World RX Montalegre: Kristoffersson takes victory in the snow

World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson claimed victory in Portugal, as snow covered the Montalegre circuit for the final stages of the event

World RX Montalegre: Kristoffersson takes victory in the snow

Having climbed from third on the grid in the first semi-final to take the lead at Turn 1 to secure a front row slot for the final, Kristoffersson made the best start to take the lead from final polesitter Timmy Hansen in the run to the first corner.

Snow had threatened the circuit in the Vila Real mountains for the entire final day of the event, and fell hard in the interval between the semi-finals and final.

Kristoffersson used his highly regarded slippery-surface prowess to extend a margin over second placed Timmy Hansen on the opening two laps.

Hansen then crashed out of contention by losing control of his Peugeot 208 and hitting the barrier in the final corner chicane.

Hansen's demise released Audi driver Andreas Bakkerud to take up the challenge to leader Kristoffersson, but he had been caught by Hansen's team-mate Sebastien Loeb behind.

The Frenchman had taken his joker at the first opportunity, coming out on top of a battle with third row starter Petter Solberg.

By the end of the third lap, Loeb was right on the rear of Bakkerud's Audi S1's bumper and passed the Norwegian into the first corner of lap four.

Solberg, who had made it into the final despite stalling on the start of semi-final two, also closed the gap to Bakkerud but knowing his compatriot still had to take his joker, sat behind until Bakkerud took his joker on lap six.

Kristoffersson also took his extra route on the final tour, maintaining his lead ahead of Loeb.

Solberg completed the podium, as Bakkerud finished fourth.

GC Kompeition driver Guerlain Chicherit made his first ever final with the Prodrive-built Renault Megane RS RX to finish fifth, having fended off pressure from Mattias Ekstrom for a final qualifying position in the closing stages of semi-final one.

Hansen recovered from his spin to finish the final sixth, over 20 seconds behind the leader.

Result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Johan Kristoffersson PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Volkswagen 4m16.859s
2 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 2.253s
3 Petter Solberg PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Volkswagen 3.938s
4 Andreas Bakkerud EKS Audi Sport Audi 6.642s
5 Guerlain Chicherit GC Kompetition Renault 9.566s
6 Timmy Hansen Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 21.244s

SPEEDMACHINE - The British round of the WRX comes to Silverstone on May 25-27. To book your tickets visit www.speedmachine.com. For a limited time only get discounts on adult tickets using the codes SMW10 for weekends, SSMSAT10 for Saturday and SMSUN for Sunday

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Series World Rallycross
Drivers Johan Kristoffersson
Author Hal Ridge
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