The Magic Weekend beckons for Volkswagen RX Sweden

2016-06-30

Swedish FIA World Rallycross Championship team Volkswagen RX Sweden head to the Höljes circuit in the Swedish Värmland region this weekend for its home round of the series, at the event widely regarded as “The Magic Weekend” (July 1-3).

Last year, 40,000 enthusiastic rallycross spectators filled the banks of the classic Scandinavian circuit and even more are expected this weekend. Volkswagen RX Sweden currently lie third in the World RX Teams’ Championship standings after five rounds, with Johan Kristoffersson also holding third position in the Drivers’ Championship – equal on points with the nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastian Loeb – piloting a Volkswagen Polo RX alongside team mate Anton Marklund.

“The reason Höljes is called the Magic Weekend is because it really is magic. The track is fantastic; it’s a proper rallycross track,” said Kristoffersson. “It has everything with two big jumps, some really fast sections and some tricky parts. Also, in my opinion the joker lap is very good. Since my father (Tommy Kristoffersson) was racing when I was young, I was always in the paddock riding my bicycle. At this particular race my friends from my hometown were always there to play together, so the paddock at Höljes holds many special memories for me. I’ve raced there since 2013, but it’s been tricky for me. I’ve never reached the final there so far, but we are very well prepared for this weekend, we’ve tested in Hell since the Norwegian round so it feels like we are on our way to finally getting a good result and hopefully finish on the podium.”

Racing the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar, Marklund has set lap times at the three most recent World RX events good enough to finish on the podium. The Swede scored a podium finish in the FIA Euro RX TouringCar category on his way to the title in 2012, and is hoping for a similar result this weekend. “Höljes is always very tough. Everybody is fighting at 105% for every single position,” said Marklund. “I will do the same and push as hard as I can this weekend. Höljes is a real challenge and you have to be on it, both the mechanics and the drivers. For the mechanics because the two jumps are pretty hard and the driver has to keep cool and not make any mistakes; everybody has to stay very sharp. The pace has been really good for the last three races. On lap times we should have been fighting for podium positions and if we have a good weekend in Höljes that is the plan for sure. A podium would be fantastic!”

Volkswagen RX Sweden CEO Jan Marklund is excited for the team’s home round at Höljes, and says it is a significant event for the Swedish outfit. “This is the most important race of the whole season for us, especially as Volkswagen is one of the main sponsors of the event,” said Marklund. “We have a good feeling for the race, we tested a lot there in the spring and we have tested some new updates in the last week which we hope will work well at Höljes. Both Anton and Johan haven’t had great results there in recent years but we hope our luck can change this year.”

The team will welcome a number of guests and partners at Höljes for the Magic Weekend. Sten Forsberg, Head of Volkswagen Sweden, is looking forward to Volkswagen being part of the event with the team. “We have a lot of guests from our dealers coming to see the race,” said Forsberg. “I am sure that the team will do all they can for everyone to see the Volkswagen drivers at the top when the weekend finishes.”

Time schedule: Höljes, Sweden 1-3 July (CET)
Friday 1 July
18.00: Open Practice

Saturday 2 July
09.30: Open Practice
13.30: Qualification1
16.20: Qualification 2

Sunday 3 July
08.30: Warm-up
10.00: Qualification 3
11.30: Qualification 4
15.00: Semi-finals and Final

FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers’ Standings
1) Mattias Ekström, Sweden, Audi, 125
2) Petter Solberg, Norway, Citroën, 120
3) Johan Kristoffersson, Sweden, Volkswagen, 83
4) Sebastien Loeb, France, Peugeot, 83
5) Andreas Bakkerud, Norway, Ford, 81
6) Toomas Heikkinen, Finland, Audi, 70

13) Anton Marklund, Sweden, Volkswagen 34

FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams’ Standings
1) EKS (Audi), 195
2) Team Peugeot-Hansen, 152
3) Volkswagen RX Sweden, 117
4) Hoonigan Racing Division (Ford), 100
5) World RX Team Austria (Ford), 94
6) OlsbergsMSE (Ford), 54

FIA World Rallycross Championship 2016 Calendar
1 Portugal – Montalegre – 16/17 April
2 Germany – Hockenheim – 7/8 May
3 Belgium – Mettet – 14/15 May
4 UK – Lydden Hill – 28/29 May
5 Norway – Hell – 11/12 June
6 Sweden – Höljes – 2/3 July
7 Canada – Trois-Rivieres – 6/7 August
8 France – Loheac – 3/4 September
9 Spain – Barcelona – 17/18 September
10 Latvia – Riga – 1/2 October
11 Germany – Estering – 15/16 October
12 Argentina – Rosario – 26/27 November