16 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

PSRX Polo GTIs dominate World RX of Belgium with double podium

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

A ‘perfect performance’: that’s how PSRX Volkswagen Sweden described its double podium at the fourth round of the 2017 FIA World RX of Belgium, held at the Circuit Jules Tachney in Mettet. From the very start of the race weekend on 13-14 May, the 570bhp Polo GTI Supercars were at the top of the timesheets, just as at the last round, the World RX of Hockenheim in Germany.

Maiden victory
Johan Kristoffersson celebrated with the Torsby squad’s maiden victory, which was also the young Swede’s third World RX podium from just four races. ‘This is special,’ Kristoffersson said. ‘What an incredible feeling. I know Petter and I have talked about this a few times, but I think we are both so happy with the way the team is working with Volkswagen Motorsport and the speed we have had this weekend has shown that. The car has been perfect for me. From when we started the first practice, I have been driving with a huge smile on my face.

‘The final was really good. It was a shame not to be on the front row alongside Petter (Solberg)for the start, but the semi was a tough race and – in the end – it’s only the final that matters,’ he continued. The Swedish driver’s win moves him to within three points of the Drivers’ Championship lead. ‘I’m very, very happy with the start of the season,’ he said.

‘We all know that this is a new team with new people working together. It couldn’t have gone better – it’s the perfect relationship and we are getting faster and faster all the time. The teams’ championship is really a good place for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, and Petter and I closed the gap to Mattias Ekström this weekend, which is fantastic as well,’ the 28 year-old enthused. Kristoffersson was also top qualifier after the event’s four qualifying sessions.

‘Strong partnership’
Veteran racer, ex-World Rally and Rallycross champion and team owner Petter Solberg placed third in Belgium, not helped by three punctures. The 42 year-old echoed his young team-mate’s sentiments: ‘What a weekend! We have seen this kind of speed coming for a while.

‘I’m so pleased for Johan, but I’m even more pleased for the whole team. The guys in Hannover at Volkswagen Motorsport and in our factory in Torsby have really come together for this result; the guys from Volkswagen brought the knowledge of the Polo and we have matched them with the knowledge of the sport. It’s made for a very strong partnership.’

The Norwegian, who was fastest in free practice, continued: ‘There was maybe a little bit of frustration when we had the speed but not the results earlier in the year, but here we have really put it all together. It was some tough racing out there this weekend, sometimes I felt a little bit like the meat – or maybe the ham and cheese – in the middle of the sandwich; I was being pushed from the back and from the side, from every direction.

‘But, you have to deal with that and you have to race with that pressure. It was intense, but we did it. On a personal level, three punctures this weekend really compromised my tyre strategy and for the final we really didn’t have much left to choose from – but we made it. Both cars in the final for the fourth consecutive race, a pair of cars on the podium and the first victory for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden!’

The next – and fifth – round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship is the World RX of Great Britain on 27-28 May at the home of rallycross, the legendary Lydden Hill circuit in Kent. The British round is the last which will be held at the track near Canterbury for now: the series moves to Silverstone in 2018.

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 101
2 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 98
3 Petter Solberg, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 87
4 Timmy Hansen, Peugeot 208: 72
5 Sebastian Loeb, Peugeot 208: 62

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden: 180
2 EKS: 143
3 Team Peugeot-Hansen: 133

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / PSRX Volkswagen Sweden]

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