Sat 06 Jul 2024

Kristoffersson denies Andersson fairytale finish on stellar Saturday in Sweden

World RX’s ‘Battle of Technologies’ is living up to its pre-season billing at Höljes’ ‘Magic Weekend’...

The 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship campaign has raced into life in breathtaking fashion as the ‘Battle of Technologies’ got underway at Ferratum World RX of Sweden today (6 July), delivering outstanding on-track action and so very nearly a fairytale finish for home hero Klara Andersson.


Andersson has made rapid progress since stepping up to World Championship level from the national scene two years ago, demonstrating her potential by ascending the podium in Portugal in 2022 and then topping a heat session in the 2023 season finale in Hong Kong.


After winning both of her heat races at Höljes behind the wheel of her electric PWR RX1e, the CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment star defeated 2019 world champion Timmy Hansen in the pair’s semi-final to earn pole position for the first time for the all-important final.


The only cloud on her horizon was the fact that pulling up alongside her on the grid in his sustainably-fuelled, combustion-powered VW Polo KMS 601 RX was Johan Kristoffersson – the most successful driver in World RX history with no fewer than 55 victories and six titles to his name. Make that 56 wins now, as the Swede out-dragged Andersson away from the start-line and thereafter edged away to triumph by a shade over two seconds.


Kristoffersson’s run to the final had not been entirely without drama. He benefitted from a late technical issue for Niclas Grönholm to score maximum points in heat one, and took the chequered flag first again in heat two only to subsequently be demoted to third due to contact with Grönholm that sent the Finn into a spectacular 360-degree spin.


From there on, however, the KMS - Horse Powertrain ace was flawless, and after snatching the advantage away from Andersson when the lights went out in the final, he punched in five perfect laps to get his quest for a seventh career crown off to a superb start.


“I’m very happy,” acknowledged Kristoffersson. “When it came down to the wire, I got a very good launch and in clear air, the VW is really fast. I felt very comfortable, had a good rhythm and made no mistakes. Big thanks to the team – everybody has put in a huge effort to get this car to the grid.”


Despite the disappointment of narrowly missing out on a dream result, Andersson was justifiably delighted with the runner-up spoils – her finest result in World RX to-date, leaving her tied at the summit of the championship standings with Kristoffersson.


“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved,” the 24-year-old enthused. “The team worked incredibly hard over the winter to put together an amazing package and I felt confident from free practice. I tried to stay with Johan in the final, but he’s champion for a reason. I didn’t quite have it all today, but I’m super happy anyway.”


Gustav Bergström rounded out the rostrum in third for Kristoffersson Motorsport, with Hansen World RX Team’s Timmy Hansen fending off Ole Christian Veiby (KMS - Horse Powertrain) and younger brother Kevin Hansen for fourth, as heats pace-setter Grönholm narrowly failed to progress to the final.


Nils Andersson holds the overnight lead in RX2e, with Patrick O’Donovan and João Ribeiro topping the table in Euro RX1 and Euro RX3 respectively.


The ‘Magic Weekend’ continues on Sunday with round two of the World RX campaign and the conclusion of the support series battles. The racing will be broadcast live on Rally.TV from 10:15 CEST.


FINAL RESULT: WORLD RX

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) KMS - Horse Powertrain (ICE) 5 laps
2. Klara ANDERSSON (SWE) CE Dealer Team (EV) + 2.159s
3. Gustav BERGSTRÖM (SWE) Kristoffersson Motorsport (EV) + 3.428s
4. Timmy HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team (EV) + 4.170s
5. Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) KMS - Horse Powertrain (ICE) + 5.032s
6. Kevin HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team (EV) + 4.815s*

* +1 place penalty

Full results for all categories can be found here.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM