World Rallycross champion Kristoffersson wins Killarney finale

Johan Kristoffersson completed an incredible run of World Rallycross Championship domination with a clear victory at the South African season closer

World Rallycross champion Kristoffersson wins Killarney finale

The already-crowned champion lined up on the front row for the final race of the year alongside PSRX Volkswagen team-mate Petter Solberg, and the pair made an equal launch in the run to Turn 1.

As Kristoffersson held the inside line though the long right-hander, Solberg sent his Volkswagen Motorsport-built Polo sideways and only just held second from a fast-starting Mattias Ekstrom, the Audi driver having passed Peugeot pair Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen in the first corner shuffle.

Ekstrom then dived up the inside of Solberg into the tight right Turn 4 on the opening lap, forcing Solberg wide across the grass, while Ekstrom ran wide at the exit of the chicane allowing Hansen to pass both.

Hung out on the left-hand side of the circuit, Hansen was left with no option but to take the extra-route joker at the first opportunity and was followed by team-mate Loeb.

Chasing leader Kristoffersson, Solberg spun into the wall at Turn 3 and, although Ekstrom and the third, older-specification Peugeot driven by Kevin Hansen made it through, Solberg's Polo was collected by Timmy Hansen's 208, causing immediate damage to the front-right corner that forced him out.

Younger brother Kevin took his joker at the same moment, which promoted Loeb to third behind Ekstrom.

Former DTM ace Ekstrom elected to take his joker on lap three to cover off the threat of Loeb, who had led qualifying after the opening day.

Ekstrom succeeded in this and, while Kristoffersson had built a big enough advantage to take his extra route on the fourth tour and maintain his lead, Ekstrom held off Loeb to the finish, the pair flanked by Kevin Hansen, who again just missed out on a maiden podium.

Kristoffersson's repeat of his 2017 victory at the Killarney circuit netted him his 11th victory of the 12-round season, leaving third-place finisher Loeb the only man to join the Swede on the winners list this term.

Final result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Johan Kristoffersson PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Volkswagen 6 4m12.787s
2 Mattias Ekstrom EKS Audi Sport Audi 6 2.700s
3 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 6 3.595s
4 Kevin Hansen Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 6 6.230s
5 Petter Solberg PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Volkswagen 1 5 Laps
6 Timmy Hansen Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 1 5 Laps

Final drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Johan Kristoffersson 341
2 Mattias Ekstrom 248
3 Andreas Bakkerud 237
4 Sebastien Loeb 229
5 Petter Solberg 227
6 Timmy Hansen 192
7 Niclas Gronholm 146
8 Kevin Hansen 145
9 Janis Baumanis 98
10 Timur Timerzyanov 86
11 Guerlain Chicherit 68
12 Jerome Grosset-Janin 47
13 Kevin Eriksson 38
14 Anton Marklund 35
15 Robin Larsson 34
16 Liam Doran 19
17 Tommy Rustad 14
18 Timo Scheider 13
19 Nico Muller 10
20 Toomas Heikkinen 5
21 Francois Duval 4
22 Kjetil Larsen 3
23 Andrew Jordan 2
24 Rene Munnich 2
25 Joni-Pekka Rajala 1
25 Mark Higgins 1
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About this article

Series World Rallycross
Drivers Johan Kristoffersson
Author Hal Ridge
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