Oliver Eriksson snatched top qualifier spot for the second round of the Nitro Rallycross season at Strängnäs Motorstadion in Sweden, narrowly beating Andreas Bakkerud to the line.
The duo started the final of the battle bracket on an equal footing, with Eriksson attempting to shut the door on Bakkerud going into the first turn. Bakkerud remind resolute, however, and muscled his way past.
In dirty air, Eriksson opted to take the joker lap on the first tour, with Bakkurud holding off until the third and final lap. In the intervening lap, Eriksson made the most of the clear space ahead of him, and as Bakkerud merged back onto the main track at the conclusion of the contest, he just edged him to the checkered flag.
Ahead of that final, both had a bye through the first round of head-to-head races, kicking off their bracket runs at the quarterfinal stage.
Bakkerud firstly overturned a deficit to Travis Pastrana, who got by him early in their race, before going on to beat Monster Energy RX Cartel team-mate Robin Larsson as the points leader suffering a front right puncture.
Eriksson meanwhile disposed of Johan Kristoffersson, saving his joker late to beat the four-time World Rallycross champion by a slim margin. He then beat Vermont SportsCar’s Conner Martell, who led that race in the early stages, only for Eriksson to make a last lap joker count again.
New for this weekend were the battle bracket seeding heats, a pair of multi-car races to decide the bracket pairings – the heat lineups themselves being determined by practice times.
The first heat was won by Larsson from Kristoffersson and Bakkerud, while Niclas Grönholm was victorious in the second from Pastrana and Eriksson, that pair engaging in a tight race-long fight.
In the first Supercar round of the weekend, it was once again largely a two-car affari between Fraser McConnell and Yuri Belevskiy.
McConnell, who was eliminated from the battle bracket in Group E by Robin Larsson after he won a first round duel with Oliver Bennett, took an early lead and had a gap of 0.9 seconds by the end of the second lap.
After jokering on lap four of the six-lap final, McConnell remained in front, and crossed the line over a second ahead of the reigning European RX3 champion. Gustav Bergström finished a distant third, with Per Eklund and Patrick O’Donovan both failing to start the final.
In NRX Next, Tommi Hallman made it three different winners from three rounds so far this season, heading home Martin Enlund and Casper Jansson.
CrossCar honors with to Riku Huuhka, ahead of Sebastian Enholm and 2021 Supercar competitor Ronalds Baldinš.