11 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson, Solberg and Volkswagen Motorsport for 2017 World RX assault

Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg

While Volkswagen Motorsport’s official involvement in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship may be over, it has confirmed a presence in this year’s FIA-administered rallycross series. In a surprise announcement, Volkswagen Sweden rallycross driver Johan Kristoffersson will join ex-world rally and two-time world rallycross champion Petter Solberg in heading up a new two-car Polo team for an assault on the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The pair of 560bhp Polo RX Supercars have been developed and engineered by Volkswagen Motorsport in its workshops in Hannover and will appear under the Volkswagen Sweden banner. However, they will be run by Solberg’s PSRX team – with technical support from Volkswagen Motorsport – and supported by Volkswagen Sweden and its distributors.

‘Everything is possible’
Former DS 3 RX driver and Norwegian Solberg was delighted with the new deal: ‘This is the dream. With backing from Volkswagen Sweden and the top-notch Johan Kristoffersson as my team-mate, everything is possible. From the start, we are aiming at gold in the championship. This is my priority for 2017: I want to take this for my PSRX Team and for Volkswagen Sweden,’ he said.

Solberg added: ‘My team has worked so hard for so many years to be in the position to make this deal and now we’re here, it’s fantastic. It really is the dream for me. We have so much potential, but we also have a lot of work to do – but what an incredible future we are working towards now. Everything in the world is possible and achievable.’

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX

‘A dream come true’
Kristoffersson was also excited about the new pairing: ‘I am incredibly proud to be part of this extremely exciting project with Petter and Volkswagen Sweden – it’s a dream come true in every way. Together we will do everything in our power to achieve success, and I intend to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with both hands’. Kristoffersson finished second in the 2016 World RX series.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets concluded: ‘We are looking forward to working together with Petter, Johan and Volkswagen Sweden in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Petter’s team and Volkswagen Sweden will take care of the operation of the whole project. This strong co-operation provides everything needed to be successful.’

‘Future objectives’
Smeets told Autosport that the new deal and greater RX focus ‘ties in with our future objectives’ following Volkswagen’s dramatic World Rally Championship withdrawal. It has been reported in the past few months that Volkswagen was just one manufacturer which was interested in an all-electric rallycross series. Such a series would fit nicely with the manufacturer’s plans to become a leader in electric car mobility.

Meanwhile, Kristoffersson’s former team-mate Anton Marklund will race a Polo RX Supercar in the Euro RX series for the Marklund Motorsport team, alongside new signing Magda Andersson. The first round of the 2017 World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Barcelona, takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 31 March to 2 April.

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