PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Silverstone test report
The FIA World Rallycross Championship moved to Silverstone for the second of three official tests this week.
As well as more development running in the Volkswagen Polo R Supercar, the teams came together for the official launch of the FIA World Rallycross 2018 season (Monday).
After the first test in Lohéac, France earlier this month, Volkswagen Motorsport had made further revisions and refinements to the 2018 Polo R Supercar, all of which were validated during two days at Silverstone's all-new rallycross circuit.
After running in wet weather for much of the French test, Johan and Petter were delighted to see early spring sunshine on Monday. They were less impressed when the rain returned and remained all day Tuesday.
Team owner and driver Petter Solberg said:
“Things are looking good. We’ve made more positive steps with the car here. We’ve been working on a few areas, but with things like the geometry, I feel like we’ve made some good progress.
“What we really wanted was some dry weather running, so much of our testing seems to have been done in the rain. We got some work done on Monday when the sun was out, but we had to stop testing for the launch and then it was wet again on the second day!
“Overall, I’m positive. We’ve come away from Silverstone with some really good data and ideas for the first round in Barcelona – and that’s where we’re going to see who’s got what sort of pace.”
Defending World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson said:
“With the testing restrictions in place this year (the teams are only permitted to run on official WRX tracks at the series three official tests in 2018), time on the track is really important for us, so the last two days have been great. To get the car out there and be running as much as possible, we have taken in a lot of data and analysis for the team.
“Petter and I have worked closely on what we want from the car and, as usual, Volkswagen Motorsport has done a great job in delivering that. As well as seeing the car’s performance moving forward, this week has also been really interesting to see the new track at Silverstone – and to see it in both the wet and the dry conditions.”
Team principal Pernilla Solberg said:
“This has been a very exciting week for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, with more laps for the Polo R Supercar and a look at some more cars who will be fighting with us on the track. We saw Prodrive’s Renault coming for the first time and looking strong. Petter and I know Prodrive quite well, so we knew there would be some really clever stuff from them!
“It’s really an exciting time as the season is getting closer. Volkswagen Motorsport and the drivers are really close now to what they want from the car this year and we go to Barcelona for the first round next month in pretty good shape. As well as that, we’re looking forward to an exciting season with all our sponsors and partners, without these great relationships our team and title defence simply wouldn’t be possible.”
The official 2018 FIA World Rallycross season launch was the other business of the week in Britain. As well as meeting and greeting all of their rivals in the season’s first press conference, Petter and Johan also had an opportunity to offer celebrities a ‘taxi’ ride around the all-new track.
Nicolas Hamilton, brother of four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis, F1 reserve driver Jack Aitken and GP3 racer Callum Ilott were among the stars of the sport who came along for a PSRX Volkswagen Sweden ride.
Supercars of London vlogger Paul Wallace was introduced to the PSRX interpretation of a super car… Paul, like everybody who climbed in alongside Petter and Johan, stepped out with a smile.