World RX - Kristoffersson completes sixth World Rallycross title winning season with victory in Hong Kong

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Johan Kristoffersson completed his sixth FIA World Rallycross Championship title winning season with victory in the last race of 2023 in Hong Kong.

Johan Kristoffersson completed his sixth FIA World Rallycross Championship title winning season with victory in the last race of 2023 in Hong Kong.

The first city centre circuit in World RX history, with a track located on the Victoria Harbour waterfront, was a spectacular venue for Kristoffersson to once again show his class and race to his 40th FIA World Rallycross Championship career win in front of a large crowd.

It uncharacteristically took Kristoffersson until the second heat on the second day of competition to hit the front of the field – but once he did he never looked back, proceeding to snatch the top spot in the intermediate classification and overcome a fast-starting Timmy Hansen on the last lap of the pair’s semi-final to earn pole position for the all-important final.

The Swede subsequently produced a textbook launch to race immediately into the lead and went on to prevail by more than three-and-a-half seconds – a champion’s drive by any yardstick.

“I’m very happy to have been able to put on a show in front of so many fans,” said Kristoffersson.

“It’s been fantastic coming here, and after a disappointing final yesterday it was great to pull off the win today.

“I can’t thank the team enough for all the effort they have put in. They work every waking hour, sacrificing time with their families to give us the best car possible, so to reward them like this is fantastic – and there’s no better place to celebrate than here in Hong Kong!”

On a weekend when Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS was crowned Teams’ champion for the second consecutive season, Ole Christian Veiby made it a one-two finish for the Arvika-based outfit in the final – after pipping his illustrious stablemate to the chequered flag in heat three – with World RX rookie Patrick O’Donovan rounding out the rostrum in third.

Competing for Hansen World RX Team, the two-time British champion was fast and feisty throughout, winning a thrilling heat two race and beating 2019 world champion team-mate Timmy Hansen to the podium on his debut at the international pinnacle of the discipline.

Niclas Grönholm wound up a frustrated fifth on a day when CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment showed much-improved pace. The Finn looked set to secure first place in the ranking until his car suddenly slowed within sight of the finish line in heat three. He battled back to line up on the front row of the grid for the final, but then lost ground in Turn One and was never able to recover.

Team-mate Klara Andersson followed Grönholm home in sixth, making history again as the first female driver ever to go fastest outright in a World RX heat.

Saturday’s winner Kevin Hansen missed out on Sunday’s final after contact into the first corner in heat two dropped him down the order. From that point on, he found himself repeatedly caught up in traffic – but he had already done enough to cement a career-best runner-up result in the championship standings.

“The first city-centre World RX race weekend to be held in a city centre proved to be a great event,” said Emil Axelsson, FIA Sporting Delegate, Rallycross.

“To bring World RX to the Asia-Pacific region for the first time, with the spectacular Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop, was a landmark moment in the history of the sport – and the event’s success was thanks to the magnificent efforts made by the World RX Promoter, the Hong Kong China Automobile Association, the Hong Kong Government, local authorities, volunteer, officials and many others who all came together to organise a fantastic event.

“The World RX of Hong Kong, China was a fitting and extremely positive end to the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship.”

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS….5 laps
2. Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS….+ 3.641s
3. Patrick O’DONOVAN (GBR) Hansen World RX Team….+ 4.599s
4. Timmy HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team….+ 4.939s
5. Niclas GRÖNHOLM (FIN) CE Dealer Team….+ 6.218s
6. Klara ANDERSSON (SWE) CE Dealer Team….+ 6.980s