Mitchell deJong wins RallyX on Ice Opener in Sweden
2014 GRC Lites champion Mitchell deJong showed more of the speed that earned him his championship this weekend, as he took the opening round of the RallyX on Ice season at Helsinge Motorstadion in Soderhamn, Sweden. The California native, who had never raced on ice before in his career, came through in the clutch in the six-car main event to hold off Alexander Westlund, who was a part of the inaugural GRC Lites season in 2013.
The top three drivers in preliminary heats all boasted previous GRC Lites experience, as 2015 champion Oliver Eriksson led the intermediate table with wins in all three of his heats, and Westlund and deJong ranked second and third. All three drivers made it to the six-car final, with Westlund taking an early lead over Eriksson and deJong with a great start. But deJong shadowed Westlund until the Swede took the longer Joker Lap, and then stretched his lead after a wheel-to-wheel battle between Westlund and Eriksson saw the latter knocked out of the race.
RallyX on Ice features the same vehicles used in GRC Lites competition, specially adapted to compete on snow and ice. The 2017 calendar features three rounds in Sweden and Norway in February and March. Past Red Bull Global Rallycross drivers to compete in the series have included Patrik Sandell, Sebastian Eriksson, and Austin Dyne; Kevin Eriksson, who has competed in the series in both Supercar and GRC Lites, won the 2016 championship.
The RallyX on Ice action from Soderhamn can be watched here. The five-lap final begins at the 6:30:00 mark of the broadcast.
Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com