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Two for two - Larsson reflects on repeat Group E success

Two Group E seasons, two titles for Robin Larsson. The roll of honor shows a repeat champion, but both campaigns were rather different from one another.

Last season Larsson led the points from start to finish, but had to contend with a difficult final weekend that could’ve derailed his season at the 11th hour. This time around, Larsson had to wait until Round 6 to take the points lead, but he then went and secured the title before the last Final of the season. 

Despite going from hunted to hunter in the early part of the 2023-24 season, Larsson kept his composure. It was an approach that allowed him to overhaul Kevin Eriksson in Phoenix in November and maintain that lead through to the end, despite Eriksson and fellow Dreyer & Reinbold JC driver Fraser McConnell breathing down his neck at every event.

“In the beginning I remember we got in trouble like we didn’t want to do, like we did at the end of last year” Larsson said. Last year we were in the lead from the beginning and it was a bit different. When you’re in the lead you can rely on the lead and drive at 95-96 percent. So it was pretty hard to be on that safe limit and know when to push when you’re not in the lead.”

“You’ve just got to trust that it’s paying off, and it did. We got the wins, got the podiums, snuck up on Kevin and caught him in Phoenix.”

Despite arriving in Vegas as the clear championship favorite, Larsson wasn’t entirely comfortable on the asphalt-heavy track at Planet Hollywood. He nevertheless completed a clean sweep of Round 10, ending the season as the only driver to totally dominate a championship round.

“The team is always a big thing when you are champion because when you struggle, like we struggled on this track a lot on Friday with the speed and we came back and were really strong on Saturday and took a clean sweep,” he said. “I don’t feel at home with the tiptoe driving and the tarmac driving, and I think Kevin struggled also with this kind of track, so it was really stressful that you couldn’t get your driving to the maximum and just go with it like you do on the gravel tracks.

“Every heat was really stressful, you really need to nail the starts, so there’s more pressure. It felt really good to end up with a pretty strong result.

“I would never think we could take a clean sweep on a track like this but it feels good to be teams’ champion and champion again, it means a lot.”

Looking ahead to next season, Larsson will of course enter the upcoming season as the favorite once more, but he's hoping for a stiff challenge once again.

“For sure it’s going to be tighter and tighter and I really hope we can at least have this field that we had in Vegas, it’s really strong,” he said. “We want it to be like this, minimum 12 cars. You get to that LCQ and every heat matters, where it’s really hard to get through and pole position is a big thing.”


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