Two weeks on from clinching his fifth FIA World Rallycross Championship crown, Johan Kristoffersson began his quest to sign off the season in style with a commanding performance on the opening day of action at World RX of Germany today (12 November).
After finding himself pipped to the top spot in free practice by the narrow margin of eight thousandths-of-a-second by arch-rival Timmy Hansen, Kristoffersson delivered his response in the single-lap SuperPole shootout – setting the pace by more than eight tenths-of-a-second.
The Kristoffersson Motorsport star then overhauled the faster-starting Hansen with a last lap joker undercut in heat one, before having to give best to Kevin Hansen and his own KMS team-mate Ole Christian Veiby in heat two – when he additionally incurred a five-second penalty for cutting a corner, which he quipped was ‘not the highlight’ of his career.
Kristoffersson bounced back with the fastest time in heat three to end the day ensconced at the summit of the intermediate ranking – putting himself in prime position for an eighth victory of the 2022 campaign at the Nürburgring tomorrow.
“The track is very different compared to last year – I was surprised by how fast it is when it’s completely dry and there was a lot of sideways action,” the 33-year-old enthused. “It was nice to be fastest in SuperPole and make it ten-out-of-ten – that was the biggest goal this weekend. Starting from P1 here seems to be very tricky, but we managed to make some improvements for the last heat, so that’s a good sign for tomorrow...”
The elder Hansen brother was consistently Kristoffersson’s closest competitor in second, with younger sibling Kevin just behind in third – surviving a clash with Guerlain Chicherit in heat two that left the Lancia buried in the barriers and spelt an early end to the Frenchman’s day.
Veiby sits fourth – outperforming Kristoffersson in heat two but conceding ground with a spin in heat three after clipping the tyre stack at joker entry.
Klara Andersson is fifth – winning the first race of her fledgling World RX career courtesy of a gritty drive in the last heat of the day – ahead of Construction Equipment Dealer Team stablemate Niclas Grönholm, who ground to a halt out on-track in the second heat. Gustav Bergström, Anton Marklund – on his debut for ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport – and the unfortunate Chicherit complete the order.
Jan Černý was on dominant form in the FIA European Rallycross Championship’s Euro RX3 category, setting the pace in all three heats in his little Škoda Citigo to tally a maximum 150-point score, as the Czech ace chases the runner-up spot in the title table.
Series newcomer Jens Hvaal impressed all day, with a strong turn-of-speed leaving the Norwegian second in the standings. Champion Kobe Pauwels battled back from a slow start to climb to third.
Tomorrow’s competitive action will begin with the progression races at 13:20 CET. All of the entertainment will be broadcast live on RX+, providing access to every race live or on-demand on any device with premium production, hundreds of hours of fast-paced content and exclusive behind-the-scenes insights, plus interviews, in-depth expert analysis, drone shots, on-board cameras, highlights and much more.
RX+ event passes are available for €7,99, with the full season pass now reduced to just €29,99. More information can be found here.
INTERMEDIATE RANKING: WORLD RX
1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) Kristoffersson Motorsport 140 pts
2. Timmy HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team 132 pts
3. Kevin HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team 129 pts
4. Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Kristoffersson Motorsport 121 pts
5. Klara ANDERSSON (SWE) Construction Equipment Dealer Team 118 pts
Full results for all classes can be found here.