Trogen score Loheac RX2 podium

Reigning RX Academy Champion Sami-Matti Trogen delivered a strong performance in the French round of the RX2 International Series, the official support category to the FIA World Rallycross Championship and finished on the podium at Loheac for the second year in a row.

Trogen and Finnish team SET Promotion got the weekend off to a strong start on Friday evening with second fastest time in Free Practice, before also finishing second in the first qualifying race of the weekend.

Consistently strong lap times in qualifying, despite having more than one race stuck in traffic, resulted in fourth overall in the Intermediate Classification and a front-row start for the semi-finals. In the knockout race, Trogen challenged the race leader for victory before finishing second, then climbed to third at the first corner of the final, used a strong joker lap strategy to maintain the position even after a close fight with other drivers on the last lap to claim his first RX2 podium finish of the year.

- Q1 was really good, we got off the line well and managed second overall time. Q2 wasn’t that good with mistakes, I would have been second but it was okay. Then Q3 was quite messy with a lot of action in the first corner, but we finished the first day third overall and the pace was good. We didn’t have that good a starting position for Q4, I was a bit unlucky in the first corner; tried to go around the outside but I was in fourth place after that and got stuck behind slower drivers, but still we managed to get a good starting position for the semi-final. In the semi-final I had really good speed all the time, managed to do some clean laps and it just wasn’t enough to win, but we started in the middle row on the outside for the final. I made a good start and we were third, then it was really crazy in the last laps, I don’t know what happened really it was try trying to get to the finish. It’s been really close to being on the podium in the other races also, but we have been working really hard and I’m really happy with this result, Trogen sums up.

- I’ve known Sami-Matti a little bit for the last couple of years and he’s clearly a talent. Jussi (Pinomaki) asked me if I’d come and give him a hand for this weekend and we got on very well. We had a very good solid test before the weekend, made some changes to the car and I have to say Sami-Matti’s listened to the advice, he’s hungry and he’s like a sponge, absorbing all the information and changes. We’ve worked hard, we didn’t come here with the best tyre package but we had a clear goal, a clear focus and that was to be on the podium. We took a middle of the road strategy to get us going in Q1 and made good progress from there. It’s been a really good weekend, tells Ian Davies, SET Promotion RX2 Crew Chief and spotter on the race round of France.

Picture: Jan Kåre Rafoss