12 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

A little piece of World RX heaven: second 2017 victory for Kristoffersson in Hell

2017 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTI Supercar, World RX of Norway: Kristoffersson

Following his stellar performance at the World RX of Great Britain, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver Johan Kristoffersson swept all before him and took his 570bhp Polo GTI Supercar to victory at the 2017 World RX of Norway on 10-11 June, the sixth round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The win at the 1.019km-long mixed surface circuit in Hell saw the young Swede extend his lead in the 2017 drivers’ points table, and, with 151 points, Kristoffersson is now ahead of current world champion Mattias Ekström by eight points who sits in second with 143.

Fastest driver
Setting the pace in free practice where he was the fastest driver, Kristoffersson never let up. The Swedish driver’s second victory of the year was even more impressive as he was driving in pain, with a badly injured right foot, sustained when it got caught under Sebastien Loeb’s car at a ‘pre-grid’ gathering earlier in the weekend.

A visibly pained Kristoffersson explained: ‘The car needed to be reversed to get my foot back out which was really painful but nobody’s fault. It was really painful between the semi-final and final races, but painkillers helped and I will go to the hospital to get it properly looked at.’

Even a puncture in the fourth qualifying heat couldn’t stop his pace-setting progress, and the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden young gun was also the fastest in the third qualifying heat where he passed Team Peugeot Hansen’s Loeb with a round the outside overtake in the joker on lap one of race four.

‘Really fantastic’
A jubilant Kristoffersson was elated at his victory: ‘It is fantastic. I cannot say it often enough, but our team is rather special. The way we work and achieve these results together is really fantastic. That was a tough weekend. The wet conditions were not easy yesterday. However, my Polo GTI was just superb.’

Speaking ahead of the event, the 28 year-old said: ‘It’s great to lead the World Championship. I was equal with Petter after the first round a couple of years ago but now finally I’m leading on my own. It’s started to sink in a bit more and it’s a very, very good feeling.’ Kristoffersson had never made the final race in Norway until this year.

Team boss and PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver Petter Solberg enjoyed limited success at his home event. The Norwegian failed to qualify for the final race for the first time this season and finished in seventh place overall. However, a consistent performance helped the ex-world rally star keep his third place in the Drivers’ Championship behind Ekström.

‘So disappointed’
The ex-World Rally and World Rallycross Champion was frustrated at being knocked out in the semi-final: ‘Obviously it’s disappointing that we can’t keep this incredible run going for getting two cars to the final. I have to say I am so, so disappointed with what happened in the semi-final; this is the second time I have been pushed out by this guy in my home race. I don’t know what else to say. It’s not right.

‘It’s been a tough weekend, but still we made some good results. The win in Q4 was really good for me and I was positive coming to the semi and then this happens. But we have to look on the positive. Johan won and I’m so proud for him and for the whole team. We extend the lead in the championships and that’s what we take away. Norway and Hell bite me again, but I’ll be back next season,’ the 43 year-old continued.

Elsewhere in Hell, 2017 European Rallycross Championship leader Anton Marklund finished second in his Marklund Motorsport-prepared Polo RX. Kristoffersson’s Norwegian victory meanwhile was a sensational second win from three rounds, the third in a hat-trick which boosted the Volkswagen Motorsport-supported Torsby squad.

With 285 points, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden is now a massive 81 points clear of its Team Peugeot Hansen rival as the World RX circus rolls onto Sweden for round seven of the 2017 series at Höljes Motorstadion. There’s no doubt Kristoffersson will be keen to make it two consecutive wins as he entertains his home crowd. See what happens on 1-2 July.

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 151
2 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 143
3 Petter Solberg, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 134
4 Timmy Hansen, Peugeot 208: 102
5 Sebastian Loeb, Peugeot 208: 102

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden: 285
2 Team Peugeot-Hansen: 204
3 EKS: 198
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 166
5 MJP Racing Team Austria: 115

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / PSRX Volkswagen Sweden]

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