Volkswagen RX Sweden driver Johan Kristoffersson endured a mixed weekend at the 2016 season opening round of the FIA World Rallycross championship at Montalegre, Portugal.
The Swede qualified on the front row for the grid for the first of the semi-finals, outpacing series newcomer and World Rally Championship legend Sebastien Loeb.
“The weekend started well in Q1, it was very, very wet but the car was working well and we were fastest,” said Kristoffersson, “We didn’t have good starts on the first day, they were much better in Q3 and Q4 on day two but still not perfect.”
The winner of the Monster Energy Supercharge award got off the line well to take the lead early on and used the option to take his joker on the first lap.
On the fourth lap, Kristoffersson came together with reigning champion Petter Solberg who was returning from his joker lap causing and the Swede was forced to retire with a damaged driveshaft.
“The start was great in the semi-final and we managed to win it, which I was very happy with,” said Kristoffersson, “in the final I got a very good start, we had a very clear strategy to go directly into the joker, then I just pushed like mad.
“I felt I had right of way coming out of the joker lap but Petter [Solberg] banged into my wheel which broke the driveshaft and I had a big spin on the gravel.
“From there I just cruised to the end. It was ups and downs this weekend but we have the speed and the season is long, so I’m happy.”