Johan Kristoffersson wins in Holjes

by Megan Cantle
Johan takes victory in Sweden

Johan Kristoffersson put on another dominant display today in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Holjes, Sweden, taking his tally of wins this season to an impressive five out of six.

Kristoffersson led the overnight standings after taking two wins in Saturday’s qualifying races. He was unable to maintain a perfect clean sheet throughout Sunday’s running, with his team-mate Petter Solberg taking a win in one of the races.

There was drama in the semi-finals, as Solberg was forced to retire his car from the lead due to a mechanical issue, meaning that he was unable to progress to the finals despite his strong performance earlier in the day. Semi-final one, therefore, went the way of Kristoffersson, with Timmy Hansen and Mattias Ekstrom coming in second and third. Andreas Bakkerud won semi-final two, and was closely followed by Kevin Hansen (reaching the final for the third time in a row) and Jerome Grosset-Janin.

Kristoffersson was on pole for the final, and in his typical style, had a relatively untroubled race to take the chequered flag. However, the drama was unfolding behind him, with it bubbling under the surface for the majority of the race until the final lap. Kristoffersson and compatriot Timmy Hansen occupied first and second but left their joker until the final lap, and whilst the championship leader got out cleanly ahead of the charging pair of EKS Audi Sport drivers, Hansen could only get out just ahead of them. This left him vulnerable, and sure enough, Bakkerud took no time in attacking for second place. The Norweigan made a great overtake to get past, but when team-mate Ekstrom tried to do the same, it ended in significant contact between him and Hansen – with the latter being punted off track and out of the race.

Positions remained unchanged until the end of the race, but it was immediately announced that the contact on the final lap was being investigated by the stewards. Shortly after, it was decided that Ekstrom’s move had been ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’, and thus he was demoted to sixth place. This, therefore, promoted Grosset-Janin to third for his and GC Kompetitions first podium in the championship.

The results from today leave Kristoffersson forty points clear at the top of the table, with Bakkerud sitting in second after taking his third podium of the year.

 

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