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Sexta, 14 Junho 2024 09:52 | Actualizado em Sexta, 19 Julho 2024 19:45

Kristoffersson switches to sustainably-fuelled combustion car in quest for seventh career crown
KMS - HORSE Powertrain's VW Polo KMS 601 RX
KMS - HORSE Powertrain's VW Polo KMS 601 RX
KMS - HORSE Powertrain's VW Polo KMS 601 RX
Kristoffersson Motorsport team-mates Johan Kristoffersson [left] and Ole Christian Veiby
KMS - HORSE Powertrain's VW Polo KMS 601 RX
Reigning world championship-winning outfit rebranded as KMS - HORSE Powertrain for 2024 campaign

Six-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson is set for a new challenge in 2024, as he bids to clinch a seventh career crown in the sport behind the wheel of a sustainably-fuelled, combustion-powered (ICE) Volkswagen Polo.

Kristoffersson’s most recent two titles at the international pinnacle of the dual-surface discipline have been achieved with electric power, but for the inaugural campaign of World RX’s ‘Battle of Technologies’, he is betting on a different direction, with the confirmation of a pioneering new partnership between Kristoffersson Motorsport and HORSE Powertrain, through Swedish-based company Aurobay.

The team, rebaptised KMS - HORSE Powertrain, will field a pair of VW Polo KMS 601 RXs for Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby, who returns for a third consecutive campaign with the multiple championship-winning operation. The squad retains the support of erstwhile title partners Volkswagen, Red Bull and Bauhaus.

The sustainably-fuelled ‘hot hatches’ – developed in-house over the winter at KMS’ Arvika workshop – have been described by Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson as the best rallycross cars his crew has ever built. Underscoring that conviction, in their only competitive outing to-date – at Tierp in the 2024 RallyX curtain-raiser – Kristoffersson and Veiby delivered a crushing one-two finish on both days, but the former is playing down their chances of repeating that feat at the highest level.

“It will be tough to compete against the electric cars with our newly-built machines, but Aurobay is a dream partner for us, not only as a sponsor but also in technical terms,” commented Kristoffersson Jnr. “It will be really fun to work with a long-term structure and be able to plan accordingly. This is an exciting project that has a lot of typical KMS spirit about it.”

“We are doing a turnaround and going in a different direction, which makes it difficult to predict how we will compare with the competition,” echoed Veiby, who will be chasing his maiden World RX victory in 2024. “There are many complicated elements that have to be tested on a new car, but it will be very exciting to work with such a large and supportive partner.”

Kristoffersson Snr – who guided KMS to the 2022 and 2023 Teams’ trophies in World RX – is similarly bullish about the new co-operation, which he believes can help to propel the eponymously-named outfit to the next level both on and off-track.

“Aurobay is the best partner we can think of,” enthused the multiple Swedish Rallycross Champion. “This is a win-win situation – we will benefit tremendously from each other. We both have a large staff of extremely talented engineers, meaning we will be able to exchange experiences and also personnel.

“In the Volkswagen Group where I was trained, the motto has always been that all motorsport should ultimately benefit the consumer. There is nothing that drives development forward as effectively as competition, and with this project, we can take part in developing tomorrow’s engines.

“On the sporting side, ‘Battle of Technologies’ is a fantastic concept that is unique to rallycross. It is an extremely big challenge, but also an interesting one. We have a brand new car, a brand new partner and a very short timespan to match the electric cars.

“Although we have won in World RX for the last few years, we have to be humble and realise that it will take a lot for us to fight for the title again, but having always aspired to be an attractive team for someone who is looking for a development partner, now we are there, it feels incredibly satisfying.”

The 2024 World RX campaign will get underway on home soil for KMS - HORSE Powertrain, at Höljes’ legendary ‘Magic Weekend’ on 6-7 July.

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About the FIA World Rallycross Championship
An evolution of the popular FIA European Rallycross Championship, the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) was launched in 2014. Representing the international pinnacle of the dual-surface discipline, the series blends cutting-edge innovation with family-friendly spectator appeal and visits some of the most iconic venues in the sport. In evidence of its commitment to sustainability, World RX entered a new era in 2022 by embracing electric technology, while 2024 heralds the beginning of the ‘Battle of Technologies’, as the championship’s powerful EV cars take on their sustainably-fuelled combustion counterparts on equal terms for the first time.

About Rallycross Promoter GmbH
Rallycross Promoter GmbH, a joint company of Red Bull GmbH and KW25 Beteiligungs GmbH, is responsible for all commercial aspects of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, including TV production and the marketing of global media and sponsorship rights. The Promoter also has responsibility to increase the field of participants and to propose the venues that form the calendars in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and supporting series.

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