Swedish sensation Isak Sjökvist drove to an empathic victory in the opening round of FIA RX2e at Hell in Norway with #YellowSquad to claim an early championship lead.

Racing in #YellowSquad’s first-ever all-electric RX2e event, Sjökvist was fastest in the opening two Heats of the Norwegian encounter, supporting the FIA World Rallycross Championship, and only lost ground following first corner contact from other cars in Heat 3.

Keeping his cool, the 21-year-old former kart racer took top position in the Ranking stages, then won his Semi-Final from the front, before managing the Final while under pressure throughout to secure a second career RX2e win, and maximum points to hold the championship lead.

Catie Munnings also delivered a strong opening-round performance in the sister #YellowSquad machine, despite a relative lack of rallycross experience compared to many of her rivals.

A first-ever RX2e race win in Heat 3 and third overall time was a strong finish to Saturday’s proceedings and Munnings qualified sixth in the Ranking, in the strong field. However, while showing fast pace in the Semi-Finals to battle for a place in the Final, contact from another car at the joker merge cost Munnings time, putting her out of contention.

The second round of RX2e will take place as part of the Swedish FIA World Rallycross Championship event at Höljes in two weeks (July 1-2).

Isak Sjökvist:

This weekend exceeded our expectations, and it feels really great to pull off such a result so early in the season. There’s still a long way to go. We need to be humble and there is a lot of work to do, but this is a great start to our time together and I’m sure this will help us moving forwards. In the Final the track conditions were very challenging so I took it cautiously and managed the lead. For sure I felt pressure from behind but I kept things together and took the win. The season is long, there are a lot of young talents in this championship, and it is going to be tough, but this weekend has been very good.

Catie Munnings:

I haven’t got much tarmac experience and this weekend was very much like circuit racing, until the gravel started to break up, so it’s been a fantastic opportunity for me to learn, especially from Isak who has so many years in karting. I’ve really enjoyed working with #YellowSquad and I’m so pleased for the whole team with Isak’s win. Overall I’m very happy with the steps I made through the weekend. The Heat win on Saturday felt great, but it was a shame to get taken out of the Semi-Final and there was nothing I could do from there. The damage was done, we had good pace and I was catching P3 in front which would have put me into the Final but we ran out of laps. On the whole it’s been really good and I’m looking forward to the next race in Holjes.

Eric Färén:

What a weekend! To win our first-ever RX2e event is fantastic and represents a huge effort from the whole team, so the first thing I must do is say thank you to them all. Isak delivered a stunning performance, not just for winning as much as he did, and driving so well in the Final, but for managing the car, and the first corners in the way he did. It was the perfect start to the year. For Catie, her pace was very good and had things gone differently in the Semi-Final she would for sure have been in the Final and challenging for the podium, so we look forward to the next race with her.

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