To Portugal to begin 2016 World RX assault


New-look World RX team Volkswagen RX Sweden head to the Montalegre circuit in Portugal for the opening round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship Presented by Monster Energy next week (16-17 April).

Swedish drivers Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund will race a pair of brand new Volkswagen Polo RX Supercars in the highly competitive entry that includes a range of manufacturer-supported teams.

Kristoffersson won the first round of World RX in Portugal last season and finished third overall in the championship, driving a Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar. He is looking forward to getting his 2016 season underway. “My goal for this season is to arrive at the final round in Argentina fighting for the title,” he said. “I’m sure everyone has been working hard over the winter, but I feel absolutely more prepared for this season than last year. All the drivers go to the races with one goal, to win, and I am no different. The feeling in the team is really good, there’s a nice atmosphere and I’m looking forward to working with all the guys.”

World RX podium finisher Anton Marklund returns to a Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar full-time this season, and is targeting consistent results to aid the team in the teams’ championship title race. “We are finishing our preparations by testing in Lousada in Portugal, which is great. We just need to fine-tune the last things before the first race. It will be important to have a trouble free race and set good pace straight away, so I have a solid start to the year. Compared to many of my rivals I have a lot less experience so I will continue to learn as much as possible this season, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be fighting for victory any less,” said Marklund. “The aim is to make good results through the whole season that will also help the team in the fight for the World Championship title. I haven’t entered any race in my career with a mindset of being outside the finals, and my mindset remains strongly on winning races this season. Hopefully by teaming up with Volkswagen like I did in 2014 I can bring some trophies home to northern Sweden this year!”

Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal, Michael Schneider, is pleased with the developments made to the new Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar and is looking forward to seeing how the car compares to the opposition in Portugal. “The first race is always something special for me as it will give an indication of the pecking order, and show the results of the hard work during the winter. We have new competitors this year and I’m sure all of the teams have worked hard to improve their performance. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “Rallycross is growing; we are competing against some of the best drivers from rallying and circuit racing in the world. The competition was very hard last season, but 2016 will be even harder! I would like to thank all of the guys in the team, our partners and suppliers for their efforts this winter.”

Sten Forsberg, head of Volkswagen Sweden is excited to see the new Polo on track at round one. “Finally the season starts and we are excited to see the new Polo RX Supercar on track,” said Forsberg. “The team goes to Portugal well prepared but the mission is not easy, our competitors haven´t been sleeping in the last few months. I think we can look forward to a very interesting season.”

The FIA World Rallycross Championship can be watched live on SVT this season in Sweden. Coverage from Portugal starts at 15.00 (CET).