|PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media|
Super Swede Johan Kristoffersson claimed his second title in the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The defending champion claimed victory at the tenth round of the season, ahead of teammate Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud [EKS Audi Sport].
The Swede has been in incredible form this season, claiming a record nine wins, six top qualifier positions, and it has not come easy. He has had some struggles on a Saturday, but worked hard and got back up on the top step.
With two rounds to go, Johan Kristoffersson has enough reasons to celebrate and even sing.....
"I am invincible, unbreakable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion"
[Lyrics from: Carrie Underwood ft. Ludacris - The Champion]
Kristoffersson went to the land of opportunity with 17 reasons to remain focused, and all 17 were found it at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The race weekend, did not get off to the smoothest of starts, with Johan slotting into fifth and last place in Q1, but he worked his way up the standings.
Second place in the semi-final was enough for Johan to be crowned World RX champion.
Despite how happy he was with clinching the title, the Swede was already looking to put the icing on the cake with a win in the final. And he did it. A ninth win from 10 races was the perfect way to sign-off on a second world title.
“What an incredible feeling. The title is what I came here for and it’s so nice to have it," said Kristoffersson. "Obviously, there was some pressure in practice and qualifying and the championship was in my mind – even if I kept trying to push it to the back."
The Swede felt that Q2 and Q4 was an improvement, but he got stuck in traffic. He was happy with his Volkswagen Polo R Supercar. “The team had put such a good car beneath me, I knew it was possible to do this speed and, like it always does, gave me such good confidence."
|The 2018 FIA World Rallycross Champion|
PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Johan needed two points to secure a successful title defense which he had achieved, but he remained focused on the job at hand, and his desire to win.
“The semi was weird! I came through the last corner and I was a world champion, but still there was this race to come. I was so focused on the racing, there was no time to think to anything else," the Swede explains. "I made a good pass on [Mattias] Ekström in the semi and that was really important for the final."
Starting from the second row of the grid. Johan opted for an alternative strategy and jokered on the first lap. He was able to lead out of the joker lap ahead of Ekstrom. Solberg, his teammate took the joker on the second lap, and he emerged ahead of Johan. Johan then sneaked through for the lead when Solberg ran deep on the brakes.
“The final was going well and we were looking really good for the one-two when Petter slid a little bit wide in one corner," says Kristoffersson. "I took the gap and won. Of course, this is so special to win. To take the title like this is really special."
“You know I am so proud of what I’ve achieved this season. Winning last year was a massive thing for me, but to defend the title in the way that I have been able to is something very special. I have a lot of people to thank for this, including the whole PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team. We work so well together, everything works."
Kristoffersson has often turned his weekend around after receiving advice from teammate, Petter Solberg. Solberg is recovering from an illness that he was diagnosed with last year, but this weekend. The Norwegian has been a strong contender for the race win.
“And, of course, I have to thank my teammate Petter. This hasn’t been the easiest year for him, but this weekend he showed he is right at the top of his driving again and it’s so good to have him back to his best. I’ll be honest, I think Petter deserved the win this time.”
The Swede just cannot stop winning at the moment. Just eight days prior to claiming the World Rallycross Championship, he clinched the 2018 TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship title.
“I won the 2018 TCR Scandinavia title last week and now this. Incredible.”
Congratulations to the double FIA World Rallycross and 2018 TRC Scandinavian champion, Johan Kristoffersson!