01 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson scores maiden World Rallycross win at World RX of Portugal

2015 World RX of Portugal: torrential rain on day two made conditions difficult

Johan Kristoffersson scored an early Polo victory at the opening round of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship last weekend, taking his 600bhp Polo WRX Supercar across the line first at the Bompiso Rallycross of Portugal in Montalegre. The Volkswagen Team Sweden driver finished ahead of reigning World RX champion Petter Solberg and Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timmy Hansen.

Kristoffersson, ex-Scandinavian Touring Car Championship winner, was quickest off the six-car start line and was also awarded the first Monster Energy Super Charge Award of 2015. The Swede also won a Rebellion Timepieces Wraith Drive Rallycross limited edition watch for his win in Portugal. ‘I am so, so happy,’ he beamed.

‘Unbelievably slippery’
‘I nearly stalled the engine on the start line and the whole circuit was unbelievably slippery but I drove a clean race. I couldn’t see out of the side windows so it was more about survival than actual racing.

‘I want to say a big, big thank you to Volkswagen Sweden and to my entire team who have done a fantastic job over the past few months. They have worked very hard to build this car which has been working well all weekend. It’s the best possible start to the season,’ he continued.

Second placed Solberg, last year’s Portugal round winner, added: ‘It is very important to have a good first race – consistency is as important as winning races in rallycross. I’ve not been feeling well this weekend and then I lost my gear lever in the final so it certainly wasn’t easy. Johan [Kristoffersson] has done a very good job this weekend.’

Olsbergs MSE’s Andreas Bakkerud was leading the round at the end of day one, but was knocked out of podium contention after contact with PG Andersson’s Polo RX during the final.

Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen, 2014’s World RX runner-up was eighth in Portugal after a consistent weekend of driving in the Marklund Motorsport prepared Polo RX. Fellow Marklund Polo RX pilot PG Andersson was sixth.

Norwegian driver and team-mate of Kristoffersson, Tord Linnerud, finished 16th in his Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo WRX. Weather conditions were dry on Saturday, day one, but on Sunday, day two, torrential rain made conditions difficult.

‘Sensational driving’
Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director for IMG, commented: ‘We’ve witnessed some sensational driving in Portugal this weekend and the performance displayed by our younger drivers in such tricky driving conditions is particularly impressive.

‘Kristoffersson joins us as a permanent World Championship driver for the first time this year and the fact that he can win on his debut with Volkswagen Team Sweden is testament to the high standard of drivers that we have competing in World RX.

‘It’s excellent to see three manufacturers – Volkswagen, Citroen and Peugeot – finish on the podium and the development on the cars over the winter hiatus has been very impressive. With four races in five weeks, the teams have got little restbite now as we head straight to Hockenheim for our first ever event alongside the highly-acclaimed DTM series.’

The next round, the World RX of Hockenheim, takes place this weekend, 1-3 May at the Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

2015 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 27
2 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo WRX: 27
3 Timmy Hansen, Peugeot 208: 24
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Fiesta ST: 21
5 Davy Jeanney, Peugeot 208: 16

2015 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP,
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1 Team Peugeot-Hansen: 40
2 Ford Olsbergs MSE: 29
3 Marklund Motorsport: 29
4 SDRX: 29
5 Volkswagen Team Sweden: 28

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