They don’t call it the Magic Weekend for nothing.
Racing in the wheel tracks of his perfect score clean-sweep in Norway, Johan Kristoffersson laid on another spectacular display of car control and racing on the limit at a sun-scorched 2018 World RX of Sweden.
Just over 51,000 fans crammed into the legendary Höljes Motorstadion, set deep in the Värmland Forest, to witness one of the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s most eagerly anticipated events.
While the chasing pack squabbled over the remaining positions in the dust, Johan delivered his fifth win on the bounce - from six races so far this season - in epic style. What’s more to complete the trophy haul, the 29-year-old reigning FIA Rallycross drivers champion also left his rivals standing at the lights, to secure the Monster Energy Super Charge award.
“For sure every victory is getting sweeter and sweeter, but I really had to fight for this one,” said Johan just after the weekend’s final. “It’s a tough track; and it’s a challenging track for the team and the car all around. The longer the races and weekend went on, the more comfortable I felt in the car.
“I won three out of the four qualifying races, and in the semi final the car was just perfect. In the final, again, everything was perfect but getting very hot. By the end of the race the tyres had done 12 laps (counting the semi final) so it’s all on the edge of it’s performance. Of course the atmosphere here in Höljes is just fantastic, just like the weather we’ve had all weekend. It’s also my first Monster Energy Super Charge award since France last year – so to do this in my home race in Sweden this is something very special to me.”
Cruelly PSRX Volkswagen driver and team boss, Petter Solberg was the only racer with enough pace to challenge Johan throughout the weekend; however he was denied an almost sure-fire podium position due to mechanical failure.
Just two laps from the end of his semi final race – and while leading - Petter lost all power from his 600bhp Volkswagen Polo R in a haze of blue smoke, and was forced to park up at the side of the circuit. The three time FIA World Champion went out in style though – just before retiring, Petter clocked a lap time of 41.271 seconds – which was only just two tenths slower than his record breaking lap (the fastest ever around Höljes) of 41.098 set during free practice.
“I have been disappointed before in my career, but I don’t know if I can remember a time when I am more disappointed than this,” explained an absolutely gutted Solberg. “This one really hurt so bad. I had the race in my hand, we were going directly to the final where I wanted a win. I wanted it so much. Coming out of one corner, something wasn’t right with the car, I pulled over and that was the end. There’s nothing more to say.”
Petter can maybe take some comfort in the championship standings though. Johan is now 40 points clear of nearest rival with 165 points total, and his PSRX Volkswagen Team are still leading the Teams standings on 284 points ahead of EKS Audi Sport on 239 points.
Didn’t manage to make it to Höljes? Then re-live the action of the Supercar final by clicking play below…