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Sunday images from the 2018 World RX of Latvia
NEWS

WorldRX: Kristoffersson cruises to the win in Latvia

Sep 172018

Eight wins from nine rounds, six top qualifier spots in a row, another maximum points haul, and a second consecutive FIA World championship title almost within his grasp. Is there any stopping Johan Kristoffersson?

If his near metronome-consistent, but blistering lap-times are anything to go by then no. We think rival World RX competitors should probably just hand in their race licenses now…

Clinching victory at this weekend’s World RX of Latvia in such dominant style, was eerily similar to the commanding fashion, which Johan wrapped up the 2017 drivers title, also in Latvia, with two rounds still to run last year. In fact save for a second’s drop in the lap times - due to faster 2018-spec machinery - the podium was the same again this time out at the Bikernieki circuit – with Johan leaving second placed Mattias Ekström and third placed Sebastien Loeb trailing in his dust.

“The last one and a half laps of the final actually reminded me of last year here in Latvia,” explained Johan. “Coming to race at this track is always going to be special to me now, as this is where I won the World Championship in 2017. Now taking the victory again here – although we have some more races to go still - means it’s looking good again for the title this year.

 

“Overall I enjoyed the final, we made some adjustments to the car just after the semi, to help the grip levels. I was a little bit over cautious at times maybe – as I made some mistakes in the semi-finals and didn’t want to repeat them; but generally just tried to get a clean start, brake as late as possible into turn-one to protect my position, and then push to the finish. I’m looking forward to heading to Austin now – I’ve never been to the US before, and a new circuit is a fresh challenge, it’s going to be fun for sure!”

 

For team mate Petter Solberg, the weekend unfortunately ended in bitter disappointment. Lightning fast reaction times at the race starts, and scorching lap times all through Saturday and Sunday weren’t enough to save him from the gravel trap as a result of a huge rear-end-shunt during the start of semi final one, ultimately leaving him seventh.

Petter explains: “Congratulations to Johan – I’m a little bit jealous of course – I wanted to be fighting in the final with him. But he’s put in an unbelievable performance again this weekend. I mean eight wins from nine events; this is just incredible. From my side, that was a big big hit I took from Guerlain in the semi final.

 

“There is a lot of damage to the suspension and floor of the car, so the team have got a huge job to do now ahead of Austin. I really wanted to be fighting for the podium here in Latvia. I’ve just been very unlucky. I must look at the positives too – the team have done another amazing job, and we are in a very good position in the championship. I look forward to fighting again at the next race in the USA at a new track!”

 

Check the final result here, and hit play below to re-live all the final fire-spitting action from the World RX of Latvia.

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