Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Kristoffersson left emotional after clinching third title "with our own team".

PHOTO CREDIT: Morgan Carlsson
Johan Kristoffersson has been crowned a three-time FIA World Rallycross Champion following the cancellation of the season finale at the Nurburgring. 

With a healthy 27-point lead to Mattias Ekström with one round to go (in Germany). Johan has been declared the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Champion following the cancellation of the World RX of Germany earlier today. 

Kristoffersson aimed to end the season on a high in Germany, but due to the surge in coronavirus cases in Germany, the season has unfortunately come to a premature conclusion. The 2020 season was set to get underway in April earlier this year but was delayed due to the pandemic, and eventually got underway in August in Höljes, Sweden. 

As the condensed season progressed, it was clear that there would be more double-headers than standalone events, but something that was clear from the get-go was that Johan was hungry for success. He claimed a win at each event and only missed out on a podium in Finland (round 4). 

With news that the planned season was canceled, it meant the season ended with a bang in Barcelona where Johan came out on top with a win. There were four double-headers this season, with the Swede ending on top, just like 2017 and 2018. 

"The first time is obviously something special, and the second title is memorable as I won eleven of twelve rounds. Now, it is emotional because we did it with our own team, where everything started some years ago," Johan Kristoffersson said. 

The 31-year-old Swede admits that it has been a very odd season, and a rather stressful one with him trying to avoid getting infected, as COVID-19 grabbed hold of the world this year. 

"A lot of instructions and restrictions to follow and a bit stressful trying to stay away from the infection. Some people have it without showing symptoms so you never know," he said.

Ahead of the season, Kristoffersson used the RallyX Nordic as a warm-up event in his 2016 KMS built Polo GTI RX. However, for the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the Swede hired a 2018 Polo R Supercar from Volkswagen Motorsport. A car that was previously used by Petter Solberg in the 2018 season.

"We hardly believed in it ourselves, but we wouldn't take no for an answer and finally put all the pieces together," he adds.

Johan won four rounds of eight, three of them on Saturdays.

"Throughout the years I have vastly improved my ability to find the pace early on," Kristoffersson said. "You have to do your homework about the grip and style of driving, and so has the rest of the team."

His first win on a Sunday came in the final round of the season in Spain (Barcelona), also the most memorable round in Johan's view.

"The semi-final in Barcelona! We looked beaten all day but turned everything around and for the first time that weekend, I could enjoy the track properly, doing that ahead of Ekström. A great feeling!" he said.

With a third title this season, Johan is officially in a league of his own having broken records throughout his illustrious career. 

A noteworthy achievement was the mind-blowing 11 wins from 12 events in 2018, a feat that any driver could dream of, but with that being said. 

The 2020 World Rallycross Championship season has now come to a premature end, which leaves one question on the table. Will Johan return in 2021 for another title bout? 

"It's too early to say, but it would be great fun!," the three-time World Champion said.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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