Archive | Rallycross

10 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson claims second place in World RX series at World RX of Latvia

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Latvia: Kristoffersson

After a disappointing result at the World RX of Spain, Volkswagen RX Sweden travelled to the inaugural World RX of Latvia with one clear objective: to achieve a strong result. Round 10 of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship took place at the 1.29km-long Bikernieki National Sports Base on 30 September to 2 October, and the event saw Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson finish fifth overall. The result doesn’t tell the whole story, though: the Swedish star is now second in the series’ Drivers’ Championship points.

Fastest time
Kristoffersson set the fastest time in the second qualifying heat on day one and also claimed the top spot in the third round, despite changeable weather conditions and torrential rain. With a time almost six seconds faster than any rival, the 600bhp Polo RX proved its capability and rewarded the Swedish driver with a first place at the end of the Intermediate Classification sessions. The rallycross and circuit star also started on pole position for the first semi-final, before crossing the line fifth in the final race.

The points boost saw Kristoffersson leap-frog over ex-WRC champion and reigning World RX leader Petter Holberg to take second place in the drivers’ standings, 27 points shy of leader Mattias Ekström. Kristoffersson was pleased with the improvement in his performance: ‘I was able do one very quick run in the dry and one in the wet this weekend, so that was good, and to be top after the qualifying races and move to P2 in the championship is great.

‘Lot of progress’
‘I have to thank the whole team because now we are scoring a lot of points at every race. We just have to keep pushing, to continue to try and fight for this championship. We missed a bit of pace in the semi-final and final, so it has not been an easy day for sure. We have made a lot of progress in the last few events and I’m looking forward to Germany in two weeks,’ he continued. A total of sixty points are available over the next and final two rounds of the season.

Kristofersson’s team-mate Anton Marklund endured a more challenging event in Riga. However, the former FIA European Rallycross Touring Car Champion also improved on his points tally in the championship standings at the Latvian event. A spin in the torrentially wet conditions of the third qualifying session cost Marklund time, without which he would have made the semi-finals. As it was he finished 15th in Latvia.

‘Very tough’
The young Swede conceded his result was not what he expected: ‘This weekend has been very tough for me. I got a brand new chassis for this round and the mechanics have done an amazing job. It looks like a show car, it’s stunning and I was really looking forward to racing it here. We set some good lap times but I didn’t have the feeling on the first day.

‘I had really good pace in the wet on the morning of dat two, but hit some water and had a 360-degree spin, which cost me a lot of time. If you take away the time I lost, I would have been P4 in Q3 and that would have got me into the semi-finals. It’s disappointing, but I’m testing here in Latvia all day on Monday to find improvements in myself and the car, so I can show what I can do in Germany,’ he added.

‘Huge effort’
Michael Schneider, Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal is pleased with the progress made in both wet and dry conditions, and says the team will do all it can to help Kristoffersson fight for the 2016 World RX Drivers’ Championship title. ‘Johan had a very good weekend. To be top qualifier takes a huge effort from the team and driver, and it proves again that we have the pace to run at the front,’ said Schneider. ‘We will work hard to do everything we can to finish in the best possible place after the last round in Argentina. Nothing is over until after the final round.’

Volkswagen RX Sweden remains third in the World Rallycross Teams’ Championship points. The next round the series will take place in two weeks’ time at the Estering in Germany on 15-16 October, where US TV star and rallycross driver Tanner Foust will join the Swedish outfit in a third Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar.

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 228
2 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 201
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 194
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 192
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 180

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 EKS: 333
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 345
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 265
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 247
5 World RX Team Austria: 187

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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22 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Bumped in Barcelona: Kristoffersson finishes sixth at World RX of Spain

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Spain: Kristoffersson

Following two consecutive podium finishes (including the win at World RX of France), Volkswagen RX Sweden was hoping for much the same at the ninth round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Spain, held at the 1.13km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 17-18 September. Sadly for the Swedish outfit, it wasn’t to be.

Demoted to sixth place
Currently third in the 2016 drivers’ standings, Johan Kristoffersson initially finished third in Barcelona, but was then demoted to sixth place for pushing. The Swedish driver and his 600bhp Polo RX headed both the third and fourth qualifying heats and battled their way through to the final. Overall winner of the World RX of Spain was Mattias Ekström of EKS.

Ahead of the Spanish races, Kristoffersson was confident: ‘The team has been working so hard this year and it was great to win in France. We improved the car a lot from day one to day two there and I was able to really push on the Sunday. Last year we had a bit of turnaround in France, then in Barcelona the car was great.

‘That was also the time I started working with my engineer, Laurent. I hope for more of the same this year. It’s great to go to Barcelona with a victory in the bag, and I can’t wait to drive in front of the great fans there. I really liked the track last year, the facilities are really good too and we had a good result. I’m really looking forward to it,’ he continued.

Confident of a strong result
Anton Marklund meanwhile headed to Spain targeting his first podium finish of the season. The young Swedish Polo pilot suffered ill health before the event and was confident of scoring a strong result. ‘I have already forgotten about the challenging weekend in France two weeks ago.

‘We are now heading to Barcelona very well prepared, and with Johan’s win fresh in our memories. We know we have a good package and I’m going there with great confidence in what the car can do,’ said Marklund before the event. Low placings in the qualifying heats suggested that his health hadn’t quite recovered enough.

The next round of the championship is the World RX of Latvia, held in Riga on 1-2 October.

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 204
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 194
3 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 178
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 170
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 154

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 EKS: 318
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 297
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 240
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 224
5 World RX Team Austria: 159

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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15 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Hedström to pilot rallycross Polo at Barcelona and Latvia Euro RX rounds

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX: Peter Hedström

There will be another Polo RX on the grid at the start of the Euro RX of Barcelona this weekend (16-18 September), the seventh round of the 2016 FIA European Rallycross Championship. Former Swedish rallycross champion Peter Hedström will jump into an ex-Marklund Motorsport Polo RX Supercar at the Spanish event. The near-600bhp Supercar will appear again in the Latvian round of the programme (30 September to 2 October).

‘Go for a win in Barcelona’
Previously a Ford Fiesta Supercar driver, Hedström swapped to the Polo for the first time at a recent round of the RallyX Nordic Championship, and promptly won. ‘I will go for a win in Barcelona,’ said Hedström. ‘The Polo is very good – I like it very much. There’s nothing wrong with the Fiesta but the Polo suits my driving style better. I loved the Skoda Fabia I raced before and the Polo is not a big difference to that,’ he continued.

Divulging that the Polo is better-suited to his all-out style, Hedström commented: ‘The engine is better in the Polo than the Fabia, but the driving style is very similar. The Ford is good, too but I am an action driver, I like to go flat out and the Polo works for me. Last year Barcelona was only my second race with the Fiesta and it was a big difference from the Skoda. It took some time to go as fast as I could, but I was in the final.’

Expanded World RX programme
Hedström is looking at an expanded programme of World RX events for the 2017 season. ‘The plan is that we will have two cars exactly the same next year. I want to drive in seven World Championship races, or maybe the European Championship and in two or three World Championship events. But the plan is to drive more World Championship races in 2017.’

Johan Kristofferson and Anton Marklund currently run Polo RXs in the World Rallycross Championship, while Tord Linnerud drives one of the small VWs in the same European series as Hedström. Ernestas Staponkus meanwhile, has a car in the Super 1600 championship.

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06 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson scores emphatic first team victory at World RX of France

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of France: Kristoffersson

After months without success, Johan Kristoffersson and Volkswagen RX Sweden have scored their first win in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, emerging victorious at the 2-4 September World RX of France. Round eight of the series took place at the 1.08km-long track at Lohéac in Brittany, and the young Swede scored a lights-to-flag win behind the wheel of his 600bhp Polo RX Supercar.

Kristoffersson dominated the second day of competition at the signature French RX event, and set the fastest time in both the Q3 and Q4 qualifying sessions in difficult weather conditions. His Polo RX revelled in the changing climate and Kristoffersson lead both the semi-final and final from start to finish to score an empathic first victory of the season.

‘It feels fantastic’
Kristoffersson is the fifth different driver to win a World RX event this year, and the 27 year-old was pleased that his time had finally come. ‘It feels fantastic,’ grinned the four-wheel drive Polo driver who also won the Monster Energy Super Charge Award after beating the other finalists to the first corner of the final.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though: ‘We couldn’t get it right yesterday – I was P10 after Q2 and the car didn’t feel right. My team worked really hard on the car overnight and in the rain this morning, the car felt amazing,’ Kristoffersson commented.

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10 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson scores Volkswagen RX Sweden podium at World RX of Canada

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Canada: Kristoffersson

At last! It took a while, but Johan Kristoffersson finally achieved the first FIA World Rallycross Championship podium finish for the newly-formed Volkswagen RX Sweden team at the World RX of Canada. The event at Trois-Rivières in Quebec marked the seventh round of the 2016 series and the mid-way point of the season, and 27 year-old Kristoffersson made it onto the third step of the podium.

‘Really good to be back here’
‘We’ve been so close and finally our hard work has paid off and we are back on the podium – it feels really good to be back here,’ said a jubilant Kristoffersson, who is now just three points off third place in the Drivers’ Championship. ‘Petter Solberg was outstanding in the semi-final and I felt like I couldn’t catch him, but then the rain started and our car works so well in the rain. The first two laps were really good for us and the car worked perfectly,’ he continued.

Kristoffersson’s team-mate Anton Marklund also made the final in Canada, but just missed out on a top five finish, coming home sixth. His Polo RX suffered a brake failure and he collided with ex-World Rally Champion Petter Solberg’s Citroën DS3 RX. Marklund subsequently hit a wall on the first lap of the Supercar final, and damaged a rear tyre. Both he and Solberg were taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks, with both drivers being declared fine.

Three consecutive podiums
The Canadian round of the World Rallycross Championship has been kind to the 600bhp Polo RX Supercar – the small but powerful Volkswagen has achieved three consecutive podiums at the North American event. Marklund finished second at the famous street circuit in 2014, while the Volkswagen RX Sweden car finished second and third at the 2015 event, with Finland’s Toomas Heikkinen and America’s Tanner Foust.

Before the event, Kristoffersson reported that a few changes to the super-Polo had taken place: ‘We have made a few updates that will no doubt help us. Last season we were strong in Canada at the start of the weekend, this year we want to remain focussed throughout the entire event.’

Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal Michael Schneider confirmed the car is a match for its competitors: ‘When I look back on the first half of the season, I’m very happy with the performance of the car and both drivers. We have produced a very competitive car for 2016.’

Timmy Hansen won the World RX of Canada for Team Peugeot Hansen. the Swede took an unexpected victory after he was promoted to the final when Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov was black flagged after an incident in the semi-final. The next round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship is the World RX of France, which takes place in Lohéac from 2-4 September.

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 161
2 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 157
3 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 132
4 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 129
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 121

2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 EKS: 256
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 226
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 188
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 167
5 World RX Team Austria: 126

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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