Kouvola World Rallycross: Kristoffersson in control as he takes second 2020 win

World Rallycross returnee Johan Kristoffersson netted his second series victory in a week, winning the third round at Kouvola in Finland ahead of local star Juha Rytkonen

Kouvola World Rallycross: Kristoffersson in control as he takes second 2020 win

Kristoffersson dominated proceedings on his first ever visit to the Finnish venue, the double-header introduced into the schedule at short notice to embellish the number of rounds in the coronavirus-hit World RX schedule.

Fastest through qualifying, Kristoffersson won both the first semi-final and the final from the front with relative ease in the Kristoffersson Motorsport-run, works-built Volkswagen Polo and extended his margin to 16 points at the head of the drivers' standings, helped in part by closest points challenger Mattias Ekstrom retiring from the semi-finals.

Ekstrom, the 2016 series champion, had started from pole position in the second semi-final, but dropped to second at the opening corner behind Rytkonen, then was slowed with a problem at the second turn of the second tour.

Ekstrom's KYB Team JC team-mate Robin Larsson had also dropped back in the opening corners and, despite fighting hard to make up for lost ground, suffered a puncture in the closing stages while Rytkonen won the race to join Kristoffersson on the front row for the main event.

While Kristoffersson made the best launch from pole in the final, reigning champion Timmy Hansen closed the door on Niclas Gronholm at the first corner, the latter taking his joker at the first opportunity towards the end of the undulating Kouvola lap.

Hansen thus held third ahead of his brother Kevin and double DTM champion Timo Scheider, with everybody moving up one place when Rytkonen took his joker on lap three.

Guided by World RX event winner Toomas Heikkinen on the radio, the decision to send reigning Finnish Rallycross champion Rytkonen into the extra-route joker on the third tour was the correct call, as he covered off GRX regular and team-mate Gronholm.

The places remained the same until the final tour when Timmy Hansen just stayed ahead of Gronholm after taking his joker, covering the inside into the final corner to secure his first podium of the campaign.

Behind Gronholm, Scheider climbed ahead of Kevin Hansen to take fifth.

The biggest adulation was reserved for Rytkonen, however, finishing second between the series' two most recent champions on his debut, on the back of just a single day's testing in the GRX Hyundai i20.

shares
comments
Mattias Ekstrom remains with KYB Team JC for World RX Finland

Previous article

Mattias Ekstrom remains with KYB Team JC for World RX Finland

Next article

Kouvola World Rallycross: Gronholm withstands huge pressure for home win

Kouvola World Rallycross: Gronholm withstands huge pressure for home win
Load comments

About this article

Series World Rallycross
Drivers Johan Kristoffersson
Author Hal Ridge
From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10 Plus

From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10

Petter Solberg has called time on his top-flight career after winning titles in two FIA world championships. Here, the 2003 rally and '14/15 rallycross king recalls his 10 best events - including the moment where all his success began

World Rallycross
Nov 7, 2019
How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX Plus

How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX

World Rallycross makes its first appearance at Silverstone this year as part of the 'Speedmachine' festival in May. We take a look at how the new rallycross track fared in its debut event

World Rallycross
Mar 22, 2018
Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely Plus

Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely

Volkswagen's abrupt departure from the World Rally Championship it was dominating was one of the winter's biggest shocks. Now 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg's World Rallycross team has VW support. What does that mean for World RX and what remains of Volkswagen Motorsport?

World Rallycross
Apr 3, 2017
Why rallycross is becoming irresistible Plus

Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Sebastien Loeb started a new journey in his motorsport career last weekend, but he wasn't the only attraction in Portugal. DAVID EVANS examines why the World Rallycross product works so well

World Rallycross
Apr 21, 2016
How good is World Rallycross? Plus

How good is World Rallycross?

The entries are strong, the cars are powerful and it can teach the WRC a thing or two about promotion. But after visiting the Lydden Hill round, DAVID EVANS still has his doubts

World Rallycross
May 30, 2014
New rallycross golden age comes to Britain Plus

New rallycross golden age comes to Britain

The sport began at Lydden in the late 1960s and this weekend the new-look World Rallycross Championship will strut its stuff at the Kent venue. HAL RIDGE explains why it will be unmissable

World Rallycross
May 23, 2014
Solberg: why rallycross is my future Plus

Solberg: why rallycross is my future

PETTER SOLBERG had a rough first season back in rallycross, but that hasn't deterred him from signing up for the first year of its new era in 2014, as he explains in his AUTOSPORT column

World Rallycross
Oct 16, 2013
Solberg: back to school Plus

Solberg: back to school

Petter Solberg says that there's still lots to learn about running a successful rallycross campaign, but he's really enjoying getting back to his roots

World Rallycross
Apr 2, 2013