Swede’s dream Sunday drive wins Canada for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
- Stunning Sunday saves Johan’s Canadian bacon (it had to happen…)
- World Champion takes seventh win in eight World RX starts
- Petter smashes Trois-Rivieres lap record
- PSRX Volkswagen Sweden moves further clear at the top of the table
- On the whole, not a bad weekend!
A month off. Made some sandcastles, relaxed, read a book, spent time with the family, boogied a bit, couple of days testing and back to work.
And back with a bang. Johan wins again. Some things never change.
Super Swede Johan Kristoffersson turned in a sublime and unbeatable Sunday to further strengthen his World Rallycross Championship defence at Canada’s Trois-Rivieres circuit today.
There were some (obviously we weren’t among them) who thought Johan might have left his race pace on the beach on Saturday. Ninth overnight? That’s not what we’ve come to expect of this dominator of all things WRX. No need to worry, come Sunday, it was easy. In fact, it was easy like a Sunday morning…
He won, won, won and won again. Q3, tick; Q4, tick; semi-final, tick; final… yeah, you’ve got it now.
Conversely, Petter’s speed through Saturday was exceptional, third quickest in both qualifying rounds – but it was in Q2 where we saw Hollywood really arrive in Canada. His new lap record of 46.959s left his rivals to a collective scratch of the head. None of them could come close to Petter’s benchmark time around the streets of Trois-Rivieres.
Petter troubled the final top spot at the first corner, but ultimately lost out on the joker and came home a frustrated fifth.
Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 INTER SF F
Johan Kristoffersson 10 7 1 1 1 1 1
Petter Solberg 3 3 5 3 3 3 5
Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) #1
“Did you think I’d left my race pace on the beach? Me too! Seriously, Saturday was tough. I had bad traffic, I couldn’t really make things work for me. I was so frustrated on Saturday night.
“But, you know, that’s where having a team-mate like Petter Solberg really comes good. I felt I was losing a little bit in the gravel sections, so I sat down with my team-mate and we talked through everything in the car and in the driving. He helped me and on Sunday morning I did what he told me, came off the beach and back to the races!
“Today was fantastic. I had to push really hard in the semi-final, I knew the Peugeots would be right there and quick again. The final was good, there was a bit of a challenge at the first corner, but once we got through there in front then I knew things were looking good.
“You know, I love this place and I love this race track. I won here last year and I’m so glad to be able to leave Canada with that winning feeling again. This is a great result for me and for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden and thanks again to Petter.”
Petter Solberg (NOR) #11
“Fantastic weekend for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden. Fantastic.
“But… I’ve got to admit, I do feel a little bit frustrated with this weekend. I felt I could have come away from Canada with a little bit more. But the big thing is the performance of the team and, of course, Johan. It was a great job.
“We did the fastest time on Saturday [in Q2] and that showed how quick the car was; everything was working well and I was really feeling it then. We were maybe a little bit unlucky not to be higher up in the standings on Saturday night, but I was confident for Sunday.
“In the end, nothing really worked for me on Sunday. You know that thing where you put some butter on a slice of bread and the bread falls on the floor – every time today it was falling butter-side down! I took the joker and just missed out on the position coming out; I got half a look up the inside of a car and it just didn’t work. So frustrating.
“But, you know we work as a team and it’s a big congratulations to Johan. He was fantastic today (Sunday) and, of course, it’s a very big congratulations to Volkswagen Motorsport – the Polo R Supercar was on incredible form. I don’t like to take such a long gap between racing; holidays are nice, but they’d be even better if they came with a World Rallycross round in the middle of them!”
Pernilla Solberg (PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team principal)
“Congratulations to Johan on this win. The numbers tell the story: it’s his 13th win for the team in 19 races; his seventh win from the last eight races; his sixth of the season, fourth in a row… this is an amazing run and we are so happy for him and for all of our team.
“We work so hard for this success. In the last month, we have taken some small holiday, but in reality everybody has been working all of the time, looking to find the small things that can help to make a difference.
“And that commitment is matched by our fantastic drivers, Volkswagen Motorsport, all of our partners and, of course, every member of PSRX Volkswagen Sweden. We work to win.
“What impressed me the most this weekend were two things: Petter’s new lap record, which was just so, so fast; and the way Johan picked himself up from Saturday night. He was struggling a little bit, the day hadn’t gone well for him and he needed something extra. He found it and drove like a champion through all of Sunday.
“Johan deserves this win, the team deserves this win.”
Volkswagen R performance fact of the weekend:
Canada’s Trois-Rivieres circuit provides the longest straight and the Volkswagen Polo R Supercar’s highest top speed of the season at more than 200kph.
1 Johan Kristoffersson 5m00.190s
2 Timmy Hansen 5m00.886s
3 Sébastien Loeb 5m02.337s
4 Mattias Ekström 5m03.556s
5 Petter Solberg 5m04.228s
6 Janis Baumanis 5m10.140s
Drivers’ championship positions:
1 Kristoffersson 195pts
2 Loeb 140pts
3 T Hansen 140pts
4 Bakkerud 139pts
5 Solberg 139pts
6 Ekström 134pts
Teams’ championship positions:
1 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden 334pts
2 Team Peugeot Total 280pts
3 EKS Audi Sport 273pts