DOMINANT KRISTOFFERSSON COMPLETES CLEAN SWEEP IN HELL
Johan Kristoffersson has tightened his grip on the 2018 World Rallycross Championship lead after completing a dominant 'clean sweep' in the World RX of Norway for his fourth win of the year.
The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver has been in imperious form throughout the weekend, scoring a ‘clean sweep’ with wins in each of the four qualifying races, his semi-final and the final. It is only the second time in World RX history a driver has secured a maximum points’ haul following Andreas Bakkerud’s feat in Norway in two years ago.
Starting from pole position, Kristoffersson kept his nose out front on the run to the first corner as team-mate Petter Solberg followed, while Mattias Ekstrom and Kevin Hansen took to the joker.
Timmy Hansen and home hope Bakkerud made contact, sending the Peugeot sideways across the bow of the Audi and prompting both to skate across the inside of the first corner. Very nearly collecting Kristoffersson as he entered the bend, Hansen and Bakkerud came to a halt to untangle themselves, allowing their rivals to break away.
From here it was a race on the timesheets between Kristoffersson and Ekstrom, the gap ebbing and flowing until the defending champion pulled a margin heading into a final lap joker to come out comfortably in front of his countryman.
Despite missing out on an upset, Ekstrom’s second place finish is his first podium of the season for EKS Audi Sport, while Solberg ensured the Norwegian flag would fly on the rostrum at home with a composed run to third place.
Making his second straight final appearance, Kevin Hansen finished as the top Team Peugeot Total driver in fourth for his best result since Germany 2016, ahead of his brother Timmy who recovered from his earlier off to secure fifth position from a disappointed Bakkerud.
Ahead of the all-Scandinavian final, Sebastien Loeb was a notable omission after finishing fourth in his semi-final. The Frenchman hasn’t been off the podium this season, but in a blow to his title hopes he couldn’t play himself into contention in a competitive semi-final against Kristoffersson, Solberg and Bakkerud.
His misfortune compared with Kristoffersson’s perfect weekend has seen the margin between the two drivers swell to 31 points, with Solberg now just two points shy of Loeb in third place. Bakkerud and Ekstrom follow in third and fourth 38 and 41 points adrift of the lead.
World RX of Norway Results HERE
Full Championship standings after 5 rounds of 12 HERE