Kristoffersson Wins First Round of 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship
Start of the second season of FIA World Rallycross Championship can’t be better for Johan Kristoffersson, former winner of Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia. In the new environment, at the wheel of the 560-hp Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar, prepared by Volkswagen Sweden, Kristoffersson won opening roung in Montalegre (Portugal).
Swedish was quickest in six-cars final, ahead of reigning world rallycross champion Petter Solberg (SDRX) and Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen). Spots from 4 to 6 was taken by Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot-Hansen), Andreas Bakkerud (Olsbergs MSE) and P-G Andersson (Marklund Motorsport).
“I am so, so happy. 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”, said Kristoffersson after event.
21 driver took part at opening round of championship on the rain flooded circuit at Montalegre. They droved four qualifing heats in which Solberg had best times twice, Hansen and Bakkerud were quickest once. Kristoffersson took three third places and one 14th place, so nobody counting on him as possible winner of the event. But, he was the best in his semifinal group and then took the victory in the final run.
Two-time DTM Champion and EKS team owner Mattias Ekstrom finished seventh overall in Portugal, while last year’s World RX runner-up Topi Heikkinen was eighth driving in the Marklund Motorsport prepared Polo. Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov and Austria’s Manfred Stohl finished ninth and tenth.
Krisztian Szabo, a former European Autocross Champion, took the first Super1600 Class victory of the season at the wheel of his Skoda Fabia. Frenchman Andrea Dubourg secured the runners-up spot while Latvia’s Janis Baumanis took third.
In the RX Lites Class last year’s champion Kevin Eriksson picked up where he left off last season with four heat wins and a victory in the all-important final. Kevin Hansen – younger brother of Timmy – finished second after an impressive weekend of driving, while Joachim Hvaal took the third podium spot.
After exciting start of the 2015 season, teams will barely have time to catch breath before they travel to Hockenheim, for Round 2 of the championship as part of the circuit’s DTM meeting next weekend. It will be the first rallycross event at the famous venue.