#YellowSquad scored its first Supercar Lites race wins in the second round of the four-day RallyX Nordic Magic Weekend double-header, with Henrik Krogstad topping the times in Qualifying 4 and also winning his semi-final.
Krogstad was a contender for victory all weekend, after scoring the team’s first podium three days earlier in the first round of the championship.
As the weather turned for the worse on Sunday, Krogstad’s pace took a turn for the better, when he dominated Q4 in wet and muddy conditions to top the session. Despite being beaten to turn one, Krogstad pulled off a brilliant switchback move on the exit of the velodrome hairpin, powering past Linus Östlund on lap two and then flying past Jesse Kallio as the Finn took his joker lap.
He followed that up with another supreme performance in the semi-final, comfortably winning the race to secure a front-row grid slot of the final. Unfortunately a lack of grip off the line meant that Krogstad dropped to third by turn two, and the first-lap joker deployed by Mats Oskarsson turned out to be the optimal race strategy, leaving Krogstad fourth.
#YellowSquad’s younger driver, 16-year-old Dan Skocdopole, was made to work hard for his place in the round two semi-finals, as his car engaging safe mode in Q2 cost him time and precious intermediate points. Despite lacking experience in the wet, Skocdopole rallied to score the points he needed, qualifying for the semis in 10th.
But the rain continuing to fall meant that Skocdopole had to focus on putting in five clean laps, so as Krogstad used his past experience in Supercar Lites from 2018 to great effect, Skocdopole ensured that he made the most of the experience with a mistake-free run. Fourth place in the semi-final was still a strong result on his debut Lites weekend but not quite enough to join Krogstad in the final.
Henrik KrogstadLites Driver
“I really thought we had this one. I made a very small mistake on the grid, running the revs a little bit too low at the start and that small error made a big difference to the outcome of the race. Getting to the first turn in third instead of first meant my hope of victory was pretty much over. This was my first race weekend in a Lites car after almost a year and a half, and getting starts right in the rain is not easy; it’s not something you do that often.
“It’s a good sign that I was fastest in Q4 and my semi-final. It’s just a question of time before everything clicks and I get that win. Everything else within the team is working great; it’s just the small details and increasing my experience even more that will make the difference.
“What Q4 and the semi-final did show is how much more consistent my pace was. Working with #YellowSquad is helping with that aspect of my driving a lot, especially with learning how to analyse my data in detail, understanding what I’m doing wrong, and then working to improve those areas. I feel like the team has gelled very well this week, both in terms of working together and also having fun while doing so!”
Dan SkocdopoleLites Driver
“I'm pretty happy about how today went. We had the natural speed all weekend; the only issue is I struggled put it all together and get the result a few times. Reaching the semi-final in both rounds and the final in the first round is a good debut result; if we keep going going like this, good results will come in the future. Thank you to the team for all their efforts during this very long weekend!”
Kevin HansenTeam Principal
“It's been an absolutely brilliant weekend. It's the first time we're racing as a Lites team, and it's such a long weekend for a rallycross event as well. It was a really big test for everyone in the team, especially under these new COVID-19 safety rules issued by the FIA, which is also helping us to prepare for the return of the RX2 Series.
“There were promising results for both drivers: Henrik has made a fantastic comeback after his one-year sabbatical, stepping up massively to be fast ever since the first qualifying session on Thursday. His driving today was fantastic: so stable, consistent and mature. To score a podium with Henrik was definitely the best part about this weekend, along with having a real shot to win today's race.
“Dan has also developed so much during this weekend alone, getting to know the car better and better and becoming more comfortable with the team; we're all learning how to work best together. His approach has been really mature. There have been some rookie rallycross mistakes from lacking a bit of experience, which is to be expected because he's a rookie! But we're working on those points very hard before the next race and I'm sure he's hungry for more. He'll know the car is fast given the times Henrik was achieving this weekend.
“We have two great drivers, and we've had a great weekend with a great team behind us. #YellowSquad is in the game.”