Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo RX1e) won the second round of the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship on Saturday (September 3) at Riga in Latvia. He won the World RX final from Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e) and Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e).
Riga’s Biķernieki Sport Complex is playing host for rounds 2 and 3 of the new all-electric FIA Wolrd Rlalycross Championship for RX1e cars this weekend. In addition also round 4 of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX1 cars and round 3 of the FIA RX2e Championship are also taking place this weekend.
Saturday started with the winner of the opening round in August, Johan Kristoffersson, being fastest of the 8-car field in the free practice session. He was quicker than Timmy Hansen and his teammate Ole Christian Veiby (VW Polo RX1e). Afterwards he was also on top of the list of the controversial SuperPole and was as such forced to start the first race of the first heat from pole while driver’s desire is to finish second in the SuperPole so they can start from pole in the second race. Timmy Hansen was today the “lucky” one by setting a time of 1 hundred of a second slower than Kristoffersson.
Despite Kristoffersson had to start from pole in heat one’s first race he was still able to set the fastest time ahead of Timmy Hansen. Kevin Hansen signed for a third fastest time while Veiby was fourth. In the second heat, in race 2, Niclas Grönholm (PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e) beat Timmy Hansen and Kristoffersson eventually leading to a second fastest time for the Finn. Kevin Hansen, who was part of the first race, was fastest in heat 2 with Kristoffersson fifth.
After the second heat the event continued with the Progression Races according to the format in case a double-header is organized over a single weekend. Following the result of the Progression Races Kevin Hansen was on pole for the first semi-final while Kristoffersson got the pole for the second semi-final. The first semi-final ended with a win for Kevin Hansen ahead of Veiby with both of them qualified for the final. Grönholm on the other hand did not finish and was out for the final. In semi-final 2 Kristoffersson meet once more Timmy Hansen. However when the semi-final went underway Gustav Bergstrom (VW Polo RX1e) moved into the lead ahead of Hansen and Kristoffersson. The latter then decided to pass through the joker lap section in the opening lap. Later on he climbed to second when Hansen passed through the joker lap section and eventually he came in first ahead of Hansen with Begström down to third after the joker. For Bergström the third place finish was sufficient to start in the RX1e final.
Kevin Hansen then had the better start in the final and came out of the second turn as race leader ahead of Kristoffersson and Veiby. The latter choose for an early joker allowing Timmy Hansen to move into third chasing Kristoffersson. When Kristoffersson passed through the joker lap section in the second lap, the Hansen brothers were leading it one and two and could try to use team tactics in order to get the win. However Kristoffersson made it in second in the third lap already with Kevin Hansen down to third after he came out of the joker lap section. With Kristoffersson closing the gap on Timmy Hansen he took his second win of the season; Kevin and Timmy Hansen came in second and third and completed an all Swedish podium. Veiby finished fourth ahead of Gustav Bergström in fifth.
“It feels like we’ve spent most of today fighting back since winning SuperPole, so it’s really nice to pull this one off,” said Kristoffersson.
“It’s been a tough day in that respect, and I owe big thanks to the team for preparing for the event so well as well as to my teammates for doing such a brilliant job. The car felt good right from the word ‘go’.
“I saved my tyres early on in the final so I would still have some left when I needed them, as I knew I would only have one lap to make the difference. Thankfully that tactic paid off, enabling me to put in one of my best laps of the weekend so far.”
In the championship Kristoffersson is leading it with maximum points (40 points) now, 11 points clear on Timmy Hansen (29 points).
In the FIA RX2e Championship Viktor Vranckx (RX2e), winner of both of the previous rounds, had a bit of a bumpy start of the weekend in his free practice. Afterwards in the heats he set a fifth and fourth time holding fifth place overnight. Isak Sjökvist (RX2e) is leading it after having set a fastest time twice. Andorra’s Raül Ferré (RX2e) is currently second with local driver Roberts Vītols (RX2e) third.
In Euro RX1 Enzo Ide (Audi S1) is leading it after two heats. The Belgian set the fastest time in the first heat and drove his Audi to a third fastest time in the second heat. Anton Marklund (Hyundai i20) who was fastest in the second heat Is going second overnight ahead of Latvia’s Jānis Baumanis (Peugeot 208) in the #YellowSquad Peugeot 208.
Racing action continues tomorrow Sunday (September 4) with the third round of the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship and the remaining heats, semi-finals and finals for the RX2e and Euro RX1 categories.
World RX – Final: 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), VW Polo RX1e; 2. Kevin Hansen (S), Peugeot 208 RX1e; 3. Timmy Hansen (S), Peugeot 208 RX1e; 4. Ole Christian Veiby (N), VW Polo RX1e; 5. Gustav Bergström (S), VW Polo RX1e.
World RX Team: 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 32; 2. Hansen World RX Team (S), 29; 3. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 17.
RX2e (after two heats): 1. Isak Sjökvist (S), 100; 2. Raül Ferré (AND), 87; 3. Roberts Vītols (LV), 82; 4. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), 81; 5. Viktor Vranckx (B), 79; etc.
Euro RX1 (after two heats): 1. Enzo Ide (B), 92; 2. Anton Marklund (S), 89; 3. Jānis Baumanis (LV), 87; 4. Sondre Evjen (N), 85; 5. Ronalds Badiņš (LV), 76; etc.
World RX (2/11): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 40; 2. Timmy Hansen (S), 29; 3. Kevin Hansen (S), 25; 4. Ole Christian Veiby (N), 25; 5. Gustav Bergström (S), 21; etc.
World RX Team (2/11): 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 65; 2. Hansen World RX Team (S), 54; 3. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 40.