Volkswagen RX Sweden targets overall podiums in World RX finale

2016-11-25

The 12th and final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place this weekend at Rosario in Argentina (November 26 – 27), where Volkswagen RX Sweden is set to fight for a top three position in both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.

Swedish star Johan Kristoffersson, who won the French round of the Championship at Loheac in a Volkswagen Polo RX, will fight for second place in the Drivers’ Championship in Argentina. Currently third in the standings, Kristoffersson is just a handful of points behind double World RX Champion Petter Solberg, in a battle that also includes Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud and nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.

Volkswagen RX Sweden is also third overall in the Teams’ Championship standings, embroiled in a battle with Hoonigan Racing Division for the position. With just 12 points between the two teams, Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund will push hard this weekend to maintain the position. “We need to have a strong weekend in Argentina, but I think we are in a good position,” said Kristoffersson. “I have a few points in hand to Bakkerud and Loeb, and not many behind Petter (Solberg). We have been very good at the end of this season and we’ve tried hard to find more speed for this event. Nobody wants to finish fourth. Argentina last year was very emotional for me, it was very tight for getting third in the Championship and that was fantastic. I hope the track will be better this year, I’m confident that we will be able to fight for a Championship trophy with our speed, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It would be nice for us both to have a good weekend so we can finish third in the Teams’ Championship too. To be top three in both would be really great.”

Marklund has raced in each of World RX’s two previous visits to Argentina, and is targeting his first podium of the season this weekend. “My car was running perfectly at the last race in Germany, the guys have done an amazing job at making a stunning car and I can’t wait to get back into it this weekend,” he said. “It’s a level playing field in Argentina, nobody has much experience of the track there and it will be interesting to see how it is this year. For sure if it’s a bit slippery, our car will be very good. I think we have a very good chance of keeping third in the Teams’ Championship. I’ve had two fourth places this year and I really want to end the season by finishing on the podium. I haven’t been up there for a while, so it really feels like it’s on time now. I will really be pushing to finish the season on a high.”

Team Principal Michael Schneider says the team will give everything to achieve the highest Championship positions possible in the season closer. “We are really looking forward to Argentina. It might be the last race of the season, but for sure one it will be one of the most difficult,” said Schneider. “The fight for the runner-up position in the Championship is really tough, with four drivers in the fight for that place. Johan has had a very tough season, he has been crashed out of events several times by other drivers, especially at the start of the year. He really deserves second position in the Championship and we will do our utmost to get him there. Anton is hungry to get into the finals again, and every point will be important for us to defend third in the Teams’ Championship from Bakkerud and Ken Block.”

Sten Forsberg, Head of Volkswagen Sweden, is pleased with how the 2016 World RX season has gone for the team, and is looking forward to the final encounter. “We are very satisfied with the performance of the team this season. The final in Argentina will be exciting for us, especially since Johan Kristoffersson has a chance of reaching second in the Championship,” he said. “We know that it will be a hard result to achieve, but with the fighting spirit of the team, it’s absolutely possible.”
The FIA World Rallycross Championship can be watched live on SVT this season in Sweden. Coverage from Argentina starts at 18.00 (CET) on Sunday November 27.

Time schedule: Rosario, Argentina, November 26–27 (Local time)
Saturday November 26
09.00: Open Practice
11.30: Qualification 1
13.30: Qualification 2

Sunday November 27
09.45: Warm-up
11.00: Qualification 3
12.30: Qualification 4
15.00: Semi-finals and Final

FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers’ Standings
1) Mattias Ekstrom, Sweden, Audi, 251
2) Petter Solberg, Norway, Citroën, 221
3) Johan Kristoffersson, Sweden, Volkswagen, 217
4) Andreas Bakkerud, Norway, Ford, 210
5) Sebastien Loeb, France, Peugeot, 194
6) Timmy Hansen, Sweden, Peugeot, 174

13) Anton Marklund, Sweden, Volkswagen 66

FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams’ Standings
1) EKS (Audi), 385
2) Team Peugeot-Hansen, 368
3) Volkswagen RX Sweden, 283
4) Hoonigan Racing Division (Ford), 271
5) World RX Team Austria (Ford), 206
6) OlsbergsMSE (Ford), 119

FIA World Rallycross Championship 2016 Calendar
1 Portugal – Montalegre – 16/17 April
2 Germany – Hockenheim – 6/8 May
3 Belgium – Mettet – 14/15 May
4 UK – Lydden Hill – 28/29 May
5 Norway – Hell – 11/12 June
6 Sweden – Holjes – 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