Johan Kristoffersson took firm control of the World RX Drivers' Championship with a win at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Sunday.
PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX
The two-time champion has had a weekend of ups and downs, but through bumper bashing adversity, he stood up and fought back. Despite being the top qualifier and winning his semi-final. The Swede did not have it easy with the resurgence of the Team Hansen and a strong Andreas Bakkerud.
He was involved in hard battles all Saturday, including a great fight in the final where Timmy Hansen challenged Johan through the first corner. Hansen went on to win ahead of the Swede who finished second.
The contact with Hansen at the first corner saw Johan shed some bodywork including his front bumper.
"That made the car a bit understeery, which is evident on this track. But I'm happy with 27 points. You don't lose the title on a performance like that," Kristoffersson said.
The draw for round eight on Sunday indicated an even tougher mission for the double world champion, and so it was. From difficult starting positions, he was only fifth overall after the three qualifying rounds, meaning he would start on the second row for the semi-finals.
"No matter what we did, we ended up behind someone. It was frustrating," said Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS boss Tommy Kristoffersson.
However, Johan turned his fortune around. With a very good launch in the semi-finals, he slotted in behind Mattias Ekström. He jokered on the third lap and managed to pass Ekström for a win.
"That joker strategy was absolutely perfect," Johan said.
Starting on the outside of Andreas Bakkerud on the front row of the final. He had another great launch and was a full car length clear before braking for turn one. However, there was contact in the first corner, which ended Bakkerud's race and despite crossing the finish line first. Johan was under investigation for the incident and was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the FIA Stewards.
"I was a bit worried but I would have been disappointed with another decision from the judges. Johan was ahead of Andreas with the length of a car," Tommy Kristoffersson said.
Having clinched his fourth win of the season, Johan has now taken a step closer to a third FIA World Rallycross Championship having increased his lead in the championship by 27 points. Should he outscore Mattias Ekström in Belgium, he would seal the title with a round to go.
"I'm so satisfied. I couldn't be happier than this," the championship leader added.
Written By - Junaid Samodien
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