Monday | 06 Mar 2023

Victory for Veiby as Kristoffersson narrowly misses podium

Ole Christian Veiby produced a dominant drive to speed to victory in the second round of the 2023 Norwegian Rally Championship last weekend, as Johan Kristoffersson came close to a rostrum finish on his rallying return and – despite a few difficulties – Tommy Kristoffersson proved there is life left in the old dog yet...

Ole Christian Veiby produced a dominant drive to speed to victory in the second round of the 2023 Norwegian Rally Championship last weekend, as Johan Kristoffersson came close to a rostrum finish on his rallying return and – despite a few difficulties – Tommy Kristoffersson proved there is life left in the old dog yet...

Veiby has been no stranger to rallying this winter, most recently finishing second in the WRC2 category on WRC’s Rally Sweden. On the Numedalsrally and up against fellow front-runners including Frank Tore Larsen, Eyvind Brynildsen and Anders Grøndal, the Norwegian wasted no time at all in affirming his intentions, going fastest on the opening two stages behind the wheel of his Kristoffersson Motorsport Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to establish an early lead.

Co-driven by the experienced Jonas Andersson, Veiby won two further stages on his way to a commanding success – his third in recent weeks, and a result that maintained his flawless record on the event, dating back to 2017.

“It was our tactic to send a signal to the others straightaway,” the 26-year-old acknowledged, “and it was nice to have Jonas back in the car. The level is very high in the Norwegian Championship so it’s never a walk in the park, but everything worked perfectly – nice roads, an excellent car and a great tyre strategy.”

Kristoffersson – who engineered his Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS World RX team-mate on Rally Sweden – was making his first competitive rallying appearance in more than two years, back at the scene of his debut in the discipline in 2015.

The five-time FIA World Rallycross Champion posted the joint-quickest time on stage three to move up to second overall behind Veiby, ultimately going on to place fourth with co-driver Johan Johansson, just 11 seconds adrift of the podium.

My pace was what I could manage in a clean way,” the Swede reflected. “Having been out of this for such a long time, I couldn’t expect to fight for the top positions. Even if I had tried harder, I wouldn’t have gone any faster. To be able to do that, I would need more practice.

I took part to get into competition mode and get my body up-to-speed before the main season, and in that sense, it went absolutely as well as it could have done. With lots of driving, rallies are the perfect preparation and the most important thing for me was to reach the finish. I can’t be anything but satisfied.”

KMS’ World RX duo were not the Arvika-based outfit’s only representatives on the rally, as Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson similarly returned to the wheel alongside friend Per Andersson in a Volvo 140 – the same type of car with which he started out in rallying back in the early 1980s.

Ole Christian set the bar high from the ‘off’ and Johan impressed after being away from rallying for so long,” commented the three-time Swedish Rallycross Champion. “As for us, I think we did well. Ok, we didn’t keep up with the fastest in the class, but on the other hand, we had by far the oldest car in the field.

“We also had some problems with the pace notes. We tried to write our own which we had never done before and Per reads slowly enough that I had time to drive, but we didn’t have our own notes for SS2, so the night before we decided to take Johan’s. You could say they weren’t quite compatible. When Per had finished reading, I still had half the stage to go...”

Image Credit: Kristoffersson Motorsport (KMS)