Johan Kristoffersson dominated qualifying at the World RX of Finland by topping every session for the first time this year.
The two-time champion was fastest to the first corner in each of his three races and did not look back from there to go fastest and collected 16 championship points to extend his lead in the championship.
Mattias Ekstrom was his closest challenger once again but was further away from Kristofferssen compared to Höljes. Timmy Hansen was back on the pace after Team Hansen found a solution for their lack of speed last week but along with the rest of the field the defending champion remains far behind Kristoffersson.
Juha Rytkönen impressed on his World RX debut using his track knowledge of Kouvola to get a front row start for the semi-finals. Rytkönen beat the sister GRX car of Niclas Gronholm who suffered a puncture in the final race of qualifying to be fifth overall.
Robin Larsson had trouble with traffic all morning but got out in front in Q3 with a wild move around the outside at turn one. Minor contact with Timo Scheider did not hamper Larsson who showed strong pace despite not always having track position.
Further improvements were made to Andreas Bakkerud who stayed out of trouble in the Renault Megane to qualify seventh. However Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel teammate Liam Doran suffered yet more bad luck.
Doran made a mistake in the Q2 at turn six which dropped him down the order but suffered from another issue which caused brought him to a halt. This put him on the outside for the first race in Q3 and in an attempt to get track position, Doran threw the car into turn one only to make contact with Jere Kalliokoski.
The contact broke the rim on Doran’s car and he failed to finish the race whilst Kalliokoski went on to win that race to make the semi-finals at his home event.
Troubles for Anton Marklund meant he only just squeezed his way into the top 12. He limped home in Q1 and Q3, crucially finishing those races to not score a DNF and make the semi-finals.
Kevin Hansen, Timur Timerzyanov and Timo Scheider were the other drivers to make the semi-finals which will begin at 14:00 UK time.
World RX of Finland qualifying results (Top 12 qualify for semi-finals)
- Johan Kristoffersson
- Mattias Ekstrom
- Timmy Hansen
- Juha Rytkönen
- Niclas Gronholm
- Robin Larsson
- Andreas Bakkerud
- Kevin Hansen
- Timur Timerzyanov
- Timo Scheider
- Anton Marklund
- Jere Kalliokoski
- Tamas Karai
- Guerlain Chicherit
- Jani Paasonen
- Rene Munnich
- Liam Doran
- Kevin Abbring
- Atro Määttä
(Odds go to semi-final one, evens to semi-final two)
Catch all the reaction from the World RX of Finland right here at The Checkered Flag.