Volkswagen RX Sweden experienced a contrasting weekend at the World RX of Spain compared to the highs of their victory at the World RX of France two weeks previously, however the pace of the team in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship has now slowed by any chance.
Johan Kristoffersson showed that his Sunday performance in Qualifying in France was no fluke as he dominated Q3 and Q4 at Barcelona on Sunday to put himself in second place overall and confirming a place in Semi-Final Two where he would battle with World RX Team Austria’s Timur Timerzyanov, losing out to the Russian driver as he took his joker and came out ahead of the Swedish driver to claim the race win. This meant that Kristoffersson would line up in the middle row of the Supercar grid next to Timmy Hansen. During the Final itself, the Swedish driver stayed behind the lead fight and took his joker early which led to a heated battle with Timerzyanov on the final lap, where Kristoffersson passed Timerzyanov before the jump. However the stewards adjudged that the contact involved was unfair and the VW Polo driver was demoted to last after the race despite finishing third on the road.
Despite this, Kristoffersson has closed the gap to Petter Solberg in the Drivers Championship with three rounds to go:
“I had a very good start of Sunday again and the semi-final was good. We made a bit of a mistake in the joker lap otherwise we would have won it. In the final, I had a very, very good start but had to back out of the throttle to avoid hitting Mattias (Ekstrom) in front,” said Kristoffersson. “I didn’t close the gap enough into turn two but I pushed really hard and we had good speed. Timur (Timerzyanov) had a problem at the hairpin on the last lap, and going into the next corner we had contact. Fair enough I touched him a little bit, but I believe he would have gone wide anyway, but it is what it is. We had good pace this weekend and we are fighting hard to move forward in the championship.”
Anton Marklund once again proved that he had the speed to be fighting at the front with his team-mate, however he suffered from more bad luck as other drivers hampered his progress throughout the event. At the end of the first days running, Marklund was well inside the top twelve positions, however on the second day, he lost out in Q3 and Q4 and it was due to these issues that were out of his control, the young Swedish driver missed out on a place in the Semi-Finals yet again.
After a difficult weekend, Marklund explained how he now looks forward to the next event in Latvia, to be held at the Riga venue:
“I’m getting a bit tired of having poor weekends due to bad luck or being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Marklund. “I was stuck behind Ken Block in Q3 who had technical issues, and in the end that lost me the semi-final spot because I ended up in an early race in Q4. I really haven’t been able to show what me and the car are capable of, which I know is to be making it into the final. Now I just want to recharge for the next round in Riga, where I really believe that without any bad luck I can fight for the podium.”