Volkswagen RX Sweden have shown this year that they are fast in wet and tricky conditions and Johan Kristoffersson has shown for several events now that he is the man to beat on Sunday afternoons in an FIA World Rallycross Championship event and the World RX of Latvia was no exception.
Kristoffersson started off the event quietly by going seventh fastest, however he soon upped the ante by going fastest in both Q2 and Q3 in the Volkswagen RX Sweden Polo Supercar. At the end of Qualifying, the two time World RX event winner was Top qualifier and in Pole Position for Semi-Final One. However a lack of grip saw the former STCC Champion lose out on the race win to Sebastien Loeb. In The Final itself, Kristoffersson lost out in the first corner action and the slippery conditions and he would then come home in fifth place.
Due to Petter Solberg finishing the event in nineteenth place, Kristoffersson now sits in second place in the Drivers Championship, twenty-seven points behind leader Mattias Ekstrom. However Kristoffersson was very happy with this weekend’s work.
“I was able do one very quick run in the dry and one in the wet this weekend, so that was good, and to be top after the qualifying races and move to P2 in the championship is great. I have to thank the whole team because now we are scoring a lot of points at every race. We just have to keep pushing, to continue to try and fight for this championship,” he said. “We missed a bit of pace in the semi-final and final, so it has not been an easy day for sure. We have made a lot of progress in the last few events and I’m looking forward to Germany in two weeks.”
Kristoffersson’s team-mate Anton Marklund had a more difficult weekend during the event, which saw dry conditions on Saturday and then very wet conditions on Sunday. However armed with a new car in these tricky conditions, the former FIA European Rallycross Touring Car Champion suffered as he got to grips with his new VW Polo Supercar. A Spin in Q3 did not help matters and Marklund himself would go no further after finishing Qualifying in fifteenth place, and Marklund explained his frustration from the World RX of Latvia.
“This weekend has been very tough for me. I got a brand new chassis for this round and the mechanics have done an amazing job. It looks like a show car, it’s stunning and I was really looking forward to racing it here,” said the Swede. “We set some good lap times but I didn’t have the feeling on Saturday. I had really good pace in the wet on Sunday morning, but hit some water and had a 360 degree spin, which cost me a lot of time. If you take away the time I lost, I would have been P4 in Q3 and that would have got me into the semi-finals. It’s disappointing, but I’m testing here in Latvia all day on Monday to find improvements in myself and the car, so I can show what I can do in Germany.”
Volkswagen RX Sweden remains third in the World RX Teams’ Championship standings, with the next round taking place at the Estering in Germany, where American star Tanner Foust will join the team in a third Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar for his second appearance this season in World RX.