Another week, another win and another record for
- Johan takes eight from
nine to re-write the history books
- Petter: it’s a privilege
to have Johan in the team
- Overwhelming support for
Petter’s medical condition
- PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
takes another step towards the championship
Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s incredible season
The superstar Swede has now beaten his own record for the number of
victories in a year, with his eighth success from nine 2018 races coming
up at World RX of Latvia in Riga today (Sunday).
Johan’s latest victory was crafted from an exceptional race weekend where
he showed the kind of pace and guile we’ve come to expect from our world
champion. And it’s a race win that takes him – and PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
– another step towards another title.
Petter was back in Riga for the first time since being involved in a
heavy crash last year. The triple world champion Norwegian admitted he’d
been touched by the support he received after revealing his medical
condition ahead of the race.
But, for the third World RX of Latvia in succession, Petter failed to
emerge with the result he’d hoped for – a collision in the semi-final
kept him out of the top six this time.
Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 INTER SF F
Kristoffersson 1 1
3 1 1
Petter Solberg 4 3 12
Kristoffersson (SWE) #1
“I had some great memories of winning my first world championship here
last year and it was nice to be back again. We did our testing here in
the middle of the year, but to see the grandstands full again was really
bringing back the memories of last year – it made me want another world
“But what a fantastic weekend again! I've got to say Q1 was crucial here
– it was so tight, but beating Loeb by nine-thousandths of a second was
vital to get pole for Q2. That helped shape the whole weekend. Turn one
here is so important, we saw a lot of chaos here and I tried my best to
keep out of it and succeeded thankfully. From pole it is, of course, much
easier to brake late and keep position.
“In the semis, the first couple of laps were actually quite messy and I
made a few mistakes; I was more cautious as I knew my pace was good. We
made some small changes to the car between the semis and final and it
felt even better in the final. We had a great launch off the line, the
car was fantastic and I felt comfortable pushing. I have to thank the
team for their hard work to improve our starts which was so important
here, it's worked well and really made this victory possible.
“Tonight I am ready to make a party with the fans in Riga – it’s been a
fantastic weekend. Now I can’t wait to get in the car again.”
“I don’t believe in bad luck but that’s three times in a row now in
Latvia... I feel like I had good pace all weekend but just never had the
chance to show it. I was stuck in traffic a lot this morning, some really
tough battles but it meant I lost so much time and couldn’t get the
results I needed to get a front-row spot for the semi-finals.
“That obviously proved to be vital, as in turn one in the semi I felt a
hard hit from behind and was pushed into the wall. At that point getting
into the final was basically impossible, but our speed in those last five
laps was really good and showed what could have been.
“As for Johan, incredible again. I feel so lucky to have him in my team,
both as a driver and a person. These results he’s getting are hard to
believe, but he just keeps going, very proud to have him with us at PSRX.
“It was also great to welcome so many of our friends and partners to this
event, it really pushes us on to perform even better and we all really
appreciate it – and congratulations to the organisers on another really
“It was a tough decision whether or not to talk about what happened for
the last year, but I wanted people to know why I had not really been
myself. Honestly, the support I got has been more than I could ever
imagine and I have to say a big, big thank you to everybody for these messages.
“I think people know I can be a fairly emotional guy sometimes and this
has been quite an emotional weekend getting the support I’ve had. The
team, Pernilla, Oliver and everybody around here has been fantastic, but
to hear what the fans think has been incredible as well. Thanks guys!”
Solberg (PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team principal)
“We knew we had good pace at this track. The mid-season testing gave us
some really good data and we came with the Volkswagen Motorsport guys
having some good plans for taking the car forward. The competition is
always tough in World RX, there’s no doubt about this and we really saw
what our rivals are capable of – particularly Peugeot – at Riga.
“But Johan came through again with an amazing start and a great control
of the final. It’s a real shame for Petter, he doesn’t have any luck in
“Now we move on to an exciting new chapter at the Circuit of Americas,
which is going to be so, so exciting!
“We have achieved so much this season, but at the same time the job is
really not finished yet and I know all of the guys, the drivers, the
technicians, everybody in this team will keep giving 110 per cent all the
way until Sunday night on the last round in South Africa.”
Because he’s broken another record (not just one), we though it only fair
to make this week’s performance fact… Johan. World RX of Latvia is his
eighth win from nine starts this season – a record; his record-breaking
17th career win; sixth win in succession (another
record); 16th time as top qualifier and sixth TQ in
succession (this time with the biggest margin ever – and, yes, you
guessed it: that’s a record).
2 Mattias Ekström
3 Sébastien Loeb
4 Niclas Grönholm
5 Timmy Hansen
6 Kevin Hansen
6 T Hansen 163pts
2 EKS Audi
3 Team Peugeot Total