Saturday 17 September 2022

Kristoffersson bounces back to claim 31st career victory in Portugal.

The tight turn one squeeze with Johan Kristoffersson on the inside line.
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Johan Kristoffersson claimed a four straight win in the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Lusorecursos World RX of Portugal today – but the Swede had to produce another remarkable fightback to maintain his unbeaten run in 2022.

The four-time world champion kicked off the weekend in style claiming 'Super Pole' by 0.670 seconds ahead of team-mate Ole Christian Veiby, with their nearest rivals - the Hansen brothers' somewhat off the pace due too running experimental set-ups. 

He's pace was exceptional throughout the afternoon claiming both heat wins, as team-mate Veiby brushed the wall in the joker (in heat one) and picked up a puncture sending him into the concrete barriers immediately after the checkered flag. 

The damage to his Volkswagen RX1e ruled the Norwegian out of heat two and the progression race, as the FIA and Kriesel conducted the necessary safety tests. 

From pole position in the first progression race, Johan had a mighty start an lead into turn one where he'd stay for the first few laps, but later picked up a double puncture on the rear axle leading to a DNF. 

After completing the safety inspections, the FIA gave the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS the all-clear for Veiby to participate in the semi-finals. Having felt aggrieved by the earlier situation, he unleashed the raw pace he had show in the early sessions to win he's respective semi-final. 

The Hansen brothers' held pole and second position for the second semi-final, but with an alternate strategy, Kristoffersson lined up on the far right (fifth slot) with an aim to slingshot from the outside in... having taken an early joker lap. He put the hammer down and managed to overtake both of the Peugeot drivers on win the second semi.

Despite some light contact with a fast-starting Kevin Hansen – who tried to sweep around the outside into the lead having starting from 5th place on the grid – the two Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS drivers held their own and led the field at the exit of Turn One, and thereafter they would not be overtaken. 

Kristoffersson took the checkered flag to claim his 31st career victory, a result that would see him further extend his championship lead to 26 points over team-mate Veiby/Timmy Hansen. 

"Absolutely fantastic! This was not the easiest of days for us," Kristoffersson said. "I had a great launch in the semifinal and then I made a super joker lap."

"Both Ole Christian and I had to fight back, which thankfully we managed to do. I was a bit worried after getting the punctures in the progression race, and that was on my mind in the final, so I was trying to play it as safe as I could."

Timmy Hansen rounded out the podium in third after pulling off a superb pass on Gustav Bergstrom, and setting the fastest lap in the final. Younger brother Kevin finished in fourth. 

Kristoffersson Motorsport's Bergström continued to impress with a fifth-place finish, whilst both Construction Equipment Dealer Team drivers, Niclas Grönholm and Klara Andersson missed the final after making contract with each other in the final. 

Can anyone stop Johan Kristoffersson claiming a fifth straight victory come tomorrow afternoon? Time will tell!! 

FINAL RESULT: World RX of Portugal - Round 4.

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