Austin World RX: Kristoffersson wraps up second title with win
Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson wrapped up his second consecutive World Rallycross Championship title by qualifying for the final at the American round of the series in Austin, then won the event when race leader Petter Solberg made a mistake.
Solberg had dominated the weekend in Austin and started on pole position for the final after beating Kristoffersson in the first semi-final. He led the final from Audi driver Andreas Bakkerud on lap one, as Kristoffersson forced his way inside Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom in the first corner joker – a move that would prove decisive.
Not wanting to allow Kristoffersson clear air, Solberg immediately responded by taking his joker on the second tour, returning to the main circuit into the turn three left hander just ahead of his colleague’s Polo.
Bakkerud inherited the lead when Solberg jokered and saved his extra route until lap four. The Norwegian rejoined the standard lap behind Kristoffersson but had a nose inside teammate Ekstrom’s Audi S1. The Swede ran wide and Bakkerud slipped up the inside to take third.
With two laps to run, the Volkswagen duo ran one-two at the head of the field and Solberg appeared set to claim his first victory in 16 months, but the triple FIA world champion out-braked himself into turn three on the penultimate tour and ran wide on to the loose gravel.
Kristoffersson needed no second invitation and passed Solberg on left-hand side over the circuit’s jump to take a lead he would hold to the finish – despite his rear bumper hanging off – to score his ninth win from 10 rounds this season.
Behind the top three, contact between Timmy Hansen (Peugeot) and Ekstrom dropped the Audi driver down the order as Sebastien Loeb passed Hansen for fourth and Ekstrom finished sixth.
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|Drivers||Petter Solberg , Sébastien Loeb , Johan Kristoffersson|