World RX: Come rain or shine, Kristoffersson shows his class in Sweden


Johan Kristoffersson wins opening two rounds of the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship

Johan Kristoffersson has taken an early lead in the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship after a stunning display at the opening World RX of Sweden double header – winning the ‘Battle of Technologies’ in both the dry (Round 1) and exceptionally wet (Round 2) conditions at Höljes Motorstadion.

The six-time world champion didn’t have it his own way on Saturday, when he had to come from second on the grid to win in his VW Polo KMS 601 RX (ICE).

Klara Andersson had been the star of the opening round, winning all her heats and her semi-final in her CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment PWR RX1e (EV). She started a World RX final from pole for the first time and came home second, sportingly acknowledging that Kristoffersson is a six-time world champion for a reason!

Torrential rain completely changed conditions for the following day’s Round 2 – which favoured Kristoffersson as he admitted that his car was a dream to drive in the wet. The KMS - HORSE Powertrain driver reached Turn 1 in the lead from pole, just as he’d done the previous day from second on the grid, and with the earned luxury of good visibility Kristoffersson steered clear of any drama, unlike his chasing rivals. 

Niclas Grönholm turned the disappointment of missing out on a place in the Round 1 final by finishing Round 2 in second place in his PWR RX1e (EV). He leaves the famous ‘Magic Weekend’ event second in the drivers’ standings, tied on points with CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment team-mate Andersson, who narrowly failed to reach the final on day two.

Ole Christian Veiby is fourth in the points table after following up a solid fifth place finish in Round 1 with a podium result In Round 2 – which was a stunning drive considering that he stalled his VW Polo KMS 601 RX (ICE) on the start line.

Gustav Bergström is fifth in the series, thanks in part to a Round 1 podium finish in his Kristoffersson Motorsport Volkswagen RX1e (EV), while Hansen World RX Team brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen came away with good points despite a tough weekend for the Peugeot 208 RX1e (EV) camp.

Anthony Pelfrene (JDM Raptor Racing Peugeot 208 WRX ICE) and Sondre Evjen (Kristoffersson Motorsport Volkswagen RX1e EV) showed good pace on their World RX debuts and were both unlucky not to reach a final.

Höljes also hosted the opening rounds of RX2e, Euro RX1 and Euro RX3.

Nils Andersson got the defence of his RX2e title off to a great start with victory on home soil. He led from pole to head Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky across the line in a Team E 1-2, while Marko Muru (SET-Loenbro) took third.

Having been unbeatable in the dry heats the previous day, a series of bad starts in the wet saw Patrick O’Donovan begin the Euro RX1 final from the second row. The Team RX Racing Peugeot 208 driver was nevertheless out in front exiting Turn 1 and when several of the cars behind became unstuck in the conditions, O’Donovan was able to romp to victory thanks to a clear track and clean windscreen. Mika Liimatainen (Betomik Racing Hyundai i20) finished second, while last year’s Euro RX3 champion Damian Litwinowicz (Volland Racing Audi S1) completed the podium on his Euro RX1 debut. Yury Belevskiy had started on the front row alongside pole-sitter Liimatainen, but the Audi driver’s race ended in the Turn 1 gravel trap.

Nils Volland made a good start from pole to claim Euro RX3 victory in his Volland Racing Audi A1. João Ribeiro came home second in his privately entered Audi A1, finishing ahead of RX3 debutant Sámuel Kovács (Korda Racing KFT Škoda Fabia).

The battle for the World RX, RX2e, Euro RX1 and Euro RX3 titles resumes in three weeks’ time at World RX of Hungary at Nyirád (27/28 July).

Points after Round 2

1. Johan Kristoffersson….58pts
2. Niclas Grönholm….36pts
3. Klara Andersson….36pts
4. Ole Christian Veiby….35pts
5. Gustav Bergström….33pts

6. Timmy Hansen….31pts


World RX of Sweden (Höljes Motorstadion)

Round 2 – Sunday 7 July

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) KMS - Horse Powertrain (ICE)….5 laps
2. Niclas GRÖNHOLM (FIN) CE Dealer Team (EV)….+ 6.451s
3. Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) KMS - Horse Powertrain (ICE)….+ 8.193s
4. Kevin HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team (EV)….+ 10.194s
5. Gustav BERGSTRÖM (SWE) Kristoffersson Motorsport (EV)….+ 11.301s
6. Timmy HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team (EV)….+ 13.920s

World RX of Sweden (Höljes Motorstadion)

Round 1 – Saturday 6 July

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) KMS - Horse Powertrain (ICE)….5 laps
2. Klara ANDERSSON (SWE) CE Dealer Team (EV)….+ 2.159s
3. Gustav BERGSTRÖM (SWE) Kristoffersson Motorsport (EV)….+ 3.428s
4. Timmy HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team (EV)….+ 4.170s
5. Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) KMS - Horse Powertrain (ICE)….+ 5.032s
6. Kevin HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team (EV)….+ 4.815s