Pictures courtesy: www.rallycrossrx.com
Kristoffersson has won the opening round of the World Rallycross Championship
in Portugal for the newly entered Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo RX Supercar. Reigning
World RX Champion, Petter Solberg finished 2nd for PSRX while Timmy
Hansen finished 3rd for Team Peugeot-Hansen.
On a weekend
where the weather changed at the snap of a finger at the Montelegre RX track in
Portugal, both winners of their respective semi-final rounds, Solberg and
Kristoffersson lined up on the front row for the six-car Supercar Final. Behind
them were Timmy Hansen, Andreas Bakkerud, Davy Jeanney and PG Andersson.
Off the line
bolted Kristoffersson and was awarded with the first Monster Energy Super
Charge Award of the year. The weekend showed that taking the joker on the first
lap was key to victory, all but Solberg and Hansen, dived into the Joker lap
while the wet conditions left all the cars to slip and slide. Solberg and
Hansen tried their best to maintain the 3 seconds over the Jokered pack at the
back, Hansen dived into the Joker on the 4th lap, while unwell
Solberg, who was running a high fever managed to joker on the 5th
lap of the 6 lap race. Unfortunately for the reigning World RX champion,
Kristoffersson was not far behind and Solberg who at the end of his joker was
behind Kistoffersson’s Volkswagen Polo though Solberg did manage to come out
ahead of Hansen who was struggling as he lost his power steering mid race.
Kristoffersson crossed the finish line first with Solberg charging in 2nd
behind him and Hansen held on to his 3rd place in front of his new
team mate Davy Jeaney inches behind him.
Andreas Bakkerud completed the top 5 for the
weekend for Ford Olsberg MSE team. PG Andersson did not finish the race due to
a collision with Bakkerud which damaged his car enough to for him to retire
from the race.
“I am so, so happy,” beamed Kristoffersson, “I
nearly stalled the engine on the start line and the whole circuit was unbelievably
slippery but I drove a clean race. I couldn’t see out of the side windows so it
was more about survival than actual racing. I want to say a big, big thank you
to Volkswagen Sweden and to my entire team who have done a fantastic job over
the past few months. They have worked very hard to build this car which has
been working well all weekend. It’s the
best possible start to the season.”
Second placed Solberg, who won last year’s
race in Portugal, added: “It is very important to have a good first race -
consistency is as important as winning races in rally cross. I’ve not been
feeling well this weekend and then I lost my gear lever in the final so it
certainly wasn’t easy but I’m happy with second. Johan [Kristoffersson] has
done a very good job this weekend.”
“The final was like driving on soap, there was
no grip and then I lost my power steering – my arms are so tired now,”
explained 22-year-old Hansen. “I’m
really happy with the car, it’s very quick but it’s new so we need to make some
small changes before our next race.
Overall, it’s been a great start to the year and I’m really happy that
both I and Davy got to the final.”
Szabo, a former European Autocross Champion, took the first Super1600 victory
of the season at the wheel of his Skoda Fabia. Frenchman Andrea Dubourg secured
the runners-up spot while Latvia’s Janis Baumanis took third.
Eriksson, 2014 RX Lites Champion picked up where he left off last season with
four heat wins and a victory in the all-important final making it a perfect
weekend for Ericksson. Kevin Hansen – younger brother of Timmy - finished
second, while Joachim Hvaal took the third podium spot. Former European Rally
Champion Krzysztof Holowczyc finished fifth on his rallycross debut.
The RX party
now moves to Hockenheim, Germany for Round 2 to be held from May 1-3, 2015. The
final races of every Sunday of every race weekend will be broadcasted live on www.rallycrossrx.com/livestream
for free every race weekend.
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