Glittering Awards Gala celebrates RX2's top achievers

Glittering Awards Gala celebrates RX2's top achievers

29.11.2018: • RX2 family gathers in Cape Town to celebrate successful campaign • 2018’s most outstanding achievements recognised at Awards Gala • Special accolades for Nilsson, Krogstad, Keatts, Michalak and Llovera • Series CEO lauds ‘fantastic’ second seas

•    RX2 family gathers in Cape Town to celebrate successful campaign

•    2018’s most outstanding achievements recognised at Awards Gala

•    Special accolades for Nilsson, Krogstad, Keatts, Michalak and Llovera

•    Series CEO lauds ‘fantastic’ second season in support of World RX

Following another thrilling campaign of on-track competition, the stars of the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires deservedly let down their hair at Nitida Wine Farm in South Africa, as drivers, teams, mechanics and engineers were honoured for their achievements in 2018 at the series’ glittering Awards Gala.

The second season of the official FIA World Rallycross Championship feeder series concluded at Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway last weekend, seeing Oliver Eriksson crowned champion following a tense title tussle with Olsbergs MSE team-mate Guillaume De Ridder. Both men were present at Nitida to collect the spoils of their success, and they were joined by JC Raceteknik’s Henrik Krogstad, who impressively finished third overall in his RX2 rookie campaign.

Eriksson’s title triumph has secured the Swede a one-round World RX Supercar drive next year, while both De Ridder and Krogstad earned themselves a test day in the 600bhp Supercar machinery.

In the presence of series sponsors Cooper Tires and Olsbergs Electronics, there were a number of special accolades designed to recognise the most noteworthy performers. Former Olympic hero Albert Llovera picked up the Cooper Tires Rallycross Inspiration Award – the prize for which is a set of 2019 Cooper race tyres – for his positive approach to life that proves nothing is impossible. Although he was not in South Africa, the popular Andorran sent an emotional and engaging video message to thank his fellow drivers for an enjoyable first season in RX2.

Anders Michalak was the recipient of the P1 Racewear ‘Hard-Charger’ Award – and the €500 P1 Racewear credit that accompanies it – for consistently demonstrating determination and refusing to give up even when the odds have been stacked against him.

In addition to his third-place medal, Krogstad was the winner of the Olsbergs Electronics RX2 Ambassador of the Year Award, for his stellar efforts to promote both himself and the series. The young Norwegian’s prize will be driving tuition from World RX race-winner Kevin Eriksson during his Supercar test.

Cole Keatts was delighted to accept the Performance Clothing Unsung Hero Award. The American – the second-youngest driver in the 2018 field – travelled from Seattle to each and every RX2 event this year, scoring a hugely well-deserved podium finish in Canada during the summer, where he also made the start of the season in the semi-final to snatch the lead from the back row of the grid. The 17-year-old walked away with a £500 credit to have his own branded kit produced by RX2’s official merchandise partner.

In a close-run contest, Olsbergs MSE clinched the Avitas Motorsport Team of the Year Award – calculated by taking into account the average score of all full-time drivers in each team – while JC Raceteknik ace William Nilsson was a popular winner of the IMG Spirit of RX2 Award, for his commendable attitude and eagerness to embrace everything that the burgeoning series is about. The Swedish teenager picked up a pair of VIP hospitality passes to an event of his choice on the 2019 World RX calendar.

There were, finally, seven VEIDEC Mechanic of the Year Awards – one per team – and these were collected by Arnis Šēniņš (Olsbergs MSE), Kennet Nyberg (Team Färén), Andris Bondarevskis (Sports Racing Technologies), Simon Olofsson (Simon Olofsson), Mikko Toivonen (SET Promotion), Maurits Rosner (Michalak Motorsport) and the crew of Gustavo Eliasson, Marcus Svensson, Johan Persson and Robin Arvholm for JC Raceteknik.

“Our second RX2 Awards Gala was a wonderful way to celebrate and reflect upon another fantastic season,” enthused RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires CEO, Andreas Eriksson. “Everybody works so hard both at and away from the track, so every now and again, it’s important to actually pause and look at what we have achieved – and this year, the RX2 competitors and their teams have achieved a great deal.

“One of the things that for me has been the most rewarding to see is the recognition our RX2 drivers now receive from the World RX drivers and teams. That is great testament to the growing profile of our young series and underscores what we are trying to accomplish here in paving a route right the way to the top of the sport.

“While looking back, though, we also look forward – to new adventures in 2019, new venues and, doubtless, new budding rallycross stars. The first two seasons of RX2 have been brilliant – but I’ve got a feeling that season three is going to be even better.”

Russell Atkins - photos RX2


29.11.2018 / MaP

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