Kevin Eriksson may still be sidelined through injury, but he just might have clinched an on-track victory of sorts, being brother Oliver’s secret weapon on home soil.
As the younger Eriksson clinched the battle bracket win at Strängnäs, it was his World Rallycross race-winning brother calling the shots in his ear, helping him pull off a strategic masterstroke to best Andreas Bakkerud in the final head-to-head encounter.
Eriksson jokered late in his first two battles, but left the longer route until the last lap in the final bracket battle, but he said there was no deep thought when it came to the reversal of strategy.
“From my side there was no consciousness behind it,” he told DirtFish. “[Kevin] knows exactly what to do, at exactly the right time so he put the strategy out there and I just drove the car and it went well.
Elaborating on his brother’s input, he said that they’re “the same in the car so we know what the other one wants to hear”.
“It’s good, me and my brother always try to help each other as much as possible, whether it’s on the track or off the track, we always want each other to succeed,” he explained.
“So when he called on Thursday to say he couldn’t drive – he tried on an airfield – he wasn’t ready with his foot so I asked him if he wanted to be in my ears instead.
“For sure, the spotter’s important, joker strategy’s always important, but honestly, [knowing when] to take it a bit easier in spots because it’s easy to overheat the tires too early with the power we have, you just spin up the tires like nothing,” Eriksson added.
“So in some places we need to be careful and in some places we can push hard and he was really on me there to stay calm when I got behind Bakkerud, stay calm, stay focused.
“I normally get a bit stressed, I want to go fast and start sliding and stuff, but he kept me smooth and it was just comfortable knowing he was behind me.”
Ahead of that final though, Eriksson took another leaf out of his brother’s book with a viral-worthy overtake on Conner Martell going into the first corner of their semifinal. The move impressed many on the ground, but for Eriksson it was no big deal and was more a case of him putting his local knowledge to good use.
“For me it wasn’t such a big one. I live close to here, I raced here a lot, I know this turn one very well,” he said. “I know there’s like two things you can do – either you stick it on the outside or you try the undercut basically.
“He had me well in the start, so I didn’t have enough on him to try and challenge on the outside so I just gathered some speed, hoped he had some understeer which, luckily for me, he had, so I could just take him on speed on the jump there and get by him.
“Now it’s all about the big one. Fine, I got some hardware from day one, but I want that big one, the top step.”