EVEN Management and Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson once again proved top speed at the ninth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. He finished third in the final, but a black flag for contact during the race eventually cost him his podium position.
Just as at the French round of the championship two weeks earlier, where Johan claimed victory in the Volkswagen Polo RX, the Swede was fastest in Q3 and Q4 on Sunday morning in Spain to be second at the Intermediate Classification. Second in the semi-final put Johan on the second row of the grid for the final, where he finished third on track, but was later demoted to sixth following a black flag for contact during the race.
Despite the disappointing outcome of the final, Johan strengthened his position in the World RX Drivers’ Championship standings, by closing the gap to second position in the points. “I had a very good start of Sunday again and the semi-final was good. We made a bit of a mistake in the joker lap otherwise we would have won it. In the final, I had a very, very good start but had to back out of the throttle to avoid hitting Mattias (Ekstrom) in front,” said Johan. “I didn’t close the gap enough into turn two but I pushed really hard and we had good speed. Timur (Timerzyanov) had a problem at the hairpin on the last lap, and going into the next corner we had contact. Fair enough I touched him a little bit, but I believe he would have gone wide anyway, but it is what it is. We had good pace this weekend and we are fighting hard to move forward in the championship.”
Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal Michael Schneider was satisfied with the pace of the car and drivers in Barcelona, but was frustrated by the end result of the weekend. “I’m very disappointed at the result of the weekend, especially as we once again showed really strong pace from the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar here,” said Schneider. “The fact that we are on the pace is very encouraging though. The whole team is looking forward to going to the new track in Latvia in two weeks time where we are aiming to have both Johan and Anton challenging for the podium as we close in on the leaders in the championship.”
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place in two weeks time at Riga in Latvia (October 1 – 2), a new venue for the championship.