RallycrossRX Round Six: Sweden

by Hal Ridge |

As the FIA European Rallycross Championship heads past the halfway mark, the series makes the final stop of its Scandinavian leg at Holjes, Sweden next week, which for many years has been the most anticipated event on the calendar.

Located deep in the Varmland forests, the Holjes Motorstadion is about 200kms from both the Norwegian city of Olso and the Swedish city of Karlstad, right on the Swedish / Norwegian border.

Known for its party atmosphere, the Swedish round of the RallycrossRX championship is home to around 25,000 spectators for the weekend, who camp out in the forests around the circuit and party long into the night. The noise from the crowd during the Supercar final is similar to that in a football stadium at a high profile match, one of those sporting moments that gives you goose bumps.

The viewing area of choice is the bank that stretches the length of the venue along the outside of the circuit, from the startline to the velodrome. An alternative option is the grandstand behind the last corner, where the cars can be seen landing from the jump and desperately trying to maintain control to make the entry into the last turn.

No stranger to success around his most local circuit on the calendar, 14-time European Rallycross Champion Kenneth Hansen describes a lap of Holjes;

“From the start you go into a 45 degree right hander over a crest. You can go very fast though here if you are on the right line, but if you make a small mistake you are on the wrong line for the second corner. If you start the race on the inside, you have a sharper turn at the first corner, and it’s easy to end up in the sand-trap on the outside. If you get the second corner right, you can go early on the throttle and make a good jump over the next crest on a right hander. Then it’s onto gravel, into a smooth left into a sharp right back on tarmac. There is a kerb on the inside of the left, that when you are walking the circuit you think you shouldn’t touch the kerb, but when you are in the car if you use it a bit, the car goes in the air and lands right in the line for the right hander. Then it’s through the velodrome, where some people go high and some go low. I always went low, almost on the edge of the tarmc, and down the hill on the loose, flat out. You are in sixth gear here, and you can go full throttle for a moment, just to give you a great feeling. It’s important to then get the car stable into the next right hander, as the weight is being transferred from one side of the car to the other. If you get your front right wheel on the kerb you can choose your line over the big jump. The jump is a brilliant place for competition and overtaking, if you have the guts of course! Then it’s into the last corner, a long left hander that has a few options on lines, again I always preferred to go tight and keep the car straight to carry good speed over the finish line.”

Hansen’s first event at Holjes was in 1983, in front of far fewer fans than the 25,000 or so that visit the venue in modern times. “It has been special to watch the event evolve, into one of the best in Europe,” says Hansen. “I think we will see even more spectators this year than ever. As a Swedish driver, being in the car was always very enjoyable, but outside it can be hard, there are lots of people to talk to, it’s difficult, but that’s a positive problem to have. But when you’re in the car it really is a wonderful circuit, and not just because it’s in Sweden.”

The event gets underway on Saturday morning at Holjes (July 6), with practice and the first qualifying heats, with the remaining heats, semi-finals and finals taking place on Sunday (July 7). As with all the RallycrossRX rounds for the remainder of the season, the event can be watched live on television and live stream on Sunday afternoon, across the world.

Buy tickets for the event here.





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