Monday 26 November 2018

REVIEW: The Super Swede Kristoffersson's record breaking run continues in South Africa.

The 2018 Gumtree World RX of South Africa FINAL
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien
The 2017/18 FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson claimed victory at the World RX of South Africa, in the championships final round in Cape Town.

Kristoffersson claimed victory in Cape Town last year, and came back fighting after a challenging Q1 session finishing 16th overall due to a turbo issue. 

The Swede hit back after Q2 winning the session. He later claimed two of the quickest qualifying times to claim his eighth TQ (top qualifier) of the season. Kristoffersson claimed victory in the semi-final, but no one could come close to his superb speed.

After topping the semi-final round, Johan started on pole with his teammate Solberg alongside him on the front row. Kristoffersson had a good start and took the lead into Turn 1... He went on to cement himself in the record books with his 11th win of the 12 round championship. 

“I have to say today is quite emotional. This season comes to an end and it’s been a fantastic year for me, really the world championship title sinks in a little bit more now. I really have to thank this great team, they have done everything for me,” said Kristoffersson. “Without them it wouldn’t be possible. I have said that so many times since my first victory in Belgium 2017, but this one meant a lot to me.”

Mattias Ekstrom [EKS Audi Sport] started on the third row of the grid for the final and slotted into second in the race with a strong start. With the second place finish, the Swede secured second in the World RX Drivers’ Championship

The Swede was pleased to finish his year and World RX career on the podium. “We actually came to Cape Town to win the race. We were fast throughout the entire weekend, but somehow didn’t get into the right rhythm,” said Ekstrom. “In the final things finally fell into place. Second is a fantastic result and a good end to a long season, in which Johan was always a small step ahead. Even so, I’m extremely proud of the entire team: We extracted the maximum from our resources. It was also a fabulous year with Andreas.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien
Sebastien Loeb [Team Peugeot Total] completed his third full World RX season with another podium and finished ahead of team mate Kevin Hansen in the final.

“The car was good here, we improved it all year and since the middle of the season we have changed a lot of things,” said Loeb. “I think we had good performance, we tried to improve some details and here in the last race were really competitive. I had a good weekend and finally to be third overall, I’m happy.”

Petter Solberg [PSRX Volkswagen Sweden] won the Monster Energy Supercharge Award for having the fastest reaction time at the start of the final, but retired on the second lap after a spin involving Timmy Hansen

Timmy Hansen [Team Peugeot Total] qualified for the final and started alongside teammate Loeb on the second row of the grid for the final but retired after contact with Solberg’s car.

The highest of the privateer teams is GC Kompetition’s Anton Marklund who finished fourth in the semi-finals and didn’t progress to the final. He was classified in eighth place.

Janis Baumanis slotted into ninth place in the overall classification, with Timo Scheider in tenth, Timur Timerzyanov in 11th and Guerlain Chicherit in 12th overall.

Oliver Bennett clipping the Pylons and sliding towards the barriers.
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien.
GRX’s Niclas Gronholm failed to achieve his goal of securing a place in the final and finished in 13 overall, followed by Olsbergs MSE’s Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson in 14th and 15th respectively. Rene Munnich slotted into 16th.

Gregoire Demoustier [Sebastien Loeb Racing’s] finished his first full World RX season in 17th overall in South Africa, while Xite Racing's Oliver Bennett was not classified after a bad weekend. 

The Brit failed to finish in Q1 and Q2. He then posted the slowest time in Q3 after clipping a few yellow pylons and he went into the barrier at the exit of Turn 6 (joker lap). Due to the damage sustained, he failed to start in the fourth and final qualifying round. 

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