has demonstrated since the start of the year.
Nils Andersson was third in the final, securing a second-place finish in the overall standings, and Linus Östlund pipped Martin Enlund on the road to claim third in the Drivers’ Championship while George Megennis’ stunning rallycross debut ended with a disqualification after the #YellowSquad teenager was involved in contact at turn one.
Tommi Hallman said: “This feels really good. I’m a bit disappointed with the second place today but it’s been a really good season for me and we haven’t really had any big issues all year. I haven’t had a second place before this season, so I have taken one and completed the set now!
“I didn’t match Casper’s pace in qualifying – I was maybe missing a bit of pace in the early stages – but it gradually got better and I was really close in the final. The mechanics have done an amazing job, so huge thanks to them. We have had a couple of new mechanics come on board in the last few rounds, so more people make it easier for everyone.
“It’s been a mega job from all of them, and I have to thank them and all my partners – every single one of them is important. It’s been a really nice year, and I will enjoy this.”
The CrossCar/Crosskart category produced arguably the most scintillating race of the entire season as the championship contenders faced off in a winner-takes-all final, with Reiersen pipping Hallberg on a last-lap dash to the line.
Hallberg had progressed through to the semi-finals as top qualifier but only booked his place in the final by crossing the finish line backwards after contact with Österberg on the last corner. Starting on the back row for the final race of the weekend, the Swede shot into third and proceeded to hunt down Österberg and set his sights on Reiersen.
Reiersen enjoyed a cleaner passage from pole but was gradually closed down by the hard-charging Hallberg and the EKS JC youngster had to scramble out of the joker on the final lap to beat his opponent by the finest of margins.
The result saw Reiersen claim the championship by a single point ahead of Hallberg, while Österberg was another point further back as the Power RX driver heartbreakingly missed out on the title for a third consecutive season.
Isak Reiersen said: “That was mental – I felt how close Patrik was! I kept hearing ‘push, push, push’ and I braked a little bit too late into the joker. I wasn’t sure if I should go left or right on the way out, but I chose the right way. There was just enough room and I kept it full throttle!
“Patrik was very fair in that race, and I couldn’t have had two better competitors in this title fight. Jimmie and Patrik have been awesome. We have been racing so close all season and it has always been clean. I want to thank them for being such good sports.
“My mechanics worked so hard last night – they finished with the engine at 4am this morning, while I had clutch and gearbox issues – so big up to them. I want to thank my parents, and my sponsors… everyone!”
Simon Tiger reinforced his status as the dominant force in the Open 2WD category, seeing off a strong challenge from Emil Öhman to win his sixth event of the season, with Michael Janson completing the Arvika podium while Mathias Jansson and Marcus Norman claimed second and third in the overall standings despite suffering disappointing weekends.
Finally, Lukas Andersson endured a drama-filled event but eventually claimed the CrossCar Junior title ahead of reigning champion Alex Gustafsson.
The pair were evenly matched throughout qualifying, although Erik Nilsson topped the Intermediate Standings, and both leading contenders won their semi-finals to set-up a mouth-watering shoot-out – with Gustafsson in particular catching the eye as he stormed from the back of the field and executed several stunning passes to progress.
Andersson entered the final holding a four-point advantage over Gustafsson in the Drivers’ Standings, meaning second would be enough to claim the overall honours even if the pole-sitter won. A three-second penalty for moving from his starting lane too early put his title hopes in doubt, but a tenacious drive sticking to Gustafsson’s tail ensured enough of a gap to the chasing pack and saw Andersson claim the title by a solitary point.
The RallyX Nordic Presented by Cooper Tires Championship has produced thrilling racing and nail-biting title battles throughout 2021, cementing its place as one of the most entertaining motorsport series in the world. We would like to thank all our drivers, teams, officials, organisers, sponsors and fans for their support throughout the year, and we look forward to yet more success in 2022.