04 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTIs show pace at World RX of Barcelona

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

The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTI Supercars got off to a flying start at the first round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Barcelona. The 570bhp Polos of Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson were among the front-runners at the 1-2 April Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya event, with both cars reaching the Supercar Final.

Fastest qualifying time
As he lined up on the front row of the final, Kristoffersson had already claimed the fastest qualifying time in the first Free Practice session of the 2017 season, overtaking reigning champion Mattias Ekström. ‘That’s not a bad way to start the season for me and the team,’ smiled Kristoffersson. At the intermediate classification, US driver Ken Block was behind Kristoffersson, while the Swede’s team-mate Solberg was behind Block.

In the final race itself, Kristoffersson suffered a stalled start and had to eventually settle for sixth. Solberg fared better and finished fourth, narrowly missing out on a podium place: the Norwegian was was running third until Bakkerud overtook the two-time World RX champion on the first corner of the fourth lap. But, while there was no debut victory for the fledgling team, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTIs showed incredible pace and fired a warning salvo of potential performances to come.

‘Such strong pace’
Driver and team owner Solberg said: ‘I am so, so proud of what we have all achieved here. The last few months have been really crazy getting everything sorted out. But we are here and we are racing. We hoped to be on the pace and we hoped to show ourselves in a good light. It was a dream for us to have two cars in the final today and the dream came true. I’m so happy with the performance and couldn’t be happier with the team and for Johan, he showed such strong pace – he was the star driver for me.’

Kristoffersson shared his team-mate and boss’ outlook: ‘The team has put so much work in and everything is working so well from the first race. Naturally, I was a little disappointed with the final, I so wanted this result for the whole PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team – those guys worked so hard – but this is racing. The big thing is the pace we have from the car. It just makes me more determined do even better for the team at the second round.’

Ekström won the overall 2017 World RX of Barcelona event, and leads the Drivers’ Championship, while Kristoffersson lies in fourth place, and Solberg one place further down the standings. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden lead the teams’ standings however, as the Volkswagen Motorsport-supported outfit scooped the most points collectively. Both PSRX Volkswagen Sweden drivers are looking forward to the next round of the championship at Montalnegre on 22-23 April: Kristoffersson and Solberg have won the World RX of Portugal event three times each!

Also at Barcelona, the opening round of the five-event 2017 FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX), was won by Kristoffersson’s former team-mate Anton Marklund. The Swede took his Marklund Motorsport Polo Supercar home first ahead of Hungary’s Tamas Pal Kiss and Ireland’s Ollie O’Donovan, who finished second and third respectively.

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 29
2 Timo Scheider, Ford Fiesta RXS: 26
3 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 22
4 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 21
5 Petter Solberg, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 19

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 = PSRX Volkswagen Sweden: 40
1 = EKS: 40
3 Hoonigan Racing Division: 33
4 MJP Racing Team Austria: 30
5 Team Peugeot-Hansen: 20

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / PSRX Volkswagen Sweden]

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