WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Sweden
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Sun 11 Dec 2022

World RX Season Review: All Hail King Johan V

For Johan Kristoffersson’s rivals, the writing was on the wall from fairly early on. Winning the opening four rounds of the season earned the Swede a commanding 26-point championship lead. By the end of the campaign, he had almost doubled it.

For Johan Kristoffersson’s rivals, the writing was on the wall from fairly early on. Winning the opening four rounds of the season earned the Swede a commanding 26-point championship lead. By the end of the campaign, he had almost doubled it.

Although Kristoffersson and Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS came out-of-the-blocks in imperious fashion in World RX’s new electric era, the results sheets belied the fact that the multiple world champion frequently had to dig deep to battle his way back from a variety of issues or misfortunes to reach the top step of the rostrum.

In characteristic Kristoffersson style, he almost always succeeded; indeed, in a truly dominant display, the 34-year-old triumphed eight times out of ten. At Montalegre, he took the chequered flag first only to be demoted to fifth following a penalty for contact with Timmy Hansen, and in the opening leg of the Catalunya double-header, he again found himself penalised for a Turn One clash, this time with younger Hansen brother, Kevin.

Those, however, were the only blots on an otherwise exemplary copybook, as Kristoffersson rubber-stamped his place in history as the sport’s first electric world champion, adding a fifth Drivers’ crown to his glittering CV.

Behind him, a fierce scrap raged for the runner-up spoils for the majority of the season, with Timmy Hansen ultimately getting the verdict. The Swede was, on balance, Kristoffersson’s closest competitor again in 2022 and finished on the podium more often than not. Never one to shy away from a wheel-to-wheel duel, Hansen bounced back from the disappointment of being taken out of the lead in the final at Spa to claim a well-deserved 13th career victory in Barcelona.

Niclas Grönholm wound up third overall for the second consecutive campaign, overcoming a challenging start to World RX for the new Construction Equipment Dealer Team to pick up the pieces in Portugal when Kristoffersson was penalised. The Finn subsequently added a trio of runner-up results to his tally to climb the classification.

In his Kristoffersson Motorsport Volkswagen RX1e, rallycross returnee Ole Christian Veiby looked most likely to scoop second in the standings following a confident start to the season, but the Norwegian’s challenge was undone by persistent technical gremlins midway through, restricting him to fourth in the final reckoning.

Kevin Hansen was the other pretender to the championship runner-up laurels, and although the Swede collected silverware on several occasions, strategic errors arguably cost him at least one win. Disqualification from the final in Germany then dropped the Hansen World RX Team star from third to fifth in the title chase.

Gustav Bergström narrowly pipped Klara Andersson to ‘best rookie’ accolade. The KMS teenager stunned with his lightning-fast starts and a trio of top three finishes in Belgium and Spain as he betrayed no nerves in amongst such esteemed company, while in Portugal, CE Dealer Team ace Andersson became the first female driver ever to ascend the podium in the discipline’s top flight.

Guerlain Chicherit brought an icon back to life as he debuted the eagerly-anticipated Lancia Delta Evo-e in the Nürburgring season finale – unleashing an encouraging turn-of-speed in the process – on the same weekend that Anton Marklund marked his own World RX return, behind the wheel of the ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport SEAT Ibiza piloted earlier in the campaign by René Münnich.

The final championship table can be found here.