Round nine of this year’s FIA World RX at Lohéac in France has awarded current Championship leader Johan Kristoffersson with yet another event win. The Swede put his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo on top of the podium, in front of local favourite and nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb (Peugeot 208) and reigning champion Mattias Ekström‘s Audi S1.
Let’s have a look at the action from the semi-finals and the final.
Kristoffersson took an immediate lead, followed by Ekström and team-mate Petter Solberg. Timo Scheider went for an immediate joker lap, which Solberg and Toomas Heikkinen took on the following lap. Ekström’s late joker strategy eventually dropped him one position, but still reached the final. Eventually, Ken Block never seemed competitive enough for a final spot, and closed in sixth.
Loeb grabbed an immediate lead, chased by team-mate Timmy Hansen and his younger brother Kevin, all closely followed by an ever aggressive Andreas Bakkerud. Kevin opted for an early joker, only to later be hit by a puncture. Audi’s Reinis Nitiss seemed to challenge for the podium, but eventually also fell victim to a puncture. A final-lap overtake saw Timmy move ahead of Loeb, with Bakkerud completing the podium. Kevin managed no better than fifth, in front of Nitiss and behind Janis Baumanis.
A blinding start put Kristoffersson into an immediate lead, followed by the Peugeots of Hansen and Loeb, while Solberg dropped down the order, going for an immediate joker lap together with Ekström. Hansen hit trouble and pulled out of the race on lap 4, leaving Loeb with the task of bringing a Peugeot to the podium. Solberg, meanwhile, had to deal with a puncture and finished dead last. At the end, Kristoffersson took the win from Loeb and Ekström, with Bakkerud fourth, Solberg fifth and a DNF for Hansen.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship returns on 15 September with round 10 in Riga, Latvia.