04 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Home win at Höljes for Kristoffersson at 2017 World RX of Sweden

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

Johan Kristoffersson claimed his third win of the season for PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden at round seven of the FIA World Rallycross in Höljes, the World RX of Sweden. In front of a home crowd of more than 45,000 passionate fans, there’s no doubt the young Swede and his 570bhp Polo GTI Supercar dominated 1-2 July proceedings.

With triumphs in the qualifying and semi-final already under his tyres, Kristoffersson’s victory never looked in danger during the final. The impressive home win also means that the 28 year-old has extended his lead in the drivers’ standings. Now with 181 points, Kristoffersson leads team-mate Petter Solberg by 31 points. Solberg failed to qualify for the Swedish final, but PSRX Volkswagen continues to lead the team competition with 331 points, 85 points ahead of Team Peugeot-Hansen.

‘The car was pefect’
Kristoffersson was delighted by his win: ‘Saturday was a very good day. We were out in front at the end of the day, but I was fully focussed on the final day. After all, that is what it is all about. As always, the car was perfect. I have to thank everyone in the team. Not only those here today, but everyone who works so hard for us at Volkswagen Motorsport.

‘This is the one I wanted,’ he continued. ‘This one means so much in front of my home crowd and, of course, it’s the home race for the whole team. I am so happy for everybody. When I knew this deal was happening at the start of the season I had a real dream that we could make something special, but could we make magic? I didn’t know. But now I think it looks like we are starting to do that!’

Perfect tactical approach
Away from Kristoffersson’s victory, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team was dominant in Höljes, thanks to a perfect tactical approach which put the team in pole position after the qualifying heats. Going into day two, Kristoffersson was quickest in Q2, and second fastest in Q1, resulting in a top-of-the-table result for Sunday morning’s action. It was the same story then, though, with the Swede leading from the front to take the times in Q3, too.

Solberg meanwhile set the pace in Q4 and also the fastest race time of the whole weekend, and the Norwegian was also quickest in the free practice session. Solberg’s result meant he finished second in the Intermediate Classification and started on pole position for semi-final two on day two, pole position for semi-final one being secured by Kristoffersson.

‘It was really important to get one-two coming out of the heats – that would make sure Johan and I went into separate semi- finals,’ explained Solberg. ‘I didn’t have the best time in the heats yesterday, but it came good this morning and I won Q4 to get us in the position we wanted. It was all looking perfect until I stalled on the line in my semi-final. I couldn’t believe it. All that hard work and it had gone.’

‘A real achievement’
He continued: ‘OK, that’s racing. I’m not going to let this spoil the party we have earned here at home in Sweden. You might notice, I am a little bit more Swedish this weekend! Honestly, I am so happy for the team and for what we have achieved here. The focus is the teams’ title for me, but for us to be in this position with a team just six months old is incredible and a real achievement for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden.’

Even though he didn’t qualify for the final, Solberg was upbeat: ‘You know we don’t like to talk the talk unless we can walk the walk and, while there is still a long way to go and a lot of corners to turn before the end of the season, I believe we are beginning to walk the walk! We couldn’t ask for more than this!’

In the European Rallycross Championship at Höljes, Anton Marklund added another win to his tally, as the Swedish driver took the spoils in his Marklund Motorsport-prepared Polo RX. Peter Hedström in another Polo RX finished second, while a third Volkswagen Polo RX driven by Alexander Hvaal was also in the final of the Höljes European series races.

The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship circus moves to Canada for the eighth round of the series, the World RX of Canada at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres circuit on 5-6 August. Both Kristoffersson and Solberg will be looking to protect their new one-two positions in the Drivers’ Championship and consolidate PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s reputation.

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 181
2 Petter Solberg, Volkswagen Polo GTI: 150
3 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 143
4 Sebastian Loeb, Peugeot 208: 125
5 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 124

2017 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden: 331
2 Team Peugeot-Hansen: 246
3 EKS: 201
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 201
5 MJP Racing Team Austria: 142

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / PSRX Volkswagen Sweden]

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