SEASON REVIEW: VOLKSWAGEN RX SWEDEN
Team: Volkswagen RX Sweden
Car: Volkswagen Polo
Teams’ Championship Position: 3rd (316 points)
Volkswagen Team Sweden and Marklund Motorsport joined forces for 2016 to form Volkswagen RX Sweden in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, running a pair of Volkswagen Polo Supercars for Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund.
The team hit the ground running with the well-developed cars, and Kristoffersson beat Sebastien Loeb in the first semi-final at the opening round of the Championship in Portugal, before battling with reigning Champion Petter Solberg for the lead of the final, only to be slowed by a broken driveshaft after contact. The Swede then led the second semi-final at round two, Hockenheim, and amazingly held onto the lead for most of the race despite a rear puncture, eventually finishing fourth.
Both Kristoffersson and Marklund made the final at Mettet in Belgium, Marklund pulling off a brave move at the first corner to slide around the outside of the pack to move up the order and would finish fourth, while Kristoffersson was slowed with engine troubles. The pair both made the final again at round six, Holjes in Sweden, Marklund finishing fourth with Kristoffersson fifth and again in Canada, where Kristoffersson scored the team’s first podium of the year in third, with Marklund sixth.
At the next round, Loheac in France, Kristofferson used his experience of mixed weather conditions to win his semi-final and the final, his first victory since Portugal 2015. He then qualified top of the Intermediate Classification at the new round of the Championship in Latvia two events later and finished fifth in the final, and also made the final in Germany at the penultimate round while still in mathematical contention for the Drivers’ title, but was slowed by problems.
The final round in Argentina was all about a fight between Volkswagen RX Sweden and Hoonigan Racing Division for third in the Teams’ Championship, with Kristoffersson involved in a battle for second in the Drivers’ standings. Fourth in semi-final two for Marklund helped the team to secure a place on the Teams’ podium. Semi-final victory and second in the final left Kristoffersson second in the Drivers’ points, one place higher than in 2015, just one point ahead of Andreas Bakkerud and Solberg after the 12 rounds.
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