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Kristoffersson double win begins World RX Battle of Technologies era in Sweden

First outing for World RX 'Battle of Technologies' yields double win for Johan Kristoffersson in ICE-powered Polo over electric machines

Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo

Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Internal combustion-engined cars delivered a double victory over the incumbent electric machinery on their return to the World Rallycross Championship in Sweden last weekend, courtesy of six-time champion Johan Kristoffersson.

On the first outing for what is being billed as the ‘Battle of Technologies’, local hero Kristoffersson struck the first blow for the sustainably fuelled ICE-powered cars in his KMS-run Volkswagen Polo at the Holjes season-opener.

Klara Andersson won both her Saturday heats in her electric CE Dealer Team PWR RX1e, in the first outing for RX1e machinery that was shelved for the last five rounds of 2023 while a battery fire at Lydden Hill was investigated.

Kristoffersson lost the second of his two heat victories when he was demoted to third for contact that had pitched Andersson's team-mate Niclas Gronholm into a spin. That put Andersson onto pole for the final, but there was no stopping Kristoffersson at the start.

He launched into the lead and eventually headed Andersson by two seconds at the finish.

“I tried to stay with Johan in the final, but he’s champion for a reason,” she said. “I didn’t quite have it all today, but I’m super happy anyway.”

Gustav Bergstrom, in the electric sister VW to Kristoffersson, took third, while Timmy Hansen made it an all-Swedish top four in his family-run electric Peugeot, split from brother Kevin by Norwegian Ole-Christian Veiby in his ICE KMS VW.

Johan Kristoffersson

Johan Kristoffersson

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Under heavy rain on Sunday, Kristoffersson was invincible, winning both his heats before claiming his semi-final by more than 12 seconds. That gave him pole for the final, in which he raced clear to win by 6.5s from Gronholm.

“I’m so proud,” said Kristoffersson. “The conditions were extremely tricky, as were the launches.

“I had a little bit too much wheelspin in the final, but I managed to calm myself down and got a very good exit coming off the asphalt onto the gravel which enabled me to come back at Niclas.

“This car is a dream to drive in the rain. I’m very happy.”

Gronholm, after failing to make the final on Saturday, redeemed his weekend by repeating team-mate Andersson’s Saturday result of second in his electric PWR.

Veiby recovered from a stall at the start of the final to make it up to third, with Kevin and Timmy Hansen fourth and sixth respectively, sandwiching Bergstrom.

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