Third round of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship and third win for Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo RX1e). The Swede and defending champion won the final at Höljes today (July 2) from Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) and his teammate Ole Christian Veiby (VW Polo RX1e). In the other categories at Höljes were first career wins for Ole Henry Steinsholt (RX2e) in the FIA RX2e Championship, Patrick O’Donovan (Peugeot 208) in Euro RX1 and Espen Isaksætre (Audi A1) in Euro RX3.
After Saturday’s qualifying heats in World RX Johan Kristoffersson added two more fastest times on Sunday to finish on top of the ranking. Second and third in the ranking were Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208) and Timmy Hansen while his teammate Ole Christian Veiby was fourth. Kristoffersson continued with winning the first semi-final ahead of Timmy Hansen and Guerlain Chicherit (Lancia Delta Evo-e RX), who qualified for the first time for the World RX final. The second semi-final went to pole sitter Kevin Hansen with Veiby finishing second and Timo Scheider (SEAT Ibiza RX1e) third, qualifying for a second time in a row for the final. Sébastien Loeb (Lancia Delta Evo-e RX) finished fourth and missed out for a spot in the final.
The World RX final had a front row occupied by Kristoffersson and Kevin Hansen. Timmy Hansen and Veiby were on the second row while Scheider and Chicherit were placed on the third row. The start went to Kristoffersson who was leading it after turn 1. Initially Veiby ran second but soon he was overtaken by Timmy Hansen. Passings through the joker lap section of Veiby and Timmy Hansen afterwards didn’t change the positions. Kristoffersson himself passed through it in the final lap to win his third event this season and another maximum championship points. Timmy Hansen and Veiby completed the Höljes World RX podium.
Viktor Vranckx (RX2e) drove to the fastest time on a wet track in heat 4 of the RX2e category and was on top of the ranking ahead of Nils Andersson (RX2e), Ole Henry Steinsholt and Isak Sjökvist (RX2e). In the semi-finals Vranckx was out in the first semi-final and was leading it in the third lap when he spun his car 360 degrees but managed it to continue. Then in the final lap, when coming out of the joker lap section and still leading, he hit the barrier but even this time he managed it to keep the lead and holding of Steinsholt. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (RX2e) was the other qualifier for the final. Swedes Nils Andersson, Isak Sjökvist and Filip Thorén (RX2e) were the qualifiers for the final following semi-final 2. Vranckx had the better start in the final from the front row and led it until the third lap when he passed through the joker lap section. He joined the main track again behind front row starter Andersson and Åhlin-Kottulinsky. Both went into the joker lap section in the final lap and Andersson came out of it ahead of Vranckx. However between turns 5 and 6 cars spun on an extremely slippery track and eventually Ole Henry Steinsholt lead it from the velodrome and won ahead of Vranckx and Sjökvist.
During the last race of the remaining qualifying heat in the RX1 category Robin Larsson (Audi S1), Andreas Bakkerud (Audi S1) and Anton Marklund (Ford Fiesta Mk7) could battle it out leading to a win for Larsson and another fastest time securing himself top of the ranking. Marklund ranked second ahead of Bakkerud leading to a semi-final with Larsson and Bakkerud on the front row. In that first semi-final Hell winner Sivert Svardal (VW Polo Mk5) had the better start from the second row while Bakkerud had issues to launch his Audi. Larsson then managed it to overtake Svardal when the latter went into the joker lap section. Third row starter Patrick O’Donovan came in third. The second semi-final saw a front row with Marklund and Enzo Ide (Audi S1) with Jānis Baumanis (Peugeot 208) on the second row. Marklund had the better start and led it from lights to flag. Ulrik Linnemann (VW Polo Mk5), who was on the second row, finished second ahead of Baumanis. Portugal winner Enzo Ide came in fourth and was left out for the final.
The RX1 final had Larsson and Marklund on the front row, Svardal and Linnemann on the second row while Baumanis and O’Donovan completed the grid on the third row. Marklund had the better start while Larsson missed his start. Linnemann was leading in the opening lap ahead of O’Donovan and Svardal as Marklund as well as Larsson both went straight into the joker lap section. Then O’Donovan passed Linnemann in the second lap allowing him to create a gap on the others given the slower pace of the Dane and the difficulties to overtake on a slippery track. When O’Donovan came out of the joker lap section in the final lap Larsson came short and had to settle for second. Therefore O’Donovan scored his first Euro RX1 win with Larsson finishing second. Anton Marklund (61 points) is leading it in the standings after four events from Enzo Ide (56 points).
In RX3 on Sunday morning on a wet track Nils Volland (Audi A1) was fastest in the remaining heat beating Espen Isaksætre who was fastest in all heats yesterday. Isaksætre was still on top of the ranking ahead of João Ribeiro (Audi A1), Nils Volland and Jens Hvaal (Škoda Fabia Mk3). Damian Litwinowicz (Audi A1) was ranked fifth. Isaksætre took part in the first semi-final that was won by Ribeiro after the Norwegian made a few small mistakes. Together with Litwinowicz all three Volland Racing Audi’s were through to the final. Martin Kjær (Škoda Fabia Mk3) won the second semi-final after Nils Volland lead it until halfway the final lap. Hvaal finished second and Volland managed it to come in third and qualify for the final.
Ribeiro and Kjær shared the front row for the final but it was Isaksætre from the second row who had the better start and led it after turn 2. With three cars passing through the joker lap section in the opening lap and the other three in the lap after everyone was equal again on the track. Given the pouring rain and the slippery track Ribeiro spun off the track when running second allowing Litwinowicz to move into second. Isaksætre managed it to keep his car on the track and won his first ever European event ahead of Litwinowicz. Jens Hvaal finished third and was allowed to join the Volland Racing drivers on the podium. With one more event to come Litwinowicz (78 points) is leading it in the standings from Isaksætre (73 points).
The next round of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship is taking place on July 22-23 at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in England.
World RX – Final: 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), VW Polo RX1e; 2. Timmy Hansen (S), Peugeot 208; 3. Ole Christian Veiby (N), VW Polo RX1e; 4. Kevin Hansen (S), Peugeot 208; 5. Timo Scheider (D), SEAT Ibiza RX1e; 6. Guerlain Chicherit (F), Lancia Delta Evo-e RX- DNF.
World RX Team: 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 36; 2. Hansen World RX Team (S), 31; 3. Special One Racing (F), 18; 4. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 16.
RX2e – Final: 1. Ole Henry Steinsholt (N), RX2e; 2. Viktor Vranckx (B), RX2e; 3. Isak Sjökvist (S), RX2e; 4. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (S), RX2e; 5. Nils Andersson (S), RX2e; 6. Filip Thorén (S), RX2e.
Euro RX1 – Final: 1. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), Peugeot 208; 2. Robin Larsson (S), Audi S1; 3. Ulrik Linnemann (DK), VW Polo Mk5; 4. Anton Marklund (S), Ford Fiesta Mk7; 5. Jānis Baumanis (LV), Peugeot 208; 6. Sivert Svardal (N), VW Polo Mk5.
Euro RX3 – Final: 1. Espen Isaksætre (N), Audi A1; 2. Damian Litwinowicz (PL), Audi A1; 3. Jens Hvaal (N), Škoda Fabia Mk3; 4. João Ribeiro (P), Audi A1; 5. Nils Volland (D), Audi A1; 6. Martin Kjaer (N), Škoda Fabia Mk3.
World RX (3/10): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 69; 2. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), 42; 3. Kevin Hansen (S), 38; 4. Ole Christian Veiby (N), 35; 5. Timmy Hansen (S), 33; etc.
World RX Team (3/10): 1. Kristoffersson Motorsport (S), 104; 2. Construction Equipment Dealer Team (S), 72; 3. Hansen World RX Team (S), 71; 4. Special One Racing (F), 46.
RX2e (2/5): 1. Isak Sjökvist (S), 36; 2. Nils Andersson (S), 31; 3. Viktor Vranckx (B), 27; 4. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (S), 25; 5. Pablo Suárez (E), 20; etc.
Euro RX1 (4/6): 1. Anton Marklund (S), 61; 2. Enzo Ide (B), 56; 3. Jānis Baumanis (LV), 55; 4. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), 52; 5. René Münnich (D), 38; etc.
Euro RX3 (4/5): 1. Damian Litwinowicz (PL), 78; 2. Espen Isaksætre (N), 73; 3. Nils Volland (D), 57; 4. Jens Hvaal (N), 46; 5. Martin Kjaer (N), 33; etc.