Mettet sure knows how to bring the fun. This weekend our teams RX driver Vasiliy Gryazin participated in WRX Mette, Belgium race together with drivers like Ben-Philip Gundersen, Sondre Evjen, Henrik Krogstad, Jami Kalliomäki and others.
It was an unbelievable start for Vasiliy here in Mettet. Vasiliy Gryazin drew first blood as the 2018 RX2 International Series topping the timesheets in the first qualifying race to send a warning to his rivals that he will be a force to be reckoned with over the coming months. Gryazin was quick in Belgium last year – placing third in the intermediate rankings – and he came on increasingly strong as the season progressed, reaching the rostrum for the first time in France to secure the seventh spot in the final standings. Competing for Sports Racing Technologies, Vasiliy made the perfect start to his 2018 bid at Mettet by winning his qualifier to lead the way. In hot pursuit are JC Raceteknik ace Ben-Philip Gundersen – who turned heads on his full-time RX2 debut with a commanding performance – and home hero Guillaume De Ridder, who overcame an unfavorable grid slot to fight his way through to third overall.
Vasiliy Gryazin maintained his stellar start to the season as he continued to dominate the 2018 RX2 International Series and earned himself the prime starting spot for the eagerly-anticipated semi-finals.
“It’s been a good qualifying,” acknowledged Sports Racing Technologies star Gryazin. “I pushed as hard as I could, but I was mindful that little mistakes here can cost you a lot of time so I tried to remain smooth as well. Rain is forecast for tomorrow and I’ve never driven here in the wet but I like those conditions, so let’s see what we can do...”
So after the qualifying stages, Vasily was ready to take it home and he almost did. Gryazin came out-of-the-blocks in flying form and looked very much as the man to beat going into the semi-finals.
The weather turned on Sunday, leaving the track greasy from light rain and whilst Gryazin pulled away well from pole position in semi-final one, De Ridder found himself under attack from a fast-starting Kalliomäki into the first corner. Haug was similarly eliminated from contention and Syversen substantially delayed, paving the way for Gryazin, Kalliomäki, and Nilsson to advance comfortably through to the final.
From pole position, Gryazin again got a good launch but found himself tagged into Turn One by Kalliomäki, who was already up the inside of Krogstad. The contact ended the SRT man’s challenge and left RX2 rookie Kalliomäki at the head of the order from Gundersen, Evjen, Nilsson, and Krogstad.
Overall the race was a big success for Gryazin because for the next stage in Silverstone on May 26/27 he will be the man to beat!
"I'm happy with this weekend and our speed in qualifying stages as well as the semi-final. My goal in the final was to keep my pace and position and finish without any mistakes. Unfortunately, we didn't finish because we came to some hard contact in the first corner and couldn't continue after. Still, I'm happy with this race and I hope my team is too."
1. Ben-Philip GUNDERSEN (NOR) JC Raceteknik 6 laps
2. Sondre EVJEN (NOR) JC Raceteknik +01.030s
3. Henrik Krogstad (NOR) JC Raceteknik +1.798s
4. William Nilsson (SWE) JC Raceteknik +3.587s
5. Vasiliy GRYAZIN (LVA) Sports Racing Technologies +6 laps
DSQ. Jami Kalliomäki (FIN) SET Promotion
1. Ben-Philip Gundersen (NOR) 27 points
2. Vasiliy Gryazin (LVA) 24 points
3. Sondre Evjen (NOR) 21 points
4. Henrik Krogstad (NOR) 19 points
5. Jami Kalliomäki (FIN) 17 points
6. William Nilsson (SWE) 17 points
7. Oliver Eriksson (SWE) 16 points
8. Guillaume De Ridder (BEL) 15 points
9. Glenn Haug (NOR) 10 points
10. Conner Martell (USA) 9 points