Newsletter August 2018
World champion Johan Kristoffersson in a class of his own again in Canada
Johan Kristoffersson (S) is simply unbeatable at the moment in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. The reigning world champion won round seven in Trois-Rivières (CDN) to claim his sixth win of the season. This was the 29-year-old’s fourth race weekend in a row, at which he has picked up the maximum 30 points. At first, however, it did not look like being another successful event for Kristoffersson. The champion, in his Volkswagen Polo R Supercar, had to battle hard against Andreas Bakkerud (N, Audi) in both of his first two qualifying heats, resulting in him losing a lot of time. At the end of day one, he found himself languishing in ninth place.
By Sunday, however, Kristoffersson was back to his best in the 419-kW (570-PS) supercar. He won heats three and four to climb into first place in the overall ranking. Kristoffersson made a perfect start in the semi-final, going on to win the race comfortably. The Swede showed his class again in the final. While the opposition scrapped for position behind him, Kristoffersson opened up an unassailable lead at the front of the field. This latest success makes the Volkswagen race the first driver in the history of the World Rallycross Championship to win the race in Canada twice. Kristoffersson’s team-mate Petter Solberg (N) was fifth, rounding off an outstanding team result for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden.
After seven rounds, Kristoffersson leads the Drivers’ Championship with 195 points, followed by Peugeot drivers Sébastien Loeb (F) and Timmy Hansen (S) who both have 140. Solberg and Bakkerud both have 139 points to their name in fourth and fifth place. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden has also extended its lead in the team competition. Team principal Solberg’s outfit now has 334 points. In second place is the Peugeot Total team with 280 points. The FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX) returns to action on 1 and 2 September. The eighth of the season’s twelve rounds will take place in Lohéac (F). The race in Brittany has been the best-attended round on the WRX calendar for years. In 2017, 75,000 spectators flocked to the circuit.
Johan Kristoffersson (S), Volkswagen Polo R Supercar #1
“An absolutely fantastic win. I foundered a bit on the Saturday and started to have a few doubts. However, my rhythm was there from the word go on Sunday and everything went really well after the win in Q3. I’d like to say a big thank you to the team and, above all, Petter. As a former rally driver, he gave me some very good tips for the tough gravel sections. I really like this circuit and am already looking forward to returning next year.”
More information: www.fiaworldrallycross.com
Strong Sunday result for GTI driver Benjamin Leuchter
The Nürburgring is his territory – Benjamin Leuchter (D) of the Max Kruse Racing team proved this emphatically in the TCR Germany series: after having to settle for sixth place in his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR on Saturday, the man from Duisburg claimed an outstanding second place in race two on Sunday. Leuchter’s new team-mate Florian Thoma did not enjoy such a successful weekend: he failed to finish the opening race and came home 14th in race two. The three GTI drivers from Liqui Moly Team Engstler - Justin Häußermann (D), Kai Jordan (D) and Niko Kankkunen (FIN) – had to settle for positions in the pack, as did Sebastian Steibel (D, Steibel Motorsport) and Finland’s Jussi Kuusiniemi (Positione Motorsport). The races were won by Mike Halder (D, Honda) and Dominik Fugel (D, Honda).
Leuchter climbed one position in the overall standings and is now the best-placed Volkswagen driver in fifth place. Championship leader remains Harald Procyk (A, Opel). The TCR Germany drivers return to action in two weeks: the iconic circuit in Zandvoort (NL) hosts round five of seven from 17 to 19 August.
Benjamin Leuchter (D), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR #10
“I really had fun in my car, particularly on Sunday. I was a bit quicker than Dominik Fugel at the start, so I would have liked to have got in front of him. However, there was no fair way of getting past him. I tried forcing him into a mistake, but Mike Halder was closing in behind me all the time. We are a new team in TCR. I am just incredibly pleased that we are able to compete with the more established teams. The future looks positive and I am looking forward to the next races.”
More information: www.tcr-germany.de
Scott Speed enjoys perfect weekend in Trois-Rivières – one-two for Volkswagen
Scott Speed (USA) remains the dominant force in the Americas Rallycross (ARX). Round three of the new series took place in Trois-Rivières, where it shared the bill with the FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX). Speed claimed his second victory of the season – in emphatic manner. The three-time Global Rallycross champion won all four heats, his semi-final and the final in the Volkswagen Beetle Supercar – the first perfect weekend in the young history of the ARX. Speed’s Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team-mate, Tanner Foust (USA), came home second in the final to complete a one-two for Volkswagen.
Victory in Trois-Rivières sees Speed extend his lead in the championship. Going into the season finale, the former Formula 1 driver now has 86 points to his name – nine more than Foust (77 points). The fourth and final round of the year will again be held together with the WRX. On 29 and 30 September, Speed, Foust and the other ARX drivers will battle it out for the first ARX Title at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (USA).
More information: www.arxrallycross.com
Classic Days Schloss Dyck
Double dose of Pikes Peak fever and a German debut
Two helpings of fascination at the Classic Days: while the 1987 Volkswagen twin-engine Golf II Pikes Peak took to the Racing Legends circuit with its unmistakable sound, the 500-kW (680-PS) I.D. R Pikes Peak made its German debut at Schloss Dyck. The fully-electric racing car, with Romain Dumas (F) at the wheel, had broken the previous record for electric cars at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and also set a new all-time record with a time of 7:57.148 minutes. Having again set a new electric record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the I.D. R Pikes Peak was finally presented to the public in Germany.
In the new paddock, the 1987 Golf II Pikes Peak was a real crowd-puller as it fired up its twin engines. Volkswagen Classic sent the Golf, which generates a maximum 480 kW (652 PS), onto the historic circuit with Jochi Kleint at the wheel. Kleint raced on Pikes Peak for Volkswagen Motorsport in 1985, 1986 and 1987, and was happy to sign many autographs between his outings at Schloss Dyck. He also answered the questions of many interested fans on the subject of the twin-engine Golf and the toughest hillclimb in the world.
More information: www.classic-days.de
Daniel Lloyd (GB) of the WestCoast Racing team has extended his overall lead in TCR UK. The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR driver finished an impressive second in the opening race at Oulton Park. He was joined on the podium by another GTI driver, in the form of Sweden’s Andreas Bäckman (S). Lloyd and his team-mate Jessica Bäckmann were the best-placed Volkswagen drivers in race two, finishing fourth and fifth. Ashley Sutton (GB, Honda) won both races at Oulton Park.
More information: www.tcruk.co.uk
Volkswagen Racing Cup UK
Race one of the Volkswagen Racing Cup UK at Oulton Park had to be finished behind the safety car following a crash involving Tom Witts and Martin Depper. Tom Walker in the Volkswagen Scirocco came through to take victory ahead of Owen Walker (Audi TT), with Tom Witts third in the Volkswagen Polo. In race two on Sunday, Volkswagen Golf driver Jamie Bond snatched victory from long-time leader Matthew Wilson (Scirocco) in the final metres. Ruaridh Clark completed the podium.
More information: www.vwracingcup.co.uk
TCR Russia, Moscow (RUS)
British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Rockingham (GB)
Pirelli World Challenge, Utah Motorsport Campus (USA)