ERIKSSON CROWNED IN CAPE TOWN AS GUNDERSEN WINS LAST RACE OF SEASON
Norway’s Ben Philip-Gundersen won the final round of the RX2 International Series ahead of compatriot Sondre Evjen and Latvia’s Vasily Gryazin. Sweden’s Oliver Eriksson entered the final round locked in a battle with Belgium’s Guillaume De-Ridder for the title and wrapped up the single-make championship by qualifying for the final. Eriksson led on the on lap one but stopped with technical issues and was classified sixth. Sweden’s William Nilsson finished fourth and Finland’s Sami-Matti Trogen was fifth. Meanwhile 2018 Euro RX Supercar champion Reinis Nitišs concluded the event 15th in a troubled RX2 debut.
Ben-Philip Gundersen ended the 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires campaign the same way he had started it – on the top step of the podium – but the real winner in South Africa was Oliver Eriksson, who survived a dramatic weekend to clinch the coveted Drivers’ crown.
On his first visit to Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway, Gundersen was on the pace from the outset, topping the intermediate classification and lining up on the front row of the grid for the all-important final.
After early leader Eriksson suddenly slowed with electrical issues, his Norwegian rival assumed control and thereafter never looked back, bookending his maiden campaign of RX2 competition with victories having similarly won the Mettet curtain-raiser back in May.
Gundersen led home a JC Raceteknik one-two ahead of countryman and team-mate Sondre Evjen, with Latvia’s Vasiliy Gryazin third for Sports Racing Technologies. Although Eriksson failed to finish the final, he had already done enough to lift the laurels in the official FIA World Rallycross Championship feeder series.
Vasiliy Gryazin (3rd): “I’ve been so close to the podium so many times this season and reached the final on five occasions out of seven, so to finally make it up there is brilliant – it’s been a long time since my first RX2 podium in France last year! They were tough races this weekend, with a lot of incidents, and in the final, I couldn’t see a thing when I hit Oliver [Eriksson]. That left me with damaged steering, and I was worried I wouldn’t get to the end of the race – I was certainly relieved it didn’t go on for any longer! I was very fortunate in that respect, and third place is a really good way to finish the season. It also means we have improved two positions in the championship compared to 2017 – so we’re moving in the right direction.”
Race results available HERE