Volkswagen RX Sweden target podium finish at Hockenheim


Swedish World Rallycross team Volkswagen RX Sweden is targeting a podium finish at the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Hockenheim in Germany this weekend (May 6 – 8), with its pair of Volkswagen Polo RX Supercars driven by Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund.

World Rallycross joins the DTM German Touring Car Championship for the double-header event, held at one of the most prestigious motor racing venues on the planet.

Volkswagen RX Sweden is currently second in the World RX teams’ championship standings after the opening round in Portugal, where Kristoffersson set front-running pace all weekend – including the fastest overall lap time – and could have won had it not been for contact with another car in the final. Marklund also made a strong start to the year with the new-for-2016 Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar and finished in the semi-finals. The team tested at Holjes in Sweden last week and believes that improvements have been made to the Volkswagen Polo RX ahead of Hockenheim.

Kristoffersson knows the importance of consistency through the event with an eye on the overall championship. “We had pretty good speed at Hockenheim last year – I like the track. It will be a bit different this year, but I really like the gravel sections. The track itself is something different and it’s really fun to race at the same event as the DTM. We had the speed to win in Montalegre, and we have done one day of testing to try a few new things. We need to stay clever and not make any silly mistakes, to focus on the championship and not fight for every corner in the qualifying races. If we have the possibility to go for a win I will definitely go for it and see where we end up.”

Alongside his rallycross programme, Marklund will also compete in some circuit-racing events this season, to help increase his skill-set. The Swede has high hopes for a strong result this weekend. “I’m pleased with the pace we showed in both wet and dry conditions in Portugal, and Johan’s lap record is proof that the team has done good work over the winter. But, we still need to keep working hard, the competition is really tough this season and there is no room for error. I need to find the pace immediately this weekend, but that will come with more time in the car. Hockenheim’s a fun track to drive but very tight and tricky. I must say that this is the nicest team I have worked in, we’re really like a big family and everybody is just having a lot of fun while doing a tremendous job and making me really comfortable, so I can just focus on the driving.”

Volkswagen RX Sweden Sporting Director, Tommy Kristoffersson, is looking forward to joining the DTM at Hockenheim and thinks the Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar will be even faster than it was in Portugal. “It’s nice to go to Hockenheim. It’s quite an important race for us as it’s the home country for two of our main partners, Volkswagen and Bauhaus, so that is something extra for us. The name Hockenheim is so connected with motorsport; Formula 1 and DTM and it’s really good to be a part of the premier weekend of the DTM,” he said. “IMG (World RX promoters) has done a great job to make it happen and it means a lot to go there and present both the sport and our Volkswagen team. We proved we had the speed in Portugal; we went for the victory and it was very close. We had a good test in Höljes and I think we have found the two tenths that we were missing in the final. We’re really looking forward to Hockenheim, it will be super-nice to be there.”

The FIA World Rallycross Championship can be watched live on SVT this season in Sweden. Coverage from Hockenheim starts at 10.00 (CET) on Sunday May 8.


FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers’ Standings:

1 Petter Solberg (Citroen DS3) 29

2 Robin Larsson (Audi A1) 21

3 Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Polo) 21

4 Toomas Heikkinen (Audi S1) 20

5 Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Focus) 20

6 Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1) 19

12 Anton Marklund (Volkswagen Polo) 7


FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams’ Standings:

1 EKS RX 39

2 Volkswagen RX Sweden 28

3 Team Peugeot-Hansen 26

4 Hoonigan Racing Division 20

5 Olsbergs MSE 12

6 World RX Team Austria 4


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