30 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen RX Sweden secures second place at World RX of Argentina

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Argentina: Kristoffersson

A consistent pace and a consistent season rewarded Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson a second place in the last round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Argentina. The final and twelfth event of the season took place at the Autodromo Rosario circuit from 25-27 November, and that consistency also netted Kristoffersson second place in the Drivers’ Championship, just 32 points behind champion Mattias Ekström of Audi team EKS.

A brilliant drive
A brilliant drive in both the semi-final and final races in Argentina helped Kristoffersson improve on his third place in the 2015 Drivers’ Championship, and was ample reward for the young Polo RX Supercar racer, who had battled hard throughout the 2016 season. The Swede was delighted with his runner-up position, partly gained thanks to not taking risks: ‘After the semi-finals I knew I had to be first or second in the final to be second in the championship. The start went well, and we managed to avoid any contact.

‘I have to admit I was driving a little bit like a grandma, avoiding punctures and no drifting or anything, but it’s such a great feeling to be second in the race and the Championship. At the beginning of the weekend it didn’t feel like we were where we wanted to be, but everyone worked really hard and we finished one place better than last season in the points. I have to say it’s very tight, for there to be only one point between second and fourth in the championship after 12 events is just amazing,’ he continued.

Banished bad luck
Qualification in the semi-final and seventh overall for second Volkswagen RX Sweden driver Anton Marklund helped the team secure third overall in the 2016 Teams’ Championship standings. Despite challenging weather conditions, Marklund banished the bad luck which has affected him and his 600bhp Polo this year and proved that by securing a place the semi-final, he has the pace to challenge for podium results and pick up valuable team points.

‘The track was tough in Rosario and it was hard for everyone to have three qualifying races on Sunday morning, but after some small issues we got the car perfectly in shape for Q4 and a good result put me into the semi-finals,’ said the ex-2012 FIA European Rallycross Championship Touringcar winner.

‘Unfortunately I got crashed into in the first corner and was never able to recover for a top-three finish to make it into the final. The pace was definitely there – I was catching Robin Larsson – but we just ran out of laps. It’s great that Johan was able to finish second for himself and we both managed to finish third in the Teams’ Championship to take the bronze medal back to Sweden.’

‘We achieved it’
Team Principal Michael Schneider was delighted for the whole Volkswagen RX Sweden team that the weekend’s target had been reached. ‘Johan and Anton both performed so well this weekend. The way Johan drove in both the semi-finals and final was fantastic.

‘We had the chance to be second in the Drivers’ Championship and third in the Teams’ Championship coming here and we achieved it. I have to thank the team, sponsors, partners and team owner Jan Marklund. Everyone has worked so hard all season long and everyone deserves this,’ he exclaimed.



1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 272
2 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 240
3 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 239
4 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 239
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 209



1 EKS: 422
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 387
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 316
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 302
5 World RX Team Austria: 226

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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18 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

A solid sixth for Kristoffersson at
2016 World RX of Germany

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Germany: Kristoffersson

It was another firm finish for Volkswagen RX Sweden and Johan Kristoffersson at the World RX of Germany (14-16 October), which saw the young driver end up in sixth position overall. The penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship was held at the Entering circuit in Germany, and Kristoffersson’s final placing keeps him in contention for second place overall in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of the final round next month in Argentina.

As the weekend started, Kristoffersson’s consistent pace netted him fifth fastest place in the first qualifying heats, while he ended day one in sixth place. A slow start in the second semi-final race saw Kristoffersson fight back to qualify for the final. Sadly, after a strong early start, a puncture to his rear left tyre on the third lap put an end to his podium position hopes.

‘We had to fight hard’
Kristoffersson was mostly pleased with his finish, as well as his potential championship rise over the 2105 World RX season: ‘It felt like we were fighting from the back a little bit this weekend. I didn’t have any luck getting good start positions in the qualifying races. I think my best position out of the first corner was third all weekend, so we had to fight hard.

‘We had great speed to make it into the semi-final and we had a good grid position. I felt we would be able to show what we could do, but then I stalled at the start. That was very annoying and I just fought hard to get into the final.

‘We had the quickest lap of the day in the semi-final, and we were fighting for a podium in the final but I got a puncture and that was that. It’s really good we scored a lot of points and we will push hard to be fast in Argentina,’ he said.

Elsewhere, the 600bhp Polo RXs of Anton Marklund and ‘wildcard’ driver and regular rallycross Polo pilot Tanner Foust experienced more challenging weekends, with both cars suffering from traffic issues which stopped them turning good lap times into semi-final qualifications.

It was the second event of the 2016 World RX season for Foust, and it was hampered by minor problems on day one and racing in the slowest track conditions on Sunday morning didn’t help the Top Gear US host’s cause.

‘Tough weekend’
Marklund was happy with both the set-up and performance of his Polo RX Supercar at Estering, but disappointed he wasn’t in the semi-finals, finishing in 15th place. ‘It was a tough weekend for sure. The team did an amazing job running three cars, and especially with changing from dry to wet setup several times,’ he commented.

‘We have struggled with the starts a bit and bad starts don’t give you the best opportunities. Unfortunately I got stuck in traffic and lost a lot of time, but the pace was there. I’m really looking forward to Argentina, the car is perfect and I really believe we can have a good result.’

Eighteenth-position Foust meanwhile enjoyed racing the Volkswagen Polo RX at the German circuit: ‘This is a track that’s very fun to drive and challenging to set the car up for, but yesterday we had some problems. This morning we had great power in the car and Q3 felt really good.

‘It’s difficult to come in and just do one event. It used to be that I could come in and do one event once in a while and win. It’s not like that anymore, the level is really high which is awesome for the sport and it just makes me hungry to drive in World RX more often,’ he reported.

Former Swedish Rallycross Champion Peter Hedström also joined the 30-strong Supercar fray and raced a Polo RX at the German track 30 miles south of Hamburg, where he finished in sixteenth position overall.

The winner of the 2016 World RX of Germany was Olsbergs MSE driver Kevin Eriksson, while Mattias Ekström of EKS was crowned 2016 World RX Champion, even though he finished fifth – one place ahead of Kristoffersson – having amassed enough points for a commanding lead after only 11 rounds. The final event of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Argentina, takes place at Rosario on 26-27 November.



1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 251
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 221
3 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 217
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 210
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 194



1 EKS: 385
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 368
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 283
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 271
5 World RX Team Austria: 206

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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10 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson claims second place in World RX series at World RX of Latvia

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Latvia: Kristoffersson

After a disappointing result at the World RX of Spain, Volkswagen RX Sweden travelled to the inaugural World RX of Latvia with one clear objective: to achieve a strong result. Round 10 of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship took place at the 1.29km-long Bikernieki National Sports Base on 30 September to 2 October, and the event saw Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson finish fifth overall. The result doesn’t tell the whole story, though: the Swedish star is now second in the series’ Drivers’ Championship points.

Fastest time
Kristoffersson set the fastest time in the second qualifying heat on day one and also claimed the top spot in the third round, despite changeable weather conditions and torrential rain. With a time almost six seconds faster than any rival, the 600bhp Polo RX proved its capability and rewarded the Swedish driver with a first place at the end of the Intermediate Classification sessions. The rallycross and circuit star also started on pole position for the first semi-final, before crossing the line fifth in the final race.

The points boost saw Kristoffersson leap-frog over ex-WRC champion and reigning World RX leader Petter Holberg to take second place in the drivers’ standings, 27 points shy of leader Mattias Ekström. Kristoffersson was pleased with the improvement in his performance: ‘I was able do one very quick run in the dry and one in the wet this weekend, so that was good, and to be top after the qualifying races and move to P2 in the championship is great.

‘Lot of progress’
‘I have to thank the whole team because now we are scoring a lot of points at every race. We just have to keep pushing, to continue to try and fight for this championship. We missed a bit of pace in the semi-final and final, so it has not been an easy day for sure. We have made a lot of progress in the last few events and I’m looking forward to Germany in two weeks,’ he continued. A total of sixty points are available over the next and final two rounds of the season.

Kristofersson’s team-mate Anton Marklund endured a more challenging event in Riga. However, the former FIA European Rallycross Touring Car Champion also improved on his points tally in the championship standings at the Latvian event. A spin in the torrentially wet conditions of the third qualifying session cost Marklund time, without which he would have made the semi-finals. As it was he finished 15th in Latvia.

‘Very tough’
The young Swede conceded his result was not what he expected: ‘This weekend has been very tough for me. I got a brand new chassis for this round and the mechanics have done an amazing job. It looks like a show car, it’s stunning and I was really looking forward to racing it here. We set some good lap times but I didn’t have the feeling on the first day.

‘I had really good pace in the wet on the morning of dat two, but hit some water and had a 360-degree spin, which cost me a lot of time. If you take away the time I lost, I would have been P4 in Q3 and that would have got me into the semi-finals. It’s disappointing, but I’m testing here in Latvia all day on Monday to find improvements in myself and the car, so I can show what I can do in Germany,’ he added.

‘Huge effort’
Michael Schneider, Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal is pleased with the progress made in both wet and dry conditions, and says the team will do all it can to help Kristoffersson fight for the 2016 World RX Drivers’ Championship title. ‘Johan had a very good weekend. To be top qualifier takes a huge effort from the team and driver, and it proves again that we have the pace to run at the front,’ said Schneider. ‘We will work hard to do everything we can to finish in the best possible place after the last round in Argentina. Nothing is over until after the final round.’

Volkswagen RX Sweden remains third in the World Rallycross Teams’ Championship points. The next round the series will take place in two weeks’ time at the Estering in Germany on 15-16 October, where US TV star and rallycross driver Tanner Foust will join the Swedish outfit in a third Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar.



1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 228
2 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 201
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 194
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 192
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 180



1 EKS: 333
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 345
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 265
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 247
5 World RX Team Austria: 187

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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22 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Bumped in Barcelona: Kristoffersson finishes sixth at World RX of Spain

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Spain: Kristoffersson

Following two consecutive podium finishes (including the win at World RX of France), Volkswagen RX Sweden was hoping for much the same at the ninth round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Spain, held at the 1.13km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 17-18 September. Sadly for the Swedish outfit, it wasn’t to be.

Demoted to sixth place
Currently third in the 2016 drivers’ standings, Johan Kristoffersson initially finished third in Barcelona, but was then demoted to sixth place for pushing. The Swedish driver and his 600bhp Polo RX headed both the third and fourth qualifying heats and battled their way through to the final. Overall winner of the World RX of Spain was Mattias Ekström of EKS.

Ahead of the Spanish races, Kristoffersson was confident: ‘The team has been working so hard this year and it was great to win in France. We improved the car a lot from day one to day two there and I was able to really push on the Sunday. Last year we had a bit of turnaround in France, then in Barcelona the car was great.

‘That was also the time I started working with my engineer, Laurent. I hope for more of the same this year. It’s great to go to Barcelona with a victory in the bag, and I can’t wait to drive in front of the great fans there. I really liked the track last year, the facilities are really good too and we had a good result. I’m really looking forward to it,’ he continued.

Confident of a strong result
Anton Marklund meanwhile headed to Spain targeting his first podium finish of the season. The young Swedish Polo pilot suffered ill health before the event and was confident of scoring a strong result. ‘I have already forgotten about the challenging weekend in France two weeks ago.

‘We are now heading to Barcelona very well prepared, and with Johan’s win fresh in our memories. We know we have a good package and I’m going there with great confidence in what the car can do,’ said Marklund before the event. Low placings in the qualifying heats suggested that his health hadn’t quite recovered enough.

The next round of the championship is the World RX of Latvia, held in Riga on 1-2 October.



1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 204
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 194
3 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 178
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 170
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 154



1 EKS: 318
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 297
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 240
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 224
5 World RX Team Austria: 159

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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10 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson scores Volkswagen RX Sweden podium at World RX of Canada

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Canada: Kristoffersson

At last! It took a while, but Johan Kristoffersson finally achieved the first FIA World Rallycross Championship podium finish for the newly-formed Volkswagen RX Sweden team at the World RX of Canada. The event at Trois-Rivières in Quebec marked the seventh round of the 2016 series and the mid-way point of the season, and 27 year-old Kristoffersson made it onto the third step of the podium.

‘Really good to be back here’
‘We’ve been so close and finally our hard work has paid off and we are back on the podium – it feels really good to be back here,’ said a jubilant Kristoffersson, who is now just three points off third place in the Drivers’ Championship. ‘Petter Solberg was outstanding in the semi-final and I felt like I couldn’t catch him, but then the rain started and our car works so well in the rain. The first two laps were really good for us and the car worked perfectly,’ he continued.

Kristoffersson’s team-mate Anton Marklund also made the final in Canada, but just missed out on a top five finish, coming home sixth. His Polo RX suffered a brake failure and he collided with ex-World Rally Champion Petter Solberg’s Citroën DS3 RX. Marklund subsequently hit a wall on the first lap of the Supercar final, and damaged a rear tyre. Both he and Solberg were taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks, with both drivers being declared fine.

Three consecutive podiums
The Canadian round of the World Rallycross Championship has been kind to the 600bhp Polo RX Supercar – the small but powerful Volkswagen has achieved three consecutive podiums at the North American event. Marklund finished second at the famous street circuit in 2014, while the Volkswagen RX Sweden car finished second and third at the 2015 event, with Finland’s Toomas Heikkinen and America’s Tanner Foust.

Before the event, Kristoffersson reported that a few changes to the super-Polo had taken place: ‘We have made a few updates that will no doubt help us. Last season we were strong in Canada at the start of the weekend, this year we want to remain focussed throughout the entire event.’

Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal Michael Schneider confirmed the car is a match for its competitors: ‘When I look back on the first half of the season, I’m very happy with the performance of the car and both drivers. We have produced a very competitive car for 2016.’

Timmy Hansen won the World RX of Canada for Team Peugeot Hansen. the Swede took an unexpected victory after he was promoted to the final when Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov was black flagged after an incident in the semi-final. The next round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship is the World RX of France, which takes place in Lohéac from 2-4 September.



1 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 161
2 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 157
3 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 132
4 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 129
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 121



1 EKS: 256
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 226
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 188
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 167
5 World RX Team Austria: 126

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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