British success moves PSRX Volkswagen Sweden and Johan further clear in WRX
- Johan scores sensational third World RX win in four races
- Petter storms to the semi, but is forced to retire with technical issue
- PSRX Volkswagen Sweden extends its lead in the teams’ standings
- Team applauds inaugural SpeedMachine success
Reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson extended his lead at the top of the table with a third win from four races at World RX of GB today (Sunday).
The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R Supercars dominated World Rallycross’s first ever visit to Silverstone with Petter Solberg leading on Saturday night. Johan and Petter progressed into the semi-finals in first and third respectively.
First and third meant the two Polo R Supercars shared the front row of the first semi-final. Unfortunately Petter and Johan touched going into the first corner. The race was stopped and, while Petter’s car was repaired in lightening-quick time on the grid, he retired with a technical issue later in the race.
Johan went on to win the semi-final and then dominated the final, to the delight of the thousands of fans looking on.
That victory, Johan’s first on British soil, means he moves 14 points clear at the top of the table. Despite a tough semi-final, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden also extends its advantage to 22 points.
Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 O/A SF F
Johan Kristoffersson 4 6 1 1 3 1 1
Petter Solberg 1 3 4 10 1 DNF -
Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) #1
“I don’t know what it is about me and Saturdays this season; it looks like I’m becoming much more of a Sunday person. But I don’t mind this – the final is on Sunday!
“Yesterday was quite tricky, it wasn’t the perfect day, but we weren’t far away. We were in the battle. Today Q3 and Q4 went really well, it was great to be leading into the semis. But then things got quite interesting…
“Even before the start of the semi-final I had a problem with the radio in the car. I couldn’t hear the spotter, we found a way to fix this, but it was a little bit of a stress. And then we got to the first corner, I didn’t make such a good start, I touched with Petter and then I was straight to the barrier. For sure, this was not the plan!
“For the re-started race, everything was OK. I was a bit nervous for the car, but it was working well. There was a little bit of work to do before the final, but I have the best team in the world to do this work – they were fantastic. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t feel like I had the perfect pace in the first half of the race and Andreas [Bakkerud] was right with me. In some places it was so slippery, I just had to be really precise and careful.
“For the second half, I said to myself: “OK, just put these laps together…” I did that and it worked. I did the joker on the final lap and it was perfect.
“You can imagine, now I’m happy. It was a super-stressful hour, but we took the win and some good points for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden and that’s all that matters.”
Petter Solberg (NOR) #11
“It’s so tough to stop like this in the semi-final. We had a good car for the weekend, we were leading overnight and everything was looking good for the final. What happened with Johan was really one of those things, but it always hurts a little bit more when it’s a collision with one of your team-mates.
“What we can say is that the team has done a fantastic job, the car was so quick here all weekend. Even when the grip was harder to find on Sunday, we still made the Polo work. It’s a shame, it would have been fantastic to keep the run going and to make another final, but it didn’t happen.
“Hey, this was a tough Sunday for us, but still the team is extending its lead. OK, I have dropped back a little bit, but now we move on and we look forward to Norway. I’m going home.”
Pernilla Solberg (PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team principal)
“Firstly, a huge congratulations to Johan. What a fantastic final for him. What happened in the semi-final with him and Petter was really unfortunate, but these things can happen when we are racing.
“Of course we are all sad for Petter, but when you have both cars in the same semi-final and then both of them on the front row, it can be a bit of a nightmare scenario. We saw some of that today.
“One of the real positives to come out of the situation in the semi-final is the co-operation we made between the organisers, the FIA and all the teams. After the incident involving one of the other cars in Belgium, we were all working to make a better system with the red flag and today we saw the results of all that work. Everybody did a great job, the race director and everybody – we had real clarity on what was happening and how much time we had to work on the car.
“Like I said, it’s tough for Petter, but you know Johan’s third win of the season is really something to celebrate for the team.
“And finally, we have to say congratulations on SpeedMachine. The promoter has put so much work into this event and to see so many people coming and having such a good time is really a good reward for them. There are still some areas we want to work on and improve, but we have a great foundation and a great dialogue with IMG and the FIA.”
Volkswagen R Performance fact of the weekend:
The gearbox on Johan Kristoffersson’s Volkswagen Polo R Supercar was pretty busy around Silverstone’s RX circuit at the weekend. He made 1470 upshifts and 1218 downshifts, totaling 2688 gearbox movements.
1 Johan Kristoffersson 4m00.899s
2 Andreas Bakkerud 4m01.758s
3 Sébastien Loeb 4m02.245s
4 Mattias Ekström 4m02.848s
5 Niclas Grönholm 4m04.731s
6 Kevin Hansen 4m30.882s
Drivers’ championship positions:
1 Kristoffersson 105pts
2 Loeb 91pts
3 Bakkerud 83pts
4 Ekström 80pts
5 Solberg 80pts
6 Timmy Hansen 71pts
Teams’ championship positions:
1 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden 185pts
2 EKS Audi Sport 163pts
3 Team Peugeot Total 162pts