Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo RX1e) continued his winning streak in the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship. After having won yesterday’s second round, he won today (September 4) the third round of the championship at Biķernieki Sport Complex at Riga in Latvia. He won the final from Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e) and Ole Christian Veiby (VW Polo RX1e). In the FIA RX2e Championship Patrick O’Donovan (RX2e) was victorious while the win in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX1 cars went to Sondre Evjen (Audi S1).
Sunday started for World RX similar to Saturday. Kristoffersson was faster than Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e) in the morning practice session and was on top of the SuperPole result list, once more ahead of Timmy Hansen. Then in the first heat Kristoffersson drove to a fastest time ahead of his teammate Ole Christian Veiby, Niclas Grönholm (PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e) and Timmy and Kevin Hansen. In the second heat it was the other way round with Timmy Hansen being quicker than Kristoffersson. Following the Progression Races Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen meet again during the first semi-final where they finished one and two and made their way to the final. Ole Christian Veiby was victorious in the second semi-final with Niclas Grönholm coming in second. Kevin Hansen spun his car and came is only third. Based on his qualifying position he was initially left out for the final and Gustav Bergström (VW Polo RX1e) was the fifth qualifier for the final. Then the Stewards of the Meeting gave a 10 seconds time penalty to Veiby for an incident with Kevin Hansen. Therefore, Veiby was set back to third place in semi-final 2 and eventually Kevin Hansen was in the final together with Veiby as ‘best’ of the third place finishers.
In the final the Hansen brothers had the better start as Kevin went into the lead ahead of Timmy with Kristoffersson in third. Timmy Hansen then passed through the joker lap section in the opening lap allowing Kristoffersson to move into second. Kevin Hansen, from the leading position, went into the joker lap section in the pentultimate lap with Kristoffersson becoming the new race leader ahead of Veiby. Both cleared the joker in the final lap with Kristoffersson staying in the lead and winning his third event in a row. Kevin Hansen was able to pass Veiby for second place. Timmy Hansen and Niclas Grönholm finished fourth and fifth respectively.
“Double-headers are demanding,” Kristoffersson commented afterwards. “This weekend was even more so with the weather being so up and down. We had to adapt to driving the car in the wet for the first time and make constant set-up changes to suit the conditions, which was a huge challenge for the whole team.
“It’s all about small details here in Riga, and that proved to be the case again. It was a tough fight with Kevin [Hansen] in the final, but I managed to reel him in and just had enough time to get the overlap we needed, and it was nice to see Ole Christian [Veiby] on the podium as well.”
In the championship after three events Kristoffersson (60 points) is leading it with maximum points. Kevin and Timmy Hansen are second both with 41 points.
In the FIA RX2e Championship the first semi-final was won by Isak Sjökvist (RX2e) ahead of local driver Roberts Vītols (RX2e). The second one went to Patrick O’Donovan with Raül Ferré (RX2e) finishing second. Unbeaten so far this season, Viktor Vranckx (RX2e) from Belgium only made it through to the final after his third place finish in the second semi-final and beating the other third place finisher, Nils Andersson (RX2e), based on a better placing in the heats. The final saw Patrick O’Donovan winning his first RX2e event of his career. He was able to hold off Isak Sjökvist and Viktor Vranckx who still finished on the podium. In the standings Vranckx remains in the lead with 51 points, 11 points clear on Sjökvist.
In the Euro RX1 category the first semi-final had championship leader Anton Marklund (Hyundai i20) on pole with Enzo Ide (Audi S1) besides him. Both finished as first and second and were qualified for the final. In the second semi-final local hero Jānis Baumanis (Peugeot 208) went into the lead however turbo issues later on in the race made him finish only fifth and as such he was out for the finals. Sondre Evjen and Mikko Ikonen (Hyundai i20) were the direct qualifiers for the final. The best third place finisher was Sivert Svardal (VW Polo Mk5) who completed the five-car final. In the final it was Sondre Evjen who beat Anton Marklund in the start. With Evjen coming out of the joker lap section by the end of the fourth lap Markllund was able to overtake Evjen but the Norwegian immediately responded and overtook the Swede again. The fight continued throughout the final lap eventually leading to the very first ‘Supercar’ win for Sondre Evjen. Marklund finished second ahead of Enzo Ide in third. In the standings after four events, Marklund (68 points) holds a comfortable lead over Baumanis (42 points).
The next rounds of the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship (rounds 4 and 5) are taking places in two weeks time (September 17-18) at Montalegre in the north of Portugal.
World RX – Final: 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), VW Polo RX1e; 2. Kevin Hansen (S), Peugeot 208 RX1e; 3. Ole Christian Veiby (N), VW Polo RX1e; 4. Timmy Hansen (S), Peugeot 208 RX1e; 5. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e.
World RX Team: 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 33; 2. Hansen World RX Team (S), 28; 3. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 20.
RX2e – Final: 1. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), RX2e; 2. Isak Sjökvist (S), RX2e; 3. Viktor Vranckx (B), RX2e; 4. Roberts Vītols (LV), RX2e; 5. Raül Ferré (AND), RX2e.
Euro RX1 – Final: 1. Sondre Evjen (N), Audi S1; 2. Anton Marklund (S), Hyundai i20; 3. Enzo Ide (B), Audi S1; 4. Mikko Ikonen (FIN), Hyundai i20; 5. Siver Svardal (N), VW Polo Mk5.
World RX (3/11): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 60; 2. Kevin Hansen (S), 41; 3. Timmy Hansen (S), 41; 4. Ole Christian Veiby (N), 38; 5. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), 31; etc.
World RX Team (3/11): 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 98; 2. Hansen World RX Team (S), 82; 3. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 60.
RX2e (3/5): 1. Viktor Vranckx (B), 51; 2. Isak Sjökvist (S), 42; 3. Nils Andersson (S), 42; 4. Raül Ferré (AND), 35; 5. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), 31; etc.
Euro RX1 (4/6): 1. Anton Marklund (S), 68; 2. Jānis Baumanis (LV), 42; 3. Sondre Evjen (N), 40; 4. Enzo Ide (B), 35; 5. Sivert Svardal (N), 35; etc.