When you are the reigning World Champion, nothing short of victory will do. In trademark style Johan Kristoffersson took things just that little bit further at the 2018 World RX of Norway, and won absolutely everything.
With a backdrop of 24,000 screaming fans lining the Hell circuit – so named after the sleepy Norwegian village it overlooks - Johan romped to a clean-sweep of victories in all four of his qualification races, the semi-final and final.
It’s a feat that has only ever been achieved in the FIA World Rallycross Championship once before; in 2016 by Andreas Bakkerud whilst also racing at the World RX of Norway. “What an incredible weekend. I have to say from the start of the weekend I felt really comfortable with the car – it’s amazing when you have the car in your hands like this, you feel you do exactly what you want,” explained an ecstatic Johan.
“This Polo responds perfectly to what I ask and knowing I have a car like that under me gives such confidence. It’s also exactly what we need in rallycross, when you have to change direction so quickly, you need everything to be working like this – it needs to be like the glove on your hand and that’s what we had this weekend. This is such a nice race, I love to win here. OK, Sweden is my home, but I live close to here and this victory is nice, but at the same time the 30 points is even more important.”
Team-mate Petter Solberg wasn’t far behind either. Recovering from the disappointment of being knocked out of contention during the semi-finals at the last World RX round hosted at Silverstone, the three-time FIA World Champion was on solid form around the hillside Lånkebanen circuit.
Although not able to quite match Johan’s performances in the qualification races – with a 3rd, 4th, 3rd, and 8th place results haul – Petter boosted to third place in the semi final, and then also 3rd in the main final just 2.5 seconds behind Johan. What’s more Petter’s lightning reactions at the start of the final, earned him his second Monster Energy Supercharge award.
Just after picking up his custom made Supercharge trophy and third place spoils, Petter said: “This was a good weekend, it was what I needed to come back from a bit of a disappointment in Silverstone. The final was a bit crazy – or at least the first corner was. I got off the line really well, but after that when I got to the bend, the cars were everywhere and I was sure I would hit one of them or take some damage. But I got away, I got through and then I drove to my plan.
“There’s not much more I could have done this weekend, to get the podium is what I needed. It would have been nice to be one-two with Johan, but third is good; it’s a strong, strong result for the team and to see PSRX Volkswagen Sweden moving clear at the top is really important. The one thing I have to say again is a big thank you to all the fans. They are always incredible when we come here, but this time they were even more. If I had the time I would go to thank every one of them, but I think they are a little bit too much!”
The Scandinavian storm continues with the World RX of Sweden on the 30th June at the legendary forest-based Höljes circuit. Check out the full results from the World RX of Norway here, as well as the current Drivers and Teams championship standings, here.