Kristoffersson leads World RX of Sweden day one


Johan Kristoffersson - day one Holjes RX
Credit: FIAWorldRallycross.com

Home hero Johan Kristoffersson leads the way into day two of the World RX of Sweden at Holjes after the Swede set the fastest time in Q2 as the championship front runners hit trouble.

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb initially won Q1, but Kristoffersson was hot on his heels in second place.  The Volkswagen RX Sweden driver won Q2 ahead of Andreas Bakkerud and Toomas Heikkinen.

Loeb was unable to carry his form through into Q2 after suffering a spin and hitting the barrier dropping down into third.

Championship leader Mattias Ekstrom was unable to finish Q1 after failing to finish in the heavily rain-affected day one.  The Swede managed to climb his way up to seventh in the standings after Q2.

Reigning World Champion Petter Solberg was another victim of the conditions and had a DNF in Q1.  The Norwegian bounced back in Q1 setting the fifth fastest time.

The overall standings sees Kristoffersson lead the event with 95 points.  Ekstrom’s teammate Toomas Heikkinen sits in second place with Sebastien Loeb in third.  Janis Baumanis is in fourth place and Finnish youngster Niclas Gronholm behind in fifth place.

Team Peougeot Hansen driver Timmy Hansen is down in 11th place whilst Solberg and Ekstrom sit in 15th and 17th respectively as a result of their DNFs at the start of the day.

Event leader Kristoffersson praised his teams’ progress after a successful test at Hell last month.

“We went to Hell for a test after the race in Norway and found some things we have been missing at that track for the last two years I think.

“We have found some things to improve on and in the rain it helps us even more I think.  Sure there is improvement in the dry as well but it feels so, so nice to be back on the pace.

The 27-year-old is looking forward to day two and is relishing tackling the wet conditions.

“What we have done today nobody can take away from us. I like the wet, you just have to find the grip level and don’t do any mistakes, but things can change quick when things are like this.”