Johan Kristoffersson took victory today at his home event of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the 2017 World RX of Sweden and went on to increase his lead in the Drivers Championship.
The PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden driver went fastest in Q2 and Q3 to end up Top Qualifier for the Semi-Finals before going on to take the win in Semi-Final One set him up for Pole Position in the Supercar Final. Alongside him was Semi-Final Two winner Andreas Bakkerud who took an easy win after rival Petter Solberg bogged down at the start of the race and coming home sixth.
With Kristoffersson and Bakkerud on the front row for the Final they were joined by Sebastien Loeb and Kevin Eriksson whilst Timmy Hansen and Janis Baumanis, who was making his first Supercar Final start of 2017, completed the grid. Kristoffersson made a perfect getaway off the line with Bakkerud in pursuit of him.
The two Team Peugeot-Hansen drivers both elected to take the joker on the opening lap, with Loeb ahead of Hansen and then proceeded to work their way back through the field as they closed on the runners ahead. Baumanis battled with Eriksson for third place on the road as the Team STARD driver took on the MJP Racing Team Austria pilot in a battle of the privateers.
Kristoffersson and Bakkerud battled for the lead of the race as Baumanis was the next man to take his joker on lap three, coming out behind the two Peugeot drivers as they worked their strategy. Eriksson followed suit on lap four and came out just behind Loeb and Hansen as he almost clipped the wall on the exit of the joker lap.
Kristoffersson and Bakkerud both elected to take their jokers on the Final lap and the Swedish driver would emerge ahead as he showed his dominance over the weekend’s proceedings. Kristoffersson took the race win ahead 2016 winner Bakkerud with Loeb having made his way to third place by the end. Hansen finished fourth with Eriksson in fifth place ahead of Baumanis.
“This is the one I wanted,” said a delighted Kristoffersson. “This one means so much in front of my home crowd and, of course, it’s the home race for the whole team. I am so happy for everybody.”
“When I knew this deal was happening at the start of the season I had a real dream that we could make something special, but could we make magic? I didn’t know. But now I think it looks like we are starting to do that.”
In a weekend that delivered several shocks, one was not seeing an Audi qualify for the Semi-Finals. With Mattias Ekstrom away on DTM duty in Germany, the EKSRX outfit relied on Topi Heikkinen and Reinis Nitiss to bring home the Manufacturer points however Heikkinen finished in fourteenth and Nitiss in eighteenth overall respectively.
In the Drivers Championship, Johan Kristoffersson now has a lead of thirty one points over team-mate Petter Solberg as Mattias Ekstrom now drops to third place with five races to go. Sebastien Loeb holds fourth place in the standings ahead of Andreas Bakkerud.
In the Teams Championship, PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden holds a points lead of eighty five points over nearest rival Team Peugeot-Hansen. EKSRX are now tied on points with Hoonigan Racing.
The next round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship, The World RX of Canada, takes place on August 4-6.