Sat 01 Jul 2023

Clean sweep for Kristoffersson on opening day

Johan Kristoffersson set the pace on the first full day of competition at Höljes in Sweden, as the home hero chases a third consecutive victory in 2023 at the ‘Magic Weekend’.

Five-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson set the pace on the first full day of competition at Höljes in Sweden today (1 July), as the home hero chases a third consecutive victory in 2023 at the ‘Magic Weekend’.

After narrowly pipping Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS team-mate Ole Christian Veiby to the fastest time in the morning SuperPole session – despite an uncharacteristic error – Kristoffersson then maintained that form with demonstration drives in the day’s two heat races to keep a clean sheet and secure the top spot in the intermediate classification.

Veiby chased Kristoffersson to the chequered flag in both contests to sit second overnight ahead of Kevin Hansen. The Swede battled back from a costly mistake in SuperPole that consigned him to the bottom of the order and an off-track excursion at the start of heat one that left him stuck in traffic. He soared up the standings into third overall courtesy of a clean run and the second-quickest time in heat two, less than half-a-second shy of Kristoffersson’s benchmark.

Timmy Hansen – the most recent World RX winner at Höljes two years ago – is tied on points with his younger brother and Hansen World RX Team stablemate, despite picking up a puncture in an attritional second heat.

Continuing the Noah’s Ark ‘two-by-two’ theme, Niclas Grönholm and Klara Andersson lie fifth and sixth respectively for CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment. The Finn spent most of his time staring frustratedly at the rear bumper of Timmy Hansen’s Peugeot 208 RX1e and had more pace than he was able to show, while fast female Andersson’s day was more one of highs and lows.

After encountering a driveshaft problem in free practice, the 23-year-old pipped Timo Scheider and Kevin Hansen to a race win in heat one prior to skating across the Turn One gravel trap at the start of heat two, dropping her to the back of the pack.

Guerlain Chicherit and Sébastien Loeb are next up in seventh and eighth respectively on what proved to be a difficult day for Special ONE Racing and the Lancia Delta Evo-e RX. Both drivers explored the first corner scenery in heat one and then came unstuck again in heat two, as Chicherit shot spectacularly across the grass in the final corner and Loeb stopped with power steering issues.

Scheider is close behind in ninth for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport after similarly pulling off in the second heat, with Gustav Bergström set to join the fray from heat three onwards tomorrow (Sunday, 2 July), having missed today’s action due to a clashing prior commitment.

Defending title-holder Viktor Vranckx leads the way in the FIA RX2e Championship as the Belgian bids to battle back from a tough start to the campaign in Norway two weeks ago. In the FIA European Rallycross Championship, Euro RX1 returnee Robin Larsson – champion in 2019 – won two of the three heats to top the table for JC Raceteknik, with reigning champion Anton Marklund and his predecessor Andreas Bakkerud in hot pursuit. Following a perfect day, Espen Isaksætre sent his rivals a clear message in Euro RX3: catch me – if you can!

Every moment of the on and off-track entertainment will continue to be shown live on RX+.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM