Wednesday 16 September 2020

Kristoffersson aims to extend championship lead in Riga.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Johan Kristoffersson heads to Riga with a seventeen point advantage in the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship over Mattias Ekström, with one aim in mind - to extend the championship lead. 

The two-time World Champion has been nothing short of spectacular this season having claimed the converted top qualifiers spot in all four rounds thus far, and was only able to convert two pole position starts to victories. 

With a win in Höljes and one in Kouvola, he has amassed 111 points, compared to Mattias Ekström on 94 points and Niclas Grönholm's on 76 points. 

"Many points are up for grabs this weekend but I hope to keep the distance", Kristoffersson said.

With two doubleheaders, the first in Sweden followed by Finland two weeks ago, it has been a very demanding start to the season for all involved due to the compressed 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

"I was really exhausted coming home from Finland, but during a bike ride a couple of days later I found my way back to normal," he said. 

The Swede has not had it all his own way thus far despite a dominant performance in qualifying. In Kouvola (Finland), his Volkswagen Polo suffered from a mechanical issue, which the team was able to solve ahead of the semi-finals and final. 

To get ahead of the double world champion, Ekström and Grönholm had to capitalize on joker lap tactics and mistakes from the Swede to get ahead and ultimately win. 

While Kristoffersson rues these missed opportunities in Sweden and Finland, he is eager to get ahead of the game with a full analysis programme ahead of the Latvian doubleheader this weekend. 

"I always do a lot of analysis and this track gives you a great output if you do your job right," he said. "Lately, my office has looked like a surveillance center, with all the screens, servers, and hard drives."

"There are a lot of details in this track, with a racing character, but more technical than for example Lohéac. I look at my own performances, but also analyze my competitors. We all have different backgrounds, from rally and racing to rallycross, and every driver makes their own considerations. You have to pick the best options."

Johan has great memories from the Bikernieki circuit, where he secured his first championship title in 2017 and returned for another win in 2018. 

"17th September 2017, a day to be remembered, and coming back in 2018 was a special feeling as well," he adds.

Tommy Kristoffersson, the team boss of Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS is well aware of the importance of the weekend in Latvia and has bolstered the team with more personnel from Volkswagen Motorsport in a pursuit for the much desired third crown. A good result in Riga can put Johan in a great position for the rest of the season.

"We have boosted our team with even more knowledge from Volkswagen Motorsport, the best there is, which of course also includes our own guys, who have worked tirelessly so far," Timmy Kristoffersson said. "We are ready to fight!"

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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