18 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

A solid sixth for Kristoffersson at
2016 World RX of Germany

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Germany: Kristoffersson

It was another firm finish for Volkswagen RX Sweden and Johan Kristoffersson at the World RX of Germany (14-16 October), which saw the young driver end up in sixth position overall. The penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship was held at the Entering circuit in Germany, and Kristoffersson’s final placing keeps him in contention for second place overall in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of the final round next month in Argentina.

As the weekend started, Kristoffersson’s consistent pace netted him fifth fastest place in the first qualifying heats, while he ended day one in sixth place. A slow start in the second semi-final race saw Kristoffersson fight back to qualify for the final. Sadly, after a strong early start, a puncture to his rear left tyre on the third lap put an end to his podium position hopes.

‘We had to fight hard’
Kristoffersson was mostly pleased with his finish, as well as his potential championship rise over the 2105 World RX season: ‘It felt like we were fighting from the back a little bit this weekend. I didn’t have any luck getting good start positions in the qualifying races. I think my best position out of the first corner was third all weekend, so we had to fight hard.

‘We had great speed to make it into the semi-final and we had a good grid position. I felt we would be able to show what we could do, but then I stalled at the start. That was very annoying and I just fought hard to get into the final.

‘We had the quickest lap of the day in the semi-final, and we were fighting for a podium in the final but I got a puncture and that was that. It’s really good we scored a lot of points and we will push hard to be fast in Argentina,’ he said.

Elsewhere, the 600bhp Polo RXs of Anton Marklund and ‘wildcard’ driver and regular rallycross Polo pilot Tanner Foust experienced more challenging weekends, with both cars suffering from traffic issues which stopped them turning good lap times into semi-final qualifications.

It was the second event of the 2016 World RX season for Foust, and it was hampered by minor problems on day one and racing in the slowest track conditions on Sunday morning didn’t help the Top Gear US host’s cause.

‘Tough weekend’
Marklund was happy with both the set-up and performance of his Polo RX Supercar at Estering, but disappointed he wasn’t in the semi-finals, finishing in 15th place. ‘It was a tough weekend for sure. The team did an amazing job running three cars, and especially with changing from dry to wet setup several times,’ he commented.

‘We have struggled with the starts a bit and bad starts don’t give you the best opportunities. Unfortunately I got stuck in traffic and lost a lot of time, but the pace was there. I’m really looking forward to Argentina, the car is perfect and I really believe we can have a good result.’

Eighteenth-position Foust meanwhile enjoyed racing the Volkswagen Polo RX at the German circuit: ‘This is a track that’s very fun to drive and challenging to set the car up for, but yesterday we had some problems. This morning we had great power in the car and Q3 felt really good.

‘It’s difficult to come in and just do one event. It used to be that I could come in and do one event once in a while and win. It’s not like that anymore, the level is really high which is awesome for the sport and it just makes me hungry to drive in World RX more often,’ he reported.

Former Swedish Rallycross Champion Peter Hedström also joined the 30-strong Supercar fray and raced a Polo RX at the German track 30 miles south of Hamburg, where he finished in sixteenth position overall.

The winner of the 2016 World RX of Germany was Olsbergs MSE driver Kevin Eriksson, while Mattias Ekström of EKS was crowned 2016 World RX Champion, even though he finished fifth – one place ahead of Kristoffersson – having amassed enough points for a commanding lead after only 11 rounds. The final event of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Argentina, takes place at Rosario on 26-27 November.

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 251
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 221
3 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 217
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 210
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 194

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 EKS: 385
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 368
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 283
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 271
5 World RX Team Austria: 206

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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