PSRX Volkswagen Sweden close to heaven…in Hell

A good points haul for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden in Hell - Copyright: PSRX Volkswagen Sweden

A sensational weekend for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden at round six of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hell, Norway: their Swedish driver, Johan Kristoffersson, scored his second win of the season, gaining precious Championship points that helped him increase his lead in the Drivers’ standings over reigning champion Mattias Ekström. Not only that, but even if lead driver Petter Solberg missed out on the final, he nevertheless contributed to the team’s substantial points haul for the Teams’ championship, which they also lead over rivals Team Peugeot-Hansen.

In the all-important final, Kristoffersson’s brilliance allowed him to close on top of the podium, in front of local star Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division) and Peugeot-Hansen’s French rally ace, Sébastien Loeb. The Swede’s victory becomes even more impressive, considering that he spent the whole weekend living with an injured right foot, as a consequence of a freak accident on the pre-grid for Friday’s practice session, when Loeb’s Peugeot reversed into the poor Swede’s foot.

“It’s fantastic,” Kristoffersson said.

“Again, I keep saying this, but this team is a special one. The way we work together and put these results away is fantastic. This one was a tough weekend, with the wet conditions it wasn’t so easy yesterday, but today the Polo GTI Supercar was just sensational.
“The final was actually OK, quite straightforward and went to plan. I’m sorry for Petter not making the final, especially with this being his home race. Next time it’s my home race and I really hope I can make the same result again. But for now, we celebrate another victory.”

Team owner Petter Solberg, however, wasn’t quite as happy, as he got tangled in a much-criticised first-lap joker at the start of his final, involving him together with top qualifier Bakkerud, Peugeot-Hansen third car entry Kevin Hansen, and DTM competitor Timo Scheider (MJP Racing Team Austria), as a result of which he missed out on the final, in favour of Bakkerud, Loeb and Timur Timerzyanov, who closed sixth overall.

“Obviously it’s disappointing that we can’t keep this incredible run going for getting two cars to the final, Solberg says.

“I have to say I am so, so disappointed with what happened in the semi-final; this is the second time I have been pushed out by [Bakkerud] in my home race. I don’t know what else to say about this. It’s not right.
“It’s been a tough weekend, but still we made some good results. The win in Q4 was really good for me and I was positive coming to the semi and then this happens.
“OK, we have to look on the positive. Johan won and I’m so proud for him and for the whole team. We extend the lead in the championships and that’s what we take away from here. Norway and Hell bite me again, but I’ll be back next season.”

The next challenge for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden is their home race in Sweden, 30 June-2 July in Höljes, just 70 miles from the team’s headquarters in Torsby. At the historic racetrack in Värmland, Solberg’s best result is a third place in 2014, World RX’s first season, while Kristoffersson managed no better than his P5 finish last year.