KRISTOFFERSSON TAKES FOUR WINS IN A ROW
Johan Kristoffersson made rallycross history today as the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver became the first driver to win four consecutive rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. It is also the Swede’s eighth podium in a row – another World RX record. Frenchman Sebastien Loeb finished second at the Bretagne World RX of France in front of a home crowd of 75,000 while reigning World RX Champion Mattias Ekstrom rounded out the podium.
In the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires, Frenchman Cyril Raymond was crowned the 2017 Champion on home soil. There is still one RX2 round remaining [Gumtree World RX of South Africa] but Raymond seals the title early as no driver can mathematically beat him on points. Belgium’s Guillaume De Ridder finished runner-up, while Russia’s Vasily Gryazin took the third podium spot in his best finish of the year.
“This is fantastic, I am so confident with the car and it is a result of the hard work from the team,” enthused Kristoffersson, who has extended his lead at the top of the World RX driver standings over team-mate Petter Solberg by 46 points. Kristoffersson was also awarded the Monster Energy Super Charge Award for his rapid start off the line in today’s final.
The 28-year-old, who took a lights-to-flag victory, added: “The weather was on my side and I am lucky that I have such an experienced team-mate like Petter who I can take advantage of – his information is invaluable. Of course it’s always easy when we have two drivers who are pushing and learning from each other but the team-work from everyone within PSRX Volkswagen Sweden is something that money can’t buy. We are now leading the teams’ standings by 112 points and of course that is the main priority but we continue to work hard and hopefully the driver wins will continue at the same time.”
Runner-up Loeb, who led Kristoffersson after day one’s two qualifying sessions, added: “Of course I would have preferred to win but it was a fantastic weekend. This time I felt that we were really in a fight with Volkswagen and that we could have finished on top of the podium. Johan [Kristoffersson] was so fast in the final but I had a good drive in conditions that were very tricky. Myself and Timmy were fighting at the top this weekend so it is looking good for the next couple of rounds. I will aim for a win in Latvia but in rallycross anything can happen and we still have some areas where we need to improve. Like Johan said, it is good to have a team-mate who you can learn from – Timmy and I study the data and work well together, he was unlucky in the final.”
Last year’s World RX Champion Ekstrom was back on the podium for the first time since Hockenheim RX. “It’s great to be back in the top three – as a team we can be happy and build on this good result,” enthused Ekstrom. “I am looking forward to both Riga and Buxtehude – we have tested at both tracks recently and hopefully we can be a bit closer to the top guys again. Small margins are very important in rallycross and hopefully we can nail qualifying next time and get back on pole for the semi-final.”
Hoonigan Racing Division’s Andreas Bakkerud finished fourth after a solid weekend in the Ford Focus RS RX Supercar. A front-right puncture for Solberg in today’s final thwarted the Norwegian’s progress and he eventually finished fifth. Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timmy Hansen won the second semi-final in order to start on the front row of today’s final alongside Kristoffersson. The Swede won Loheac RX two years ago but was unable to repeat the victory following a gearbox problem, forcing him to retire on lap four of the final.
America’s Ken Block finished seventh overall, the Hoonigan Racing Division driver having had an impressive weekend after lying third overnight after day one. Last year’s Euro RX champion Kevin Hansen finished eighth, while MJP Racing Team Austria’s Timo Scheider ended the event in ninth place. STARD’s Janis Baumanis rounded out the top ten, while EKS team-mates Topi Heikkinen and Reinis Nitiss finished 11th and 12th respectively.
In the penultimate round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX), Norwegian Thomas Bryntesson took a well-deserved victory to be best of the 35 Supercars competing in the fully-subscribed category. “This is the best result of my career,” beamed Bryntesson who finished runner-up in RX2’s precursor, RX Lites last year. Hungary’s Tamas Pal Kiss finished runner-up, while the 2016 French Rallycross Champion Firmin Cadeddu took the third podium spot. Sweden’s Anton Marklund finished fourth and continues to lead the standings by 18 points (despite a five-point penalty for receiving a third reprimand).
The battle for Super1600, meanwhile, heated up this weekend as last year’s Champion Krisztian Szabo took the win and moved one point ahead of Latvia’s Artis Baumanis in the overall standings. Frenchman Maximilien Eveno and Denmark’s Ulrik Linnemann finished second and third respectively.
Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: “Once again the Loheac RX organisers have put on a tremendous event. The passion from the French fans is extraordinary and despite the rain today, we still had 75,000 spectators visit Loheac this weekend. We had over 20 French drivers competing so there was plenty of support in the grandstands and it was fantastic to see a home driver finish on the podium across all four categories [World RX, Euro RX, Super1600 and RX2]. Sebastien [Loeb] has finished on the podium for the last four events so it was very fitting that he finished runner-up here this weekend in front of so many passionate French fans. Congratulations to Johan [Kristoffersson] who once again put on another strong display in his Volkswagen Polo to extend his lead in the standings.”
Round ten of the World Championship moves to Eastern Europe as World RX prepares for the second-ever Neste World RX of Latvia in downtown Riga (15-17 September).
Emmanuel Anne #29, loss of ten Championship points for presenting a turbocharger for sealing after initial scrutineering.
Andreas Bakkerud #13, five-second penalty for pushing and overtaking in Q3.
Toomas Heikkinen #57, reprimand for pushing car #96 in Q3.
Kevin Hansen #71, reprimand for causing a collision and overtaking in Q3
Ken Block #43, reprimand for pushing in semi-final one.
Jonathan Pailler #18, loss of ten Championship points for presenting a turbocharger for sealing after initial scrutineering.
Fabien Pailler #20, loss of ten Championship points for presenting a turbocharger for sealing after initial scrutineering
Nabil Karam #35, loss of ten Championship points for presenting a turbocharger for sealing after initial scrutineering.
James Grint #27, disqualified from Q1 for pushing another car and causing a collision.
Riku Tahko #12, reprimand for pushing car #27 in Q1.
Robin Larsson #4, 15-second penalty for pushing car #102 in Q2.
James Grint #27, fined €500 for absence of an FIA Technical Passport at initial scrutineering.
Tore Kristoffersen #32, disqualified from Q3 for causing a collision with car #56.
Anton Marklund #92, reprimand for pushing car #24 in Q3
Patrick Guillerme #83, reprimand for not respecting the car beside him in Q3.
Tore Kristoffersen #32, five-second penalty for pushing and overtaking in Q4
Alexander Hvaal #53, reprimand for pushing in Q4
Tommy Rustad #24, reprimand for pushing in Q4
Rokas Baciuska #14, €500 fine for not attending noise check at the correct time.
Timur Shigaboutdinov #89, reclassified last in Q1 for not respecting the car on the standard lap at the exit of the joker lap and causing a collision.
Jimmy Terpereau #37, fined €500 for "modifications which are not explicitly allowed by the present regulations” ("In pre-grid his car was found with a plastic film over both front wheels. When the film was removed and the car was pushed backwards, it was found that the tires left marks on the ground and were treated with some chemicals.”)
Jimmy Terpereau #37, reprimand for pushing car #17 in Q3.
Artis Baumanis #17, reprimand for pushing car #2 in Q3.
Rocas Baciuska #14, reclassified sixth in the final for pushing and overtaking.
Timur Shigabiutdinov #89, reprimand for pushing car #36 in semi-final two.
Timur Shigaboutdinov #89, reclassified last is semi-final two for pushing and overtaking
Josef Susta #16, reprimand for pushing and overtaking in semi-final one.
Tanner Whitten #11, disqualified from Q2 for being underweight.
William Nilsson #6, ten-second penalty for pushing car #26 in Q4.
Full results from Bretagne World RX of France can be found at the following link: http://www.fiaworldrallycross.com/results
Latest World RX Championship standings can be found on the following link: http://www.fiaworldrallycross.com/standingsShare this story on facebook Share this story on Twitter