Johan The Champion
- Johan Kristoffersson wins
the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship*
- He scores a ninth win
from 10 races to seal the drivers’ title
- Petter Solberg is back to
his absolute best, just missing the win in second
- It’s time for a song…
Some music while you read this one? No, it’s not Queen. It’s Carrie. And
Ludacris. But there is a common theme… The Champion.
The song featured in both the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl LII, but we
know American country singer Carrie Underwood had our man Johan on her
mind when she was writing the lyrics for her and Ludacris.
Two hands up in the
air, I’m a champion.
You’ll be looking up
at me when it’s over.
I am invincible,
unbreakable. Unstoppable, unshakeable.
They knock me down, I
get up again. I am the champion.
Except Johan’s not just a champion, he’s a double champion*; a back-to-back
world title winner; a successful defender of the FIA World Rallycross
Johan came to the land of opportunity prospecting for gold and he found
it at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas.
Second place in the semi-final was enough for Johan to be crowned
champion. Delighted as he was with the title, Johan was already looking
to ice the cake with a win in the final.
And he did it. Of course he did. A ninth win from 10 races was the
perfect way to sign-off on a second world title.
There was double delight for PRSX Volkswagen Sweden with team owner and
driver Petter back to the sort of sensational form which has carried him
to his own back-to-back World RX titles in 2014/15.
The Norwegian led overnight after a storming run to fastest times in Q1
and Q2 on Saturday, he then won his semi-final and was looking good for a
first win of 2018 in the final when he slid wide and dropped to second
It was fitting that ‘Hollywood’ showed his true colours in America, but
the fairytale finish was saved for Johan this time.
Talking of Johan, if you want to talk to him, head north… to the top of
the world. That’s where he’s at right now.
2 4 1
Kristoffersson (SWE) #1
“What an incredible feeling. The title is what I came here for and it’s
so nice to have it. Obviously, there was some pressure in practice and
qualifying and the championship was in my mind – even if I kept trying to
push it to the back.
“Saturday was OK, I was a little bit stuck in traffic, so maybe it didn’t
look so good, but I was really happy with Q2 and Q4. In that race (Q4), I
felt like everything was working like it should and I was able to make
some good pace. The team had put such a good car beneath me, I knew it
was possible to do this speed and, like it always does, gave me such good
“The semi was weird! I came through the last corner and I was a world
champion, but still there was this race to come. I was so focused on the
racing, there was no time to think to anything else. I made a good pass
on [Mattias] Ekström in the semi and that was really important for the
“The final was going well and we were looking really good for the one-two
when Petter slid a little bit wide in one corner. I took the gap and won.
Of course, this is so special to win. To take the title like this is
“You know I am so proud of what I’ve achieved this season. Winning last
year was a massive thing for me, but to defend the title in the way that
I have been able to is something very special. I have a lot of people to
thank for this, including the whole PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team.
Honestly, this is such a special bunch of people, both from the PSRX and
the Volkswagen side. We work so well together, everything works.
“And, of course, I have to thank my team-mate Petter. This hasn’t been
the easiest year for him, but this weekend he showed he is right at the
top of his driving again and it’s so good to have him back to his best.
I’ll be honest, I think Petter deserved the win this time.”
“I won the 2018 TCR Scandinavia title last week and now this. Incredible.
Maybe it’s time for a small celebration, maybe one or two beers tonight.”
“I was really happy with the start to the weekend. Qualifying on Saturday
was fantastic, I was very happy to be leading after Q2. It’s been a tough
year and to come out and win both of those Saturday qualifying races gave
me an unbelievable feeling again.
“Sunday was really good as well, we came through the semi in a good way and
the final was looking perfect. I braked a little bit too late and
couldn’t get the car turned to the left-hander before the jump. I took
the handbrake and slid a little bit wide.
“That one I gave to Johan, my mistake. I wanted that win so badly. It has
been a tough season, but I really feel like I’m back.
“I am tired now, but it’s been a physically hard weekend with the heat in
the car and I’ll be honest, with the illness I haven’t been able to train
so much as I wanted to. But now I’m going to be in the gym and fighting
like hell for those last two races.
“I have to say I am so proud of Johan and of the whole team. This was a
hot, hot race, but the Polo R Supercars were just perfect – there wasn’t
any problem with them at all. Volkswagen Motorsport is doing an
(PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team principal)
“What a weekend! And, let’s be honest, what a season for Johan! He is
champion and we are so, so happy for that. He has been incredible and, to
be honest, completely unstoppable and invincible this year. And there are
still two rounds to come!
“To win nine from 10 races is really something special and we are so
pleased and happy to have him in the team. He’s amazing.
“That is the first part of this year’s job done, now we have to turn our
attentions to the teams’ title. We took another good number of points
away from America, but we want a double double!
“We are a very happy team tonight. Johan’s such a good guy, it’s
brilliant for him and Tommy [Johan’s father], but as well as that it’s
been amazing to see Petter coming back with such a strong fight.
Honestly, I thought this was going to be Petter’s win, but it wasn’t to
be. Of course, he is a little disappointed and as his wife I would have
loved to have seen him on the top step of the podium, but this is a very
nice way for Johan to seal his story of two titles in two years.”
The speed of the turbo is so high that if the compressor wheel was let
free to roll as the cars joined the start line, it would complete five
laps of the circuit before the lights turn green for the race to start!
First event: World RX of Sweden 06.07.14
First victory: World RX of Portugal 26.04.15
Event victories: 18
Qualifying wins: 52
Races in total: 298
Total points: 1104
2 Petter Solberg
4 Sébastien Loeb
6 Timmy Hansen
1 PSRX Volkswagen
2 EKS Audi
3 Team Peugeot
confirmation from the FIA