Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo RX1e) won the final round of the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship today (November 13) at the Nürburgring in Germany and therefore the 2022 FIA World champion ended the season in style. He won the final from Niclas Grönholm (PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e) and Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e). European Champion Kobe Pauwels (Audi A1) also ended the championship in style with winning the last race in the 2022 FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX3 cars.
The second day at the Nürburgring started only after noon with a warm-up session followed by the Progression races determining the semi-finals starting positions. In the first one Johan Kristoffersson beat Klara Andersson (PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e). The second one had among others Guerlain Chicherit (Lancia Delta Evo-e RX) who got his car ready to race again. Timmy Hansen won that second Progression race from Niclas Grönholm.
Then the first semi-final went underway with Kristoffersson, Grönholm, Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e) and Anton Marklund (SEAT Ibiza) and was won by Kristoffersson ahead of Kevin Hansen with qualification for the final for both. The second semi-final with Timmy Hansen, Andersson, Ole Christian Veiby (VW Polo RX1e), Gustav Bergström (VW Polo RX1e) and Chicherit was won by Timmy Hansen ahead of Veiby. Together with Klara Andersson all three drivers were allowed to start in the final. However, the Construction Equipment Dealer Team decided afterwards to withdraw Andersson from the final in favor of Grönholm who was first reserve. Andersson was seventh in the championship standings before the final while Grönholm was defending his third place in the standings this weekend.
In the last race of the season Kristoffersson won the start and came out of the first turn leading the field with Grönholm going into second and Kevin Hansen in third. The last named together with Timmy Hansen and Veiby passed through the joker lap section in the opening lap. Kristoffersson and Grönholm ran one and two in the remaining laps and both went into the joker lap section in the last lap. Kristoffersson joined the main track again as leader while Grönholm was passed by Kevin Hansen. World champion Kristoffersson therefore won the last race of the season with Kevin Hansen and Grönholm passing the finish as second and third.
“It was a very good weekend,” Kristoffersson commented after the final. “This is a huge team effort and the KMS #[Kristoffersson Motorsport] guys and girls have delivered a perfect car all year.
“Every win we’ve achieved has been for our loyal partners and everybody involved in this project who put the whole package together from zero.
“When they build a car I can trust and that gives me the confidence to push, I can simply focus on doing my job.”
For the Construction Equipment Dealer Team it looked like the withdrawal of Andersson and bringing in Grönholm did not work out as planned as Kevin Hansen initially won it for third in the championship from Grönholm by only one championship point.
However, this was changed afterwards when Kevin Hansen got disqualified from the final following post event scrutineering. “The lower wishbone from the left side of the car did not comply with the declaration form from the car” was read in the Stewards Decision published on Sunday evening.
Timmy Hansen commented on his second place finish in the championship. “To finish second in the Drivers’ championship is fantastic and also second for the team in the Teams’ championship is a great result”, he said.
“Of course we want to win and I know we are all still very hungry to create a better package, but we will absolutely take this result and look to the future.”
Similar story was heard at Construction Equipment Dealer Team who, after the Kevin Hansen disqualification from the final, claimed third in the championship.
“First, I want to thank my teammate for letting me take her place in the final to fight for a podium in the championship”, Grönholm said. “To claim third in the championship with this team feels amazing, and I am happy for everyone in the team as well as our partners who have worked so hard for this.”
“It has been a promising, but also challenging season with the new all-electric cars.
“Now we have a lot of data and experience to work with and to improve both the driving and the cars to fight even higher up in the championship next season.”
In the final standings after ten rounds Johan Kristoffersson totalizes 182 points, runner-up is Timmy Hansen with 136 points and Niclas Grönholm is third with 130 points. The 2022 Team championship went to Kristoffersson Motorsport with Hansen World RX Team second and Construction Equipment Dealer Team third.
In the RX3 category the final for the last race of the season had championship newcomer Jens Hvaal (Škoda Fabia Mk3) and Martin Kjær (Ford Fiesta Mk7) from the first semi-final and Kobe Pauwels and Jan Černý (Škoda Citigo) from the second semi-final. The ‘best’ third place finisher was Damian Litwinowicz (Audi A1). The final with Hvaal on pole and Pauwels besides him saw Černý going into the lead ahead of Hvaal with Pauwels passing through the joker lap section in the opening lap. When Černý came out of the joker lap section later on he broke the suspension of the Citigo and did not finish the final. Litwinowicz was leading it in the mean time but still had to pass through the joker lap section. This allowed Pauwels and Hvaal to pass Litwinowicz and for Pauwels to win his fourth RX3 race (out of five) this season. In the final standings Pauwels ends it with 96 points. Damian Litwinowicz is the runner up with 65 points and Jan Černý (53 points) ends the championship as third.
The event at the Nürburgring concluded the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship with the championship returning in 2023. At the time of writing the 2023 calendar however has not been announced. It is supposed to be revealed in December after the last FIA WMSC meeting of the year.
World RX – Final: 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), VW Polo RX1e; 2. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e; 3. Timmy Hansen (S), Peugeot 208 RX1e; 4. Ole Christian Veiby (N), VW Polo RX1e; -. Kevin Hansen (S), Peugeot 208 RX1e – DSQ.
World RX Team: 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 32; 2. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 26; 3. Hansen World RX Team (S), 24.
Euro RX3 – Final: 1. Kobe Pauwels (B), Audi A1; 2. Jens Hvaal (N), Škoda Fabia Mk3; 3. Damian Litwinowicz (PL), Audi A1; 4. Martin Kjær (N), Ford Fiesta Mk7; 5. Jan Černý (CZ), Škoda Citigo – DNF.
World RX (10/10): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 182; 2. Timmy Hansen (S), 136; 3. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), 130; 4. Ole Christian Veiby (N), 124; 5. Kevin Hansen (S), 123; etc.
World RX Team (10/10): 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 306; 2. Hansen World RX Team (S), 259; 3. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 232.
Euro RX3 (5/5): 1. Kobe Pauwels (B), 96; 2. Damian Litwinowicz (PL), 65; 3. Jan Černý CZ), 53; 4. João Ribeiro (P), 52; 5. Nils Volland (D), 41; etc.