Trogen delivers comeback drive to take fourth in Barcelona
Reigning RX Academy Champion Sami-Matti Trogen delivered a solid comeback performance in the opening round of the RX2 International Series, the official support category to the FIA World Rallycross Championship, in Barcelona (April 28).
Competing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Trogen was fourth fastest in Free Practice on Saturday morning, but then clipped a tyre wall in Q1 and rolled the SET Promotion-run RX2 machine.
Thanks to the hard work of the SET mechanics, Trogen made it to the start line of Q2 and even with the car not at 100%, the 16-year old started his fight back with sixth fastest time. The car was fully-fixed on Saturday evening in time for Q3, where Trogen again delivered on his potential with second overall time, and completed qualifying fifth overall.
Battling through the semi-finals, Trogen made it into the all-important final where despite running sixth on lap one, he used superior pace to overtake two drivers and finish fourth, completing his comeback performance in the competitive single-make series, only just missing out on a podium finish.
– The weekend was a pretty good recovery after the roll in Q1. The guys did a great job to fix the car for Q2, but it was not perfect so they had to work hard on Saturday evening to make it back to how it was at the start of the weekend. I was pleased to get back to fifth after the heats, the semi-final was okay but I didn’t have the pace to beat some of the other cars, Trogen says.
– The final was quite good. I had a bad starting position but we made some setup changes and had good pace. I was a bit too careful in the start so I dropped to last place on the first lap, but I caught the drivers in front and overtook two cars, so I’m quite happy and we are already looking forward to the next race in Belgium, adds Trogen.
Joni Wiman, SET Promotion RX2 Crew Chief and spotter is happy of the weekend:
– I think considering what happened in Q1, this was a good result. We changed the car a bit for the final – Sami-Matti liked it and the pace was really good. It’s a shame in some ways that we didn’t make that change earlier but now we know it for the next race. Sami-Matti was consistent all weekend, we’ve made a good base to continue from here, says Wiman.
– Sami-Matti is developing as a driver, the main thing is that he’s learnt to give some quite exact feedback about the car, and has his own opinions. Last year we were making suggestions and he would go with that, now he’s taking more on himself. I think we can definitely expect to be on the podium in the coming races. Sami-Matti is really quick, in the final only Oliver Eriksson (winner) was faster, but we still have two or three tenths to find. We’ll keep working on that together, Wiman adds.
Next RX2 event will be only in two weeks in Spa in Belgium on 11th - 12th of May.