This weekend’s FIA World Rallycross round eight in Canada has provided PSRX Volkswagen Sweden with a perfect 1-2 finish, as Johan Kristoffersson closed the event on top of the podium, just in front of team-mate as well as double World Champion Petter Solberg.
Despite Saturday’s treacherous weather conditions, the two drivers managed to qualify their VW Polos on top of the field, with Kristoffersson fastest overall and Solberg second, thus granting them pole position on their respective semi-finals. Both semis saw lights-to-flag victories by the two Scandinavians, who went on to secure an all-PSRX lockout on the front row for the final. Peugeot’s Timmy Hansen seemed to be the only threat to VW’s dominion, as Audi’s reigning champion Mattias Ekström didn’t make it past the semis, although a mechanical problem resulted in a DNF for Hansen. Not even his nine-time World Rally Champion team-mate, Sébastien Loeb, was able to match the pace of the two leaders, and with their event domination, PSRX have consolidated their lead in the Teams’ Championship. This also marked Kristoffersson’s fourth win out of eight events contested.
“I really wanted this one,” said the Swede.
“The atmosphere’s so cool out here in Canada and it’s always a great race. Everything went to plan this time. Once again, it was crucial that Petter and I went into the semi-finals in first and second so we could capitalise and try to get first and second on the grid in the final.
“It all worked. It was perfect. I have a huge thanks to the team and to Petter for this weekend. We fly home a very happy team!”
Solberg finished last year’s edition of the Canadian event on a hospital bed, as a result of a collision with Kristoffersson’s then-team-mate, Anton Marklund, reportedly due to a brake failure on the Swede’s VW Polo just after the end of the final. The Norwegian’s mood, this year, starkly contrasts what he showed last time round.
“You can imagine, the emotion is quite high from this race,” said Solberg.
“Last year wasn’t so good and this time I wanted to come here and forget about that, I wanted to take that pain away and Johan, me and the whole PSRX Volkswagen Sweden couldn’t have given me the best fix from last year.
“I know I say this sometimes, but really, this team is unbelievable. What we achieve is incredible and it makes me so proud.
“It’s time for a good celebration in Canada and then we go home and we get back to it. The rest of these guys are not standing still. We see the competition is tough all the time and we have to keep moving forward. The next round in France is going to be an incredible race. We saw Sébastien [Loeb] was third here and he’s going to be so dangerous in front of his home fans next time out. But for now, let’s enjoy this one!”
Both Solberg and Kristoffersson are looking forward to the end of the summer break, as the Championship will then return to Europe for round nine in Lohéac, France (2-3 September). The Norwegian claimed victory there in 2014, on his way to his first World title, while Kristoffersson finished first last year.