Saturday, 29 August 2020

Kristoffersson thrilled with dominate win in Finland.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX Media
Johan Kristoffersson made it look easy on his way to a clean sweep in round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Kouvola, Finland. 

It was the perfect day for the double World Championship who won every qualifying session taking the TQ (top qualifier) in the Intermediate Classification, the semi-finals and finals to extend his lead in the Drivers' Championship. 

"30 points for the 14th time in my career," Kristoffersson said.

Clean sweeps are hard to come by in World RX, with only three drivers only claiming a clean sweep in the history of the championship. Today, Johan has become the only driver to claim two clean sweeps in the championships history, with Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud on one a piece. 

"The first time that has happened. To come here, new to this circuit, and with no teammate to share data with, and still find ways to go even faster, that feels great," he said.

A clean sweep is not all, the Swede clinched his 22nd win the World Championship, no other driver claimed as many wins as he has to date. 

Johan lead standings by two points heading into round three in Kouvola, ahead of 2016 champion Mattias Ekstrom, but with an electrical issue Ekstrom was forced to retire in the semi-finals thus allowing Kristoffersson to extended his lead in the championship by 16 points. 

"Incredible! I have repeatedly said that you need to score points on an even basis this year. That was in my mind for the whole day, all the way through the final," he said. 

Due to the tight nature of the Kouvola track, starts are key to success, and today Johan put on a masterclass in his Volkswagen Polo R Supercar.

"I practiced starting procedures a lot in '17 and '18 and I would like to say that they are just as good now as at the end of 2018," he said.

In the final Johan had an unfamiliar driver on his left side, the great surprise Juha Rytkönen (GRX SET). Whilst Kristoffersson got off to a flying start, he had the Finn right behind in the opening laps, but was left quite impressed by Juha's debut.

"It's very impressive of him to step in here as a newcomer and deliver like he did, but that is also a message to the rest of us that we always need to be on our toes," the double world champion said.

Still striving for excellence, Johan found a good rhythm and tried some different lines around Kouvola, and went on to win the final by 3.110 seconds.

" The final was very, very good. I had a very good start, like I had all day and from there on, the track was similar to how it was in the semi-final, so we could adapt a bit and do some small changes for the final which worked out well," he said. "I found the rhythm in my driving and could try some different lines." 

Tommy Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS boss, was quite satisfied with his son's performance today.

"Already when we came here we thought the track would suit Johan and the car very well," he said. "It's very technically demanding, a bit like gymkhana, where Johan has been successful."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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