Wed 10 Jul 2024

I’ve never felt so strong, says podium star Andersson

Klara Andersson is no stranger to breaking new ground in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, and after challenging Johan Kristoffersson for victory in the 2024 season curtain-raiser on home soil at Höljes last weekend (6-7 July), she has warned her rivals she has ‘never felt so strong’.

Having reached the rostrum as a rookie in Portugal in 2022 and topped a heat session for the first time in Hong Kong last year, Andersson entered her third campaign at the international pinnacle of the dual-surface discipline bidding to further build upon that encouraging progress.

In front of a crowd of more than 25,000 enthusiastic fans at the sport’s ‘Magic Weekend’, the Swede achieved that in style as World RX’s eagerly-anticipated ‘Battle of Technologies’ between electric and sustainably-fuelled internal combustion cars got underway.

Wins in both of her heat races on Saturday propelled Andersson to the summit of the intermediate standings, from where she outpaced both Hansen brothers and her own CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment stablemate Niclas Grönholm to prevail in the first semi-final.

That earned the 24-year-old pole position for the final, when it was only a slightly hesitant launch that cost her the advantage to Kristoffersson. Despite that disappointment, she continued to keep her countryman honest throughout, lapping barely a tenth-of-a-second adrift of the Volkswagen driver’s benchmark as she confidently led the electric charge on her way to securing the runner-up spoils.

While she narrowly missed out on a second consecutive final appearance 24 hours later – betraying her lack of experience in wet conditions – Andersson nonetheless professed herself justifiably proud of a superb start to the campaign that leaves her sitting joint-second in the championship classification.

“It was a fun, rewarding and educative season-opener,” the Löberöd native reflected. “To make history in front of 25,000 people at my home event is something I will never forget. My first time at the ‘Magic Weekend’ was back when I was 12-years-old. That weekend was when my dream of competing in rallycross began, and it means the world to me to be able to do what I love – I’m grateful for it every day and every lap.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved on Saturday. I’ve never felt so strong in the World Championship. That was my strongest day so far in World RX, I would say – almost a clean sweep. Everything just came together and I felt quick right from first practice, and to finish on the podium was really nice. If there’s one place you want to have a really good weekend, it’s Höljes.

“The conditions were pretty tricky on Sunday and I lacked a bit of experience in the wet in order to fight for the top again – it was only my second time driving this car in the rain. Still, we got some more good points in the bag and I’m very pleased overall, especially for the team’s performance. It looks like we are in for a tough and exciting season!”

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