Kevin Eriksson makes a brilliant move at the German World RX round.
Kevin Eriksson pulled off one of the greatest passes in World Rallycross Championship history last weekend at the penultimate round in Germany.
Eriksson started the Final from the outside of the second row of the grid and made an unspectacular start. But as the field bunched up towards the inside at the first corner - a 180 degree hairpin - Eriksson found himself alone on the outside.
Rather than brake, Eriksson pitched his Ford Fiesta sideways and nailed the gas, drifting into the turn right across the front of all the other cars. And he emerged in the lead, his wheels pointing down the next straight so he can keep the throttle pinned and launch into an advantage he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the race.
It is an amazing move, but was it skill or luck? Actually, it seems to have been a bit of both. Eriksson was lucky to find himself with the space to make the move, but he had the skill and judgement to see the move was possible, and pull it off. It was, in other words, brilliantly opportunistic.
Johan Kristofferson made a similar move earlier this year, but it was actually the result of contact that pitched his VW Polo sideways.
From there, the 20-year old Swede drove a mature race to take his first World RX win in only his first full year in the series. It was the Olsbergs MSE team’s first win of the season, as well.
A fifth place finish was enough for Mattias Ekstrom to claim the World RX title for the first time, driving an Audi S1 for his own EKS team, having secured four wins. He should have been driving for the factory Audi team at the final round of the DTM series at Hockenheim, but had been given the weekend off.
Ekstrom’s success took the focus off Eriksson somewhat, but this epic overtake has raised his profile more than a win by itself ever could.
Watch the Final in full below.