Johan Kristoffersson has extended his record of number of wins in one season as he secured victory at the 2017 World RX of South Africa, the final round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
The PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden driver made his intentions clear during Qualifying as he went second fastest in Q1 and Q4 as well as going fastest in Q4. After winning Semi-Final One, Kristoffersson lined up in pole position for the Supercar Final.
Having won Semi-Final Two, Timmy Hansen lined up on the front row, the Team Peugeot-Hansen driver having been fastest in both Q1 and Q4. The middle row consisted of former and current DTM drivers with Mattias Ekstrom alongside Timo Scheider in his second Supercar Final of the year.
The back row of the grid saw Double FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg line up alongside Kevin Hansen in the 2016 Peugeot 208 WRX for his second Supercar Final of 2017. Ken Block originally finished second in SF2 but was disqualified for being underweight due to the damage his Ford Focus RS RX had suffered.
The first turn at the Killarney International Circuit has been the scene of some interesting starts this weekend and the Final was no exception. Kristoffersson took the lead as first Solberg and Ekstrom made contact before Ekstrom also made contact with Timmy Hansen as well.
Unfortunately 2016 FIA European Rallycross Champion Kevin Hansen did not make the first turn and retired on the spot.
As Kristoffersson moved into a lead that he would not lose, the race hotted up as Solberg pursued Ekstrom. In order to stay in second place in the Drivers Championship, Solberg needed to finish in second place with Ekstrom finishing in sixth but that was looking a difficult task.
Hansen took his joker on the first lap, electing to make up ground as others ahead took their jokers. Scheider was the first to fall behind Hansen as took his joker on the second lap and fell to the rear of the pack behind the Swedish driver. Solberg decided to try and gain ground on Ekstrom as he moved to take his joker on lap three of the race.
The Joker lap strategy was a lot more spread out in this Final compared to other Supercar Finals during 2017. Kristoffersson built his lead as Ekstrom elected to to his joker on lap four and as he exited, the Swedish driver made contact with Solberg for what was the second time over the weekend but came out ahead by the line.
By lap five the running order was Kristoffersson leading from Hansen whilst Ekstrom held onto third place ahead of Solberg with Scheider holding fifth in the MJP Racing Team Austria Ford Fiesta.
Solberg continued to put pressure on the EKSRX Audi during the remaining laps but he was unable to get a pass on the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion despite his efforts.
With his joker completed on the last lap, Johan Kristoffersson the win ahead of Timmy Hansen whilst Mattias Ekstrom completed the podium and secured second place in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Drivers Championship. Petter Solberg finished in fourth place whilst Timo Scheider took fifth place as the last runner on track.
With the 2017 World RX season completed, Johan Kristoffersson ends the year with a sixty point gap over Mattias Ekstrom with Petter Solberg in third place a further five points back.
PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden are already confirmed as champions for 2017 over second placed Team Peugeot-Hansen. EKSRX seal third place in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship a further thirty-four points back.
The 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship gets underway with the 2018 World RX of Spain at the Barcelona Grand Prix circuit, taking place on 14 – 15 April.