Monday 24 August 2020

"You couldn't ask for more" as Kristoffersson walks away as Championship leader.

Johan Kristoffersson made an impressive return to the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Höljes-Sweden after a one-year hiatus from the championship. 

The double World Champion won the season-opening round in wet conditions by 4.201 seconds from Mattias Ekstrom. 

On Sunday morning Johan went on to win Q1 in the second part of the double-header. Whilst Mattias Ekström challenged hard and won the second qualifying session, but Johan restored his advantage in Q3 and finished as the top qualifier for the second time in two days.

In the semi-finals, Kristoffersson had a smooth run to the checkered flag after a great launch off the line.

"The launches were generally very good, both on dry and wet," Kristoffersson said.

In the final, the Swede had an average launch with Robin Larsson getting marginally ahead into turn one, but due to a tight left and right Kristoffersson was able to keep ahead and from there tactics came into play.

"I lost some time there but managed to take the lead", the 31-year-old Swede said.

With an early joker lap strategy and clean air, Ekstrom was able to close the gap to Kristoffersson. The pair were split by 2.174 seconds on the final lap, with Johan throwing caution to the wind and attacking the joker lap hitting two-track markers in the process earning him an automatic five-second time penalty.

Whilst Ekstrom emerged a few tenths ahead of Kristoffersson. The Swede went on the attack in an attempt to get past at the velodrome section, and the last corner but finished 0.194 seconds behind his rival and later dropped to third after the time penalty was applied. 

"I gave it all I had, but if you take the fight you have to be prepared to lose sometimes," he adds.

The double World Champion walks away from the Höljes doubleheader leading the championship by 2 points. 

"You couldn't ask for more. This was a really challenging weekend," Kristoffersson said. "Great fun to be back! And an incredibly good start to the season."

From Höljes it's straight off to Kouvola in Finland for the next doubleheader this weekend.

"We'll stay in the competition bubble now. On Tuesday we're on the ferry. Six days from now we have to be ready again."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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