Sweden’s Timmy Hansen raced to victory at the Logitech G FIA World RX of Pirineus-Barcelona 2030, round seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy at the weekend, his first victory since winning the 2019 Drivers’ title – but, Johan Kristofferson bounced back on the second day of the double-header to claim another victory.
The reigning champion qualified for the front row of the final with a full set of new tyres at his disposal on Team Hansen’s Peugeot 208 Supercar. Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson, the 2020 Drivers’ Championship leader with three victories to his name, started from pole position and led the final race in the opening phase, but when he took his joker lap – an alternative route that every driver much take once in each race – on lap six, Hansen moved into the lead following a series of near-perfect laps and Kristoffersson had to settle for second at the finish line.
Hansen’s victory – by less than half a second – makes him the fourth different 2020 winner from seven rounds, and lifted him to third in the Drivers’ standings. Kristoffersson Motorsport’s Kristoffersson, driving a Volkswagen Polo, had taken the TQ (top qualifier) position in the Intermediate Classification, and the win in semi-final one and second in the final helped the 2017 and 2018 World RX Champion extend his 2020 standings lead to 25 points.
Sweden’s Kevin Hansen was second to team mate and older brother Timmy Hansen in semi-final two and finished third in the final to repeat the double-podium for Team Hansen from the Catalan round in 2019.
Finland’s Niclas Gronholm, the GRX Taneco driver, battled his way to fourth in the final. He overtook 2020 title challenger and 2016 Drivers’ Champion Mattias Ekstrom, from Sweden, during the final. KYB Team JC’s Ekstrom overcame technical challenges with his Audi S1 during the seventh round of the season to finish fifth and remains in title contention with three rounds of the season remaining. KYB Team JC maintained its position in the lead of the Teams’ Championship standings.
Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel’s Andreas Bakkerud, from Norway, delivered his strongest performance of the season so far. He set the quickest time in Q2 and finished sixth in the final.
“It feels like I’ve just beaten the unbeatable one. For so many years we have chased that Volkswagen, as a private team, as a factory team with Peugeot and now as a private team again. The guys have done some magic back home, we’ve been testing really hard but we’re onto something and we came here feeling we had the pace. But, I needed to get everything out of myself in that final, it was hard just to keep up with Johan in the beginning, then from the moment I took the joker I needed to get every single corner 100% right. I must say I was even a bit lucky a couple of times on those laps, but that was everything I’ve got. Johan has again done a fantastic weekend but finally I managed to beat him in a final and it feels fantastic to be the winner,” said Timmy Hansen.
Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov, the GRX Taneco driver, was fourth in semi-final one in a Hyundai i20 after he lost time at the start. Xite Racing’s Oliver Bennett, from Great Britain, made a return to World RX and was fifth. Germany’s Timo Scheider, racing for ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport, retired on the second lap of the first semi-final with a technical problem.
Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson claimed a dramatic victory at the Logitech G FIA World RX of Catalunya, round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy (18 October).
The Kristoffersson Motorsport Volkswagen Polo driver’s 24th career victory ensured Kristoffersson maintained his advantage at the top of the Drivers’ standings, as he targets a record-breaking third crown.
Kristoffersson initially lost ground to KYB Team JC’s Mattias Ekstrom, from Sweden, in the race for Drivers’ Championship points at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as he qualified fifth in the Intermediate Classification, with Ekstrom the top qualifier.
Double World RX Champion (2017 and 2018) Kristoffersson got the upper hand over 2016 Champion Ekstrom in the semi-final stages, and used superior pace to beat 2019 Drivers’ Champion Timmy Hansen, from Sweden, in the final.
Kristoffersson started second in the final and survived contact with Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud at the first corner to take the lead of the race. The turn one incident – in which Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel’s Bakkerud was forced into the wall on the inside of the track – ended the Norwegian’s race, his Renault Megane getting hit by the Audi S1 of KYB Team JC’s Robin Larsson from Sweden, who also retired.
Kristoffersson led the final for the first three laps before taking his joker lap, which gave Team Hansen’s Timmy Hansen, from Sweden, the lead. Hansen took his joker on lap six and Kristoffersson moved back into the lead to take victory. Hansen (Peugeot 208) added a second place to his victory from round seven in the Logitech G FIA World RX of Pirineus-Barcelona 2030. Sweden’s Anton Marklund, the GCK Bilsten driver, claimed his first podium of the season with third in a Renault Megane RS RX.
Ekstrom was classified fourth after a problem in the final with his Audi S1. He did however claim victory in round eight of the Champion Fast Start Award and KYB Team JC continues to lead the World RX Teams’ Championship standings.
“I had a great start in the final, I saw Andreas drop back, I didn’t expect him to be there – I thought he was further back than he was. I couldn’t do anything different be honest, but from there on we jokered before Timmy today, I saw Timmy had four new tyres but I had two new tyres and I gave it absolutely everything to manage to beat him. I’m just so happy, we had pace all day but couldn’t really show it, I had traffic in every session. The semi-final was very nice and then in the final we had good pace. It’s a big relief,” said winner Kristoffersson.
GRX Taneco’s Niclas Gronholm, from Finland, and Timur Timerzyanov, from Russia were fourth and fifth in the team’s Hyundai i20s in semi-final two. Belgium’s Enzo Ide made his first ever World RX semi-final for Team JC Raceteknik and finished sixth in semi-final two with an Audi S1.
The ninth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at the Spa World RX of Benelux (21-22 November).