Johan Kristoffersson leads the field in Riga
© Paulo Maria/DPPI
Rallycross

Lessons from the World RX of Riga: never rule out Johan Kristoffersson

Johan Kristoffersson was lightning off the line in Latvia and claimed a vital victory to take the championship fight to the Hansen brothers
Written by James W Roberts
3 min readPublished on
Part of this story

FIA World Rallycross Championship

A hybrid of rallying and circuit racing, …

FIA World Rallycross Championship

The Biķernieki track is Latvia's only permanent …

Latvia

Timmy Hansen

Born into a rallycross family, Timmy Hansen has …

SwedenSweden

Kevin Hansen

Swedish rallycross ace Kevin Hansen loves to …

SwedenSweden

Johan Kristoffersson

A three-time FIA World Rallycross champion, …

SwedenSweden

Mattias Ekström

Rallycross star Mattias Ekström is one of the …

SwedenSweden
A Sunday final win saw Swede Johan Kristoffersson get his 2021 World RX title hopes back on track at the two Latvian rounds and cut compatriot Timmy Hansen's lead down to 20 points as the World RX heads to Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.
Kristoffersson claimed victory in the first semi-final from Timmy Hansen and Krisztián Szabó in the Hyundai, with Finnish driver Niclas Grönholm taking the second semi from Timo Scheider and second place championship man Kevin Hansen.
Grönholm would continue his momentum though into Saturday's final, where the Hyundai 120 driver built up a gap that proved insurmountable for the chasing Hansen brothers whilst title hopeful Kristoffersson ended up down in fifth place.
Johan Kristoffersson performs  in his Audi S1at Riga, Latvia on September 19, 2021
Johan Kristoffersson gets sideways in Riga
En route to his fourth World RX victory, Grönholm held the lead from the get go ahead of a fast-starting Timo Scheider, climbing to second, only for his Munnich Seat Ibiza to abruptly stop on landing from the circuit’s biggest jump, ending the double DTM champion’s race.
On Sunday, Mattias Ekström topped Q1 with Grönholm showing good pace once more and dominating Q2, Q3 and then the first semi-final with Timmy Hansen and Scheider earning their places in the second final of the weekend. Kristoffersson won the second semi-final from Ekström and Kevin Hansen to set up a thrilling last race.
World RX driver Johan Kristoffersson of KYB EKS JC celebrates on the podium with Timmy Hansen after winning the World RX Latvia in Riga.
Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen on the podium in Riga
In search of redemption following a lacklustre result on Saturday, Kristoffersson nailed the perfect start to get around Grönholm and snatch into first place. The Audi S1 driver didn’t look back and stormed to a 25th career World RX win and fourth in Latvia.
Grönholm capped a stellar weekend taking second in Sunday’s final with championship leader Timmy Hansen managing a damaged wing superbly to unseat Ekström’s third place with Kevin Hansen in fifth and Szabó back in sixth.
World RX driver Timmy Hansen of Hansen World RX Team performs at Riga.
World RX championship leader Timmy Hansen
“It’s been a long weekend, a lot of racing and it’s been difficult for us with our pace lacking that edge you need," commented Timmy Hansen. "I’m happy with three podiums for the team in these two rounds; it’s a good result considering where we were.
“I’m looking forward to the next three events and fighting at the very top, challenging for wins again. That’s what I’m here for – I’m not satisfied to finish on the podium and not be fighting for first place.”
Timmy Hansen's gap over brother Kevin at the head of the World RX drivers’ standings now amounts to an increased 17 points, while the pair’s results were enough to ensure Hansen World RX Team’s lead over GRX-SET in the teams’ championship remained at 48 points.
The championship moves on to a double header in Belgium in two weeks’ time. Watch every round live on Red Bull TV

World RX Championship (Top 5)

  1. Timmy Hansen (SWE) – Peugeot 208 – 130 points
  2. Kevin Hansen (SWE) – Peugeot 208 – 113
  3. Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) – Audi S1 – 110
  4. Niclas Grönholm (FIN) – Hyundai i20 – 107
  5. Krisztián Szabó (HUN) – Hyundai i20 – 88
Part of this story

FIA World Rallycross Championship

A hybrid of rallying and circuit racing, …

FIA World Rallycross Championship

The Biķernieki track is Latvia's only permanent …

Latvia

Timmy Hansen

Born into a rallycross family, Timmy Hansen has …

SwedenSweden

Kevin Hansen

Swedish rallycross ace Kevin Hansen loves to …

SwedenSweden

Johan Kristoffersson

A three-time FIA World Rallycross champion, …

SwedenSweden

Mattias Ekström

Rallycross star Mattias Ekström is one of the …

SwedenSweden