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

Sat 03 Jun 2023

Kristoffersson overcomes the elements to pick up from where he left off

Johan Kristoffersson got his quest for a sixth FIA World Rallycross Championship crown underway in flawless fashion on the opening day of the 2023 campaign at World RX of Portugal today (3 June), proving to be a cut about his rivals come rain and shine at Montalegre.

Johan Kristoffersson got his quest for a sixth FIA World Rallycross Championship crown underway in flawless fashion on the opening day of the 2023 campaign at World RX of Portugal today (3 June), proving to be a cut about his rivals come rain and shine at Montalegre.

Kristoffersson kicked off his title defence by maintaining his unbeaten record in the single-lap SuperPole session, outpacing all of his adversaries to the tune of half-a-second behind the wheel of his all-electric Volkswagen RX1e, despite reckoning it was not a perfect run.

The Swede replicated that performance in heat one, which he won by a fraction under three seconds, before doubling up in heat two to tally a maximum score for the day.

“It’s been a good day for the team,” Kristoffersson acknowledged. “We were quick in testing, and while you never know until the green light comes on, the feeling was good. We tried to stay out of trouble today and steer clear of any mistakes or punctures.

“Changing conditions like this suit me pretty well, and it looks set to be tricky tomorrow as well. It’s nice to have a bit of a margin over the others and to have 100 points after day one, but things can change quickly in rallycross and there are no championship points handed out until tomorrow.”

Ole Christian Veiby made it a Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS one-two at the summit of the standings after a consistent performance at a circuit where last year he reached the rostrum on both days. Niclas Grönholm – who engaged in a crowd-pleasing duel with returning legend Sébastien Loeb in heat one – sits third for CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment, battling back from a SuperPole mistake to run Kristoffersson closest in heat two.

Timmy Hansen is fourth overnight for Hansen World RX Team ahead of Loeb, who claimed the Lancia Delta Evo-e RX’s maiden race win in World RX. Kevin Hansen occupies sixth spot in the second Peugeot 208 RX1e, with Klara Andersson seventh at the scene of her breakthrough podium finish last season, as the rising Swedish star underscored her progress by coming within a whisker of defeating nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Loeb in heat two.

Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS ace Gustav Bergstrom, Timo Scheider (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport) and Special One Racing’s Guerlain Chicherit ended the day placed eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

The defending champion similarly leads the way in Euro RX1, as SET Promotion’s Anton Marklund paced the first two heats to top the table from Enzo Ide, who triumphed in Portugal last year. Nyirád winner Jānis Baumanis lies third for RX Team Latvia, with Sivert Svardal bouncing back from a broken driveshaft in heat one and a differential issue in heat two to post his first fastest time in heat three and vault up to sixth in the classification.

In Euro RX3, championship leader Damian Litwinowicz heads a Volland Racing one-two-three-four from team-mates Nils Volland, João Ribeiro and Espen Isaksætre. Local hero Andre Sousa – the pace-setter in heat two – is an impressive best-of-the-rest in fifth.

The action continues tomorrow, live on RX+ from 09:00 local time (10:00 CET) with the first race at 10:40 (11:40 CET).