Thursday 31 January 2019

Americas Rallycross reveals expanded 2019 calendar.

PHOTO CREDIT: Americas Rallycross.
Americas Rallycross (ARX) have today announced an expanded 2019 ARX and ARX2 calendar, including two events in the Midwest at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Gateway Motorsports Park.

“Our new multi-year partners at Mid-Ohio and Gateway Motorsports Park are great additions to our ongoing partnerships with Circuit of The Americas in Austin and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Canada as we expand our presence in North America," said Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of IMG Motorsports (promoter).

The season begins at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 8-9. The 10-turn, 0.7-mile ARX circuit will be located in the legendary “keyhole” section, with an aim of providing fans with a view of the entire rallycross course.

ARX will then travel to Gateway Motorsports Park in July. The 1.25-mile oval, just outside of St. Louis, Missouri will mark Gateway’s first-ever rallycross event. 

In August, Trois-Rivieres in Canada will host the ARX and ARX2 series alongside the FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

ARX also returns to Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on September 28 before concluding the season with a second trip to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio, October 5-6. 

“It’s super important to get these tracks off the ground and to get grassroots rallycross racing off the ground and going,” said Scott Speed, 2018 ARX Supercar Champion. “I think it speaks well for the future of the sport and I feel like the timing is right for this sport to really take off in our country.”


Friday 18 January 2019

JC Raceteknik acquire two Audi S1 Supercars from EKS.

Swedish rallycross team, JC Raceteknik have confirmed the acquisition of two Audi S1 Quattro Supercars from Mattias Ekstrom's EKS team. 

JC Raceteknik have competed in a number of rallycross events to date, including: the FIA ​​European Rallycross Championship, the RX2 International Series, the RallyX Nordic and the Winter RallyX on Ice.

The Swedish team has exclusively confirmed to Slipstream SA that they have purchased two 2017 EKS Audi S1 Quattro supercars, and will announce their 2019 plans in due course. 

But, with the acquisition of the two Audi S1 Quattro's, the team could enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship or even go for glory in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. 

The Audi S1 [EKS World RX] Technical Specification. 
Information: FIA World Rallycross

Thursday 17 January 2019

Ford Performance are assessing a potential World RX return.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook has revealed that Ford are assessing a potential return to the FIA World Rallycross Championship when the series switches to electric power in 2021. 

Ford competed in the World Rallycross Championship for two seasons with Ken Block's Hoonigan Racing Division team. However, Ford announced its withdrawal from the championship in October 2017. 

Rushbrook spoke to Motorsport Magazine and has indicted that Ford Performance are interested in the full electrification of the World RX championship. 

“We continue to talk to IMG and the FIA and other OEMs to see who is committing to it, and we’ll come to a decision in March,” said Rushbrook.

“We withdrew in 2018 because that programme has served its purpose well for the Focus RS."

The Hoonigan Racing Division (with Ford Performance factory support) claimed three wins, two second place finishes and two third place finishes in the 2016 World RX championship. 
In 2017, the team were only able to secure two second place finishes and two third place finishes. 

“We do continue to study the possibilities for electrified motor sport, and rallycross is one of them.

“It makes sense as a good place to race full electric cars given what the event is: the performance, the duration and the passion or explosiveness of the cars.

“We think that could work really well on a full electric platform for motor sport. There’s a deadline coming up to commit to that.”

The FIA have informed World RX promoters [IMG] that they are required to sign at least three OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturers] by March 2019, or the series will have to continue to use internal combustion engines. 

Source: Motorsport Magazine

Friday 11 January 2019

Hansen Motorsport to compete in 2019 GRC Europe championship

The Hansen Family - Kenneth Hansen (left), Kevin Hansen, Timmy Hansen and Susann Hansen (right).
Global Rallycross Europe have today announced that Hansen Motorsport will compete in the new GRC Europe Series in 2019.

The Hansen Motorsport team will be run by 14-time European Rallycross Champion Kenneth Hansen

Kenneth Hansen's sons, Timmy and Kevin Hansen will be driving for the team.

The Swedes have been in the Rallycross discipline since the late 1980's. From 2014 onward, Hansen and Peugeot Sport joined forces to compete in the World Rallycross Championship under the banner: Team Peugeot Hansen. The team won the FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship in 2015.

In 2017, Peugeot Sport announced their intention to compete in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross championship with full factory support, but in October 2018, Peugeot Sport announced their withdrawal from the World RX Championship leaving both Hansen brothers without a seat for the 2019 season. 

Timmy Hansen competed in 350 World RX races and claimed 5 event wins, while his brother Kevin Hansen competed in 163 World RX races. 

“I am very happy and excited about joining GRC Europe in 2019," said Timmy Hansen. "The cars will be fast and the calendar features iconic circuits."

"I can’t wait for the season to begin," he adds. "I want to thank Max (Pucher, Series CEO) for taking the initiative to launch GRC Europe, a high profile championship with a vision to take Rallycross back to its roots. It is exactly, what our sport needs right now.”

Hansen's younger brother Kevin is ready to fight for wins in the 2019 GRC Europe series.

“I am young, I am fast and I am hungry for success," says Kevin Hansen. "I am eager to show my true potential and get back to the Victory Lane.”

It is still unclear which cars Hansen Motorsport will be using in the GRC Europe series.

“One can only be impressed by the passion and commitment with which Max (Pucher) has embraced the big challenge of pushing GRC Europe through to reality," said Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal. 

"Having both Timmy and Kevin compete for the full season feels right and motivating, because Rallycross is where we belong."

"The vibe GRC Europe has approaching its premiere, is the kind of spirit we like. Rallycross is excitement, thrill, and nerves, extreme and never ever boring – these values we have found in GRC Europe. We think that Kevin and Timmy will love racing there!," he concludes.

PHOTO CREDIT: Global Europe Rallycross. 

Saturday 29 December 2018

Johan Kristoffersson claims Romjulsrally victory by over a minute.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kristoffersson Motorsport
Double FIA World Rallycross and STCC Champion Johan Kristoffersson has claimed victory at the Romjulsrally in Norway. 

The Swede and co-driver Stig Rune Skjaermoen claimed victory by 1 minute and 11 seconds from the second place driver Frank Tore Larsen in a Ford Fiesta R5.

"Really good, considering the expectations I had on myself," Kristoffersson said while describing his first rally outing in the new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Kristoffersson Motorsport recently announced their intention to compete in the WRC2 series in 2019, under the banner: Volkswagen Dealer Team BAUHAUS. Johan tested his new Polo GTI R5 recently, but the Romjulsrally is the first official race entry for the new rallycar.

"I am very happy with the car, considering how little time we have had to test our set-up, but of course Volkswagen Motorsport has done a good job in the basics, so we do not have to invent the wheel," said Kristoffersson.

It was almost a year since Johan competed in the Romjulsrally, but there are challenges competing in a brand new car. Despite these challenges Johan and Skjaermoen claimed the fastest times in all six stages of the rally.

"Actually, it was just the first stretch that didn't fit that well. Then it somethings went well or pretty okay. I am most satisfied with the third section, only three kilometers log, but still we were six seconds ahead,” says Johan.

The Swede is confident with the performance of his Polo GTI R5 and the team.

"We have laid a good foundation for the continuation. That we won was a nice bonus," he said.

Johan Kristoffersson comes from a circuit racing background, but he feels that there is still room for improvement.

"I am way too untrained to say if I went with or without margin, but completely on the border it did not go," said Kristoffersson.

The Swede has given a positive assessment of his new co-driver Stig Rune Skjaermoen, but he has outlined a few challenges that he needs to work on to improve.

"Very good. There is more about me to learn how to hear what he says and understand how it should be done in practice," said Kristoffersson.

"I have prepared myself as well as I can, but everything cannot be done in advance. You have to drive more car simply," he concludes

The next challenge for the Swede will be Finnskogsvalsen in northern Värmland on the 12th of January 2019.

The Official Results from the 2018 Romjulsrally

Sunday 23 December 2018

Johan Kristoffersson tests his new Polo R5 ahead of Rally Sweden in 2019

PHOTO CREDIT: Kristoffersson Motorsport
Johan Kristoffersson has been testing in Norway ahead of Volkswagen Dealer Team Bauhaus' entry into the WRC2 class at Rally Sweden in 2019. 

The Swede has been behind the wheel of his new Volkswagen Polo R5 in an intensive two-day programme in winter conditions.

"We have been testing different tires, driving on good winter surfaces, and also with different character on the road," said Tommy Kristoffersson Team Manager. 

The test in Geilo, Norway was Johan Kristoffersson, and the team's first chance to get to know the new Polo R5.

"Very fun! I have got a good and stable impression of the car and already enjoy it," said Johan Kristoffersson

Although, the Swede comes from a circuit racing background, learning about his new car will be vital. 

Every minute in the car will be valuable if the Swede wants to be competitive in the rally discipline. 

A recent Instagram post from Kristoffersson during testing in Norway.
"When I run rallycross and racing, there is a lot of autopilot. Here I am extremely focused and think actively about many things," says Kristoffersson. "It is evident at the end of the day that I get tired."

Tommy Kristoffersson, KMS team manager is happy with the two-day test programme that his team has completed: "We had high expectations for these days and the outcome has exceeded all our hopes."

Johan will take part in the Christmas Rally in Elverum on January 29, 2019.

There Kristoffersson will be will be guided by his new co-driver, Stig Rune Skjaermoen

Stig Rune Skjaermoen started reading maps in 2001 at the age of 14. And, he has over 20 World Championship rally entries under his belt.

"It has worked very well. He has a lot of experience and has traveled to many World Championship competitions, so it will be a good solution for me,” says Johan Kristoffersson speaking about his new co-driver.

Skjaermoen has been working with Johan at the two-day test in Norway.

"It's not anyone you sit next to. It can be seen that he is one who can really drive a car," says Skjaermoen.

"It is the notes that are most important, to be able to do them in a good way and to be able to understand. But I already notice that Johan is very good at familiarizing himself with the things he should do," he concludes.

Friday 21 December 2018

Timo Scheider secures full-time drive for 2019 World RX championship

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Two-time DTM Champion Timo Scheider to compete in the full 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship with Münnich Motorsport.

Scheider competed in a handful of World RX events with Münnich Motorsport during the 2018 season, but he will now lead the team, as it progresses to a full ten-round World RX campaign in 2019. 

Timo will be driving a newly built Seat Ibiza Supercar in 2019.

“It’s no secret that I was bitten by the rallycross bug a long time ago," said Scheider. "Consequently, I am more than happy to be entering my first full season as a member of Rene’s strong squad."

"We have slightly restructured the team and are preparing for the new challenges with the utmost diligence and ambition. I am very pleased to be taking my involvement in the rallycross scene to the next level." 

The Austrian driver made his World RX debut with Rene Münnich's team in 2015 prior to his first full season in 2017, where he collected a podium en route to a top ten finish in the overall standings.

"For me too, this very special discipline is the perfect arena for tough, spectacular motorsport – and that goes for the fans and drivers in equal measure. I cannot wait for the start of the season in April,” he said. 

Rene Münnich will continue to compete in the World RX championship, but only selected rounds. 

“Despite the withdrawal of some manufacturers, I firmly believe in the future of the World Rallycross Championship, because for private teams it provides a massive opportunity to showcase themselves on a global and professional platform with a huge following," said Rene Münnich, Münnich Motorsport team manager and driver. 

"I am delighted that Timo Scheider will be contesting his first full season in parallel with his commitments as a BMW works driver," he adds. "He has quickly adapted to the demands of rallycross and demonstrated his enormous potential on multiple occasions."

"I feel confident that we have a very good overall package and that we will be genuine contenders for top positions.”

Thursday 20 December 2018

World RX champion Kristoffersson to compete in the WTCR championship

PHOTO CREDIT: Kristoffersson Motorsport

Two-time World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson will switch courses, and in 2019 he compete in the WTCR championship with the Sébastien Loeb Racing team

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden recently withdrew from the World RX championship for the 2019 season leaving the Swede without a seat for 2019.

The Sébastien Loeb Racing team have expanded to a four team for the 2019 season with four Golf GTI TCRs. In addition to Kristoffersson joining the team, Rob Huff and Mehdi Bennani will remain in the team for the 2019 campaign. 

It will be the first time that Kristoffersson competes in the FIA ​​World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), but he has good merits with Volkswagen cars. Kristoffersson claimed the 2018 Scandinavian championship (STCC) in a Golf GTI TCR.

"WTCR is an excellent platform for Golf GTI to showcase its sporty features to fans around the world," said Sven Smeets, CEO of Volkswagen Motorsport. "In addition, the championship is tough, and it's enough for Volkswagen to increase its commitment. Together with our rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson we get a very strong show."

Kristoffersson beat several new records in the 2018 FIA World RX championship. Eleven wins from twelve rounds, of which nine in a row. Now the Swede switches to the WTCR championship.

"I look very much at WTCR. After four years of rallycross, it will be my first racing season at international level since 2013," said Kristoffersson. "Most of the races are completely new to me and are therefore a big challenge."

"I'm also looking forward to working with my new team companions, especially touring car world champion Rob Huff."

"In addition, Sébastien Loeb Racing is an experienced team and I am pleased to continue within the Volkswagen family."

Johan Kristoffersson and Kristoffersson Motorsport will compete in rallying with a Polo GTI R5 in 2019.

Friday 14 December 2018

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden to take sabbatical from World RX due to lack of competition.

PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien
PSRX Volkswagen Sweden to take sabbatical from the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The Torsby-based team under the guidance of team principal Pernilla Solberg, Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg have won 19 from 24 FIA World Rallycross races since the start of the 2017 season.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship had a different outlook two months ago, then came news of Peugeot and Audi's departure from the championship. Olsberg MSE also announced that they will take sabbatical from the series in 2019 to focus on a future re-entry.

PSRX Volkswagen have cited a loss of competitors as the main reason to sit out of the 2019 FIA World RX championship

“It’s really sad, but the declining numbers of teams in the series makes it impossible for us to remain for 2019," said Team Manager, Pernilla Solberg

Petter Solberg joined the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014 and became the first ever series champion. The Norwegian returned in 2015, and successfully defended his title to become a two-time World RX champion. 

In 2017, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden was formed, and Solberg was joined by Johan Kristoffersson. The pair claimed eight wins and five podiums that season. Kristoffersson was crowned champion in 2017. 2018 would be no different, as the Swede successfully defended his championship claiming 11 wins from 12 rounds, while Solberg struggled with health issues but achieved three podium finishes. 

“You wouldn’t believe how much pride I have in what this team has achieved," says Pernilla Solberg. "It’s incredible to think where we were two years ago and what we have done, and what we have won, in that time with a team we created in just weeks and days," 

Solberg's team powered to success with two Volkswagen Polo Supercars

“In the past two years the competition in WRX between the cars from Audi, Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen has been huge, resulting in fantastic sport with close racing between some of the most famous drivers in motorsport," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets.

“Unfortunately, with the exit of three works or works-supported teams from World RX, the situation has changed dramatically. Together with PSRX and Volkswagen Sweden, we had to re-evaluate the involvement in the championship," he adds. "We certainly didn’t take the decision lightly, but we came to a mutual agreement not to continue in WRX in 2019 as there is huge uncertainty regarding the entries and the competition for next season." 

Volkswagen are one of the manufacturers that have been interested in signing up to the championships switch to electric in 2021 and will keep an eye on developments.

The 2018 FIA World RX Champions - PSRX Volkswagen.
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien
“Naturally, Volkswagen Motorsport will keep a close eye on any developments towards the electrification of the sport of rallycross," says Smeets. "From the beginning we have been supporters of this initiative and we continue to be interested.”

Two-time and defending World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson will not have a seat for the 2019 campaign. However, Kristoffersson Motorsport has recently announced the acquisition of a new Polo GTI R5 rally car, as the team focuses on establishing a Rally Sweden WRC2 class. 

“I have absolutely loved every minute of my two years with this incredible team," said Kristoffersson. "I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly, but it has also gone with more success than we could have imagined or hoped for!"

“Obviously, I’m really sad not to be competing in my fantastic Polo R Supercar next season, but I completely understand the reasons why this decision has come," he adds. "If we don’t have enough people to race, what can we do?”

Triple FIA world champion Petter Solberg has stated that this is not the end for him and his team in World RX, and that he will continue to compete with Volkswagen in 2019. 

“We can all see the potential here, but it’s just not sensible to continue for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden in 2019," said Solberg“The important thing to understand here is that this is a pause – a pause and not an end." 

"As a team, we continue and we work together. We can’t say much about this now, but there will be more to talk about in the New Year."

The Norwegian still believes in the World RX Championship and its potential, but remains mum on his plans for the 2019 season. Although, he has competed in the WRC2 class earlier this year in Spain.

“I still believe in World RX. I still believe this championship can deliver the most sustainable, relevant, entertaining and competitive racing anywhere in the world," he adds.

“We work on the future and we look forward to sharing those exciting plans with you early in 2019 – and those plans include me being behind the wheel of a Volkswagen.”

Thursday 13 December 2018

Bakkerud: "It was hard to believe how late you can brake with the DTM cars."

FIA World RX driver and race winner Andreas Bakkerud was given the opportunity participate in the Audi DTM rookies test in Jerez, Spain earlier this week. 

Bakkerud, one of six drivers had the opportunity to test the 2018 Audi RS 5 DTM.

For the test, Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s DTM squad and Audi DTM customer team WRT each fielded one of Audi’s DTM touring cars with V8 naturally aspirated engines.

Jamie Green and Rene Rast provided the drivers with valuable pointers and feedback. Green was active as a reference driver for Audi Sport.

Bakkerud completed 59 laps in total on the 4.428km MotoGP circuit [261.252km's]

The Norwegian was left without a race seat for the 2019 season when EKS withdrew from the World RX Championship after loosing Audi factory support.

“For me as a rallycross driver, a completely new chapter," says Bakkerud. 

In preparation for the DTM rookie test, Andreas took to the simulator to gain some experience before heading out on track for the first time in a DTM car. 

"Last week I was able to prepare a little for the test in the simulator at Team Rosberg," he adds. "Obviously, then driving the RS 5 DTM here on the race track was even quite a bit more impressive. It was hard to believe how late you can brake with the DTM cars." 

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Slipstream SA chats to double World RX Champion Johan Kristoffersson.

The 2018 FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson celebrating his 11th win from 12 rounds
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien
Two-time FIA World Rallycross Champion and record-breaker Johan Kristoffersson talks to Slipstream SA.

Incredible, mind blowing, masterful, superb, outstanding are a few words I'd use to describe Johan Kristoffersson

But, why do I use these words? Well to explain the use of these descriptive words lets take a look at his racing career.

The Swede started his racing career in 2008, and since then he has enjoyed a lot success in circuit racing with title wins in the International Superstars Series, Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) and the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia. And, guess what he achieved these three titles in a single season (in 2012).

Kristoffersson made his Rallycross debut in 2013, in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. In 2014, the Swede made the full-time switch to the FIA World Rallycross Championship and claimed a 15th overall finish in his debut season.

In 2015 with Volkswagen Team Sweden, he won the World RX season opener in Portugal and claimed four more podiums [2 second places and 2 third place finishes] that season. He went on to claim third in the overall drivers standings that year. 

Success continued for the Swede in 2016 claiming a win in France and two podium finishes. With nine appearances in the finals, Kristoffersson clinched the runners-up spot behind Mattias Ekstrom (the 2016 Word RX champion). 

In 2017, Johan Kristoffersson teamed up with Petter Solberg in the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team, with two Volkswagen Polo Supercars.

One would never begin to imagine the success that awaited Kristoffersson in 2017. The Swede reached 11 of 12 finals and swept to a record-breaking seven victories in the season – including five-in-a-row, and he went on to claim the 2017 drivers’ title.

For 2018, Kristoffersson remained at PSRX Volkswagen Sweden with Volkswagen Motorsport factory support. 

Could the Swede defend his 2017 World RX title, with rivals Team Peugeot Total and EKS Audi Sport hot on his heels? 

At the season opener in Barcelona, Mattias Ekstrom [EKS Audi Sport] claimed victory in the season opener, but was later disqualified. Kristoffersson was handed the win. He then claimed victory in Portugal, but his winning streak was halted when Sebastien Loeb claimed victory in Belgium (round 3). 

With Loeb winning in Belgium... Would Kristoffersson claim another victory in 2018? The answer is rather simple: YES... he claimed nine-in-a-row and equaled Sebastian Vettel's Formula 1 record. 

The Swede was also competing in the 2018 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) and clinched the title at the season finale. A few weeks later he successfully defended his 2017 World RX drivers' title. 

- 53 Events
- 310 Races
- 21 Event Wins
- 31 Podiums
- 57 Qualifying Heat Wins
- 42 Finals
- 116Total Points

Kristoffersson leading Qualifying 3.
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien.
While the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team were waiting for their delayed freight to arrive in Cape Town. The team granted the opportunity to interview the double FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson

Junaid Samodien
What makes you, Johan Kristoffersson tick as a driver? What motivates you to be in this sport and motorsport in general? 

Johan Kristoffersson
First of all, I really like... I mean not only motorsport because I like sport in general. Not like i'm looking into sport. I'm not like a sport freak watching all the sport. I have been in cross country skiing before. 

I mostly like the competitive side of it, so really like to compete and I also enjoy to compete since I was really young. So, that's what I admire the most. The competition itself. And, then I mean Rallycross is a sport and its a fantastic sport. Action packed, really short and nice heats. So, that is what I really like with Rallycross. 

JS: What motivated you to become a racing driver? Would you say its your father? Or were there other influences?

JK: No, but I think he [Tommy Kristoffersson] was one the biggest, because I mean I was basically raised in the service area when he was racing. So, yeah for sure he was a big inspiration for me to start in motorsport because I was always interested in motorsport. I did some Motorcross when I was young and so-on. So, I have always been interested. 

JS: Autosport Magazine recently published an article suggesting that Rallycross is changing with more circuit racers finding there feet [becoming for successful] in World RX. Coming from a circuit background and recently claiming the STCC title. Does coming from a circuit racing background benefit you as a driver in World Rallycross?

JK: Yeah! I think its definitely a benefit coming from a circuit racing background that is for sure, because you learn a lot in circuit racing, but it also... I mean all the things that you learn in circuit racing, you can use for rallycross. But also coming from Rally, you can also learn a lot of things to use in Rallycross. 

So, its completely two different sides, but I think the circuit racing side has become a bigger advantage because the Rallycross tracks has been more and more towards concrete instead of gravel and so-on. So, that is why I think it benefits the circuit racing driver more. 

JS: What did it take for you to become so successful in circuit racing and World Rallycross?

JK: First of all, we have to have all the stuff around you. The team, car and all this stuff to make it possible to drive. 

But then from myself, I think its very important that I've always done a lot of work before hand on the events. So, I always try prepare myself - you know mentally, physically and try to do good preparation. And, I think that is what's made me where I am today.

JS: Based on your championship titles in Porsche Carrera Sweden, STCC and World RX. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

JK: I think it depends on what's happening with the Rallycross. How it will be when it goes towards electric, but if it comes to be a big sport in electric, I think I will still be in Rallycross. If the sport is not committed with manufacturers into electric, I think you will see me somewhere else. 

JS: So, if the EWRX does not attract you. Would you consider another series? DTM or Dakar Rally and so-on?

JK: We will see. I think circuit is for sure what is closest to me because of the kind of background I have, but I also like new challenges. Rally and I think other circuit racing - touring cars like I've done before, but its a question that I have to consider if the Rallycross does not happen. 

JS: If you could change one thing about the FIA World Rallycross Championship. What would it be and why?

JK: I think I would take away the grid position draw for Q1, and make it a qualifying instead. Otherwise, I think the format is perfect 

JS: Other racing drivers namely, Sebastian Vettel names his racing cars. Do you name your car?
Kristoffersson named his PSRX Supercar "Wilma"
PHOTO CREDIT: Volkswagen Motorsport

JK: Yes, Wilma. 

JS: What are your thoughts on the WERX [World Electric Rallycross]? Do you think World Rallycross will be affected by the fact that it will loose the loud/vibrating engine sound? Fans really love the high pitch sound of World Rallycross Supercars.

JK: Yes, for sure it will be different for the spectators onsite, but I mean its a small amount of the people watching it because most of the people are watching it on the TV. So, it will be different, but I think for the electric [RX Series] if there is going to be manufacturers committed to do electric. I think its going to be an upside for Rallycross because without the manufacturers Rallycross is not going to live on the level, which it is today. And, if it does not go electric there will be no manufacturers committing. So, its a give and take. 

Volkswagen Motorsport Fact: The chassis that Johan Kristoffersson has used in the 2017/18 World RX championship was used by Jari-Matti Latvala in the 2016 World Rally Championship. Since 2017, Johan named his car: "Wilma".

Thank You to Johan Kristoffersson for answering my questions. Also, a big thank you to Alison Fyfe-Turck [Fyfe PR] and PSRX Volkswagen Sweden for setting up the interview. 

Statistics and History Source: FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Interesting Fact and Image: Volkswagen Motorsport. 

Kristoffersson Motorsport take delivery of a new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Two-time FIA World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson posing with the new VW Polo R5
Kristoffersson Motorsport have taken delivery of a new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car. 

The new Polo GTI R5 will race in the teams new rally initiative, which will be called: Volkswagen Dealer Team BAUHAUS.

"Ever since Volkswagen declared that it would be possible to get a Polo GTI R5, it has been legitimate in our planning. It is in line with what Volkswagen does. There is a lot of interest in rallying among people, the dealership and our other partners," said team manager Tommy Kristoffersson.

Johan Kristoffersson has competed in two Rally Sweden events before (in 2016 and 2018) and the Swedish team aim to continue next season. The main goal of KMS is to start a WRC2 class in Rally Sweden. 

"Hopefully, with better time for preparation this time. I'd rather do some rally before and a couple of days' test," says Johan Kristoffersson.

"We have no definite program yet, but waiting to see how Johan's international commitments look before 2019, but the rally initiative is rooted in our heavy partners, Volkswagen and BAUHAUS," said Tommy Kristoffersson.

The double World RX champion has been included in the starting list for the SM sprint in Sundsvall on February 1st (2019).

Team Manager Tommy Kristoffersson takes great satisfaction from the long-term cooperation with Volkswagen, as they continue in a new motorsport discipline.

"We have worked with rallycross, racing and now rallying, which becomes a new part of the Kristoffersson Motorsport brand," he said. "It is amazing and unique to work with the same car manufacturer and Johan in three different disciplines. Johan, who is also a genuine VW product since the beginning of his career."

Kristoffersson Motorsport confirms that a second Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 is expected to arrive in 2019. The team aim to have both cars competing even when Johan is not available.

"I definitely think we will be well prepared. We have sniffed this world earlier, in collaboration with Management. Much is still new, but we have built up a basic infrastructure, including a new service car," Tommy Kristofferssson concludes.

ESmotorsport offers cash incentive for strong results in debut World RX season.

The Skoda Fabia WRX Supercar being put through its paces.
PHOTO CREDIT: ESmotorsport
ESmotorsport have offered their driver up to half million euros for a top 3 result in the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

“You must have a bit of healthy aggression I would say if you want to win. If you are not brave enough, it’s not going to work," says team owner Ernestas Staponkus. "I believe that every drivers aim is fighting for the victory."

Staponkus believes that a cash incentive will assist the team in reaching its objectives in 2019. "But this bonus will help to increase motivation even more. It’s a win-win situation," he says.

The Lithuanian team have conducted thorough tests in Latvia (Riga), with an aim for strong results in its maiden season. The team went as far as to compare the 2018 World RX Supercars speed and laptimes to their new Skoda Fabia RX Supercar. 

“We are sure that we have a car capable to achieve the top 3 result. That was proved during our tests in Riga, in September," says ESmotorsport-BRGroup manager Mr. Ramunas Fetingis. "With the very fresh car we achieved very promising lap times." 

ESmotorsport's technical director Sebastien Lesonneur is sure that their newly built Skoda Fabia WRX has the speed to compete with the fastest WRX cars in 2019.

Kevin Abbring has been hired as a driver and is also responsible for the development of the new Supercar. 

“That is very a very fast car," says Abbring. "I am enjoying it driving every kilometer. This is not only the job, it is big part of fun.”

Monday 10 December 2018

ESmotorsport are targeting a strong maiden World RX campaign

ESmotorsport testing the new Skoda Fabia WRX Supercar.
PHOTO CREDIT: ESmotorsport 
ESmotorsport are pushing ahead with their plans to compete in the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

The team are fully confident that they will show strong performances throughout their maiden World RX season.

With experience of competing in the FIA European Rallycross Championship's Super1600 class for several years, Ernestas Staponkus team owner and driver revealed ambitious plans to compete in the highest level of Rallycross with Skoda Fabia RX Supercars.

ESmotorsport have built new a Skoda Fabia RX Supercar for the 2019 season. Staponkus partnered with Thierry Viardot of Viason Sport and Ken Skidmore from Autotek to assist with the building and maintenance of the Supercars throughout the 2019 season. 

The Skoda Fabia RX Supercar being put through its paces.
PHOTO CREDIT: ESmotorsport
Nasser Al-Attiyah and Kevin Abbring tested the new Skoda RX Supercar at the Bikernieki Sports Base in Riga in September, so comparisons could be drawn between the new car and the pace of current World RX teams. 

Further tests were conducted with Abbring in recent weeks on asphalt roads in the Czech Republic, with a focus on cooling and brake packages. 

The team are yet to name its driver line-up for the 2019 season

The Lithuanian team expects to be able to fight on the front row in 2020. And, with that in mind the team are forging ahead of a development program in parallel with the 2019 season to improve the cars performance.