Johan Kristoffersson and his family team were hoping for a dry final in the World Rallycross season opener at Höljes, despite seizing control of the race after a fine launch following a pre-race downpour.
Kristoffersson had been engaged in a tight battle throughout the event with fellow series champion Mattias Ekström but, following a sudden rain shower minutes before the final, Kristoffersson was able to make an incredible getaway to be well clear of the rest of the field by the first corner.
“We were quite safe with the launches in the dry so it’s more complicated when it’s wet, [and] more risky,” said Johan’s team boss Tommy Kristoffersson. “Actually I was hoping [for it] to stay dry but when it [the rain] turns up [and] you are making marvelous launch in [the] wet so we can trust that.”
Johan Kristoffersson shared his father’s doubts, admitting during the event’s live broadcast that he wasn’t fully comfortable in the day’s changeable conditions until after the semi-final stage.
“These conditions have been the most tricky that we could get when we came back to rallycross,” said the two-time champion. “It’s changing all day and you’re always trying to do your best and you’re not really sure with conditions like this, when you come back and [are] not really that 100% confident.”
“But then after the semi-final I felt pretty good and then in the final when I dropped the clutch the launch was so good and from there on I felt OK.”
The dominant win came on Kristoffersson and the team’s return to World RX after a year out, and now without factory backing. Not withstanding his year away, Kristoffersson has now won 10 consecutive World RX events, and 19 from his last 22 starts.
Kristoffersson Sr was pleased to see his team maintain its position at the head of the field, but is under no illusions about the steps forward that other teams have made during their time away.
“For sure [we’re] very very happy with this return to the sport that we love so much, it’s really fantastic to be back and of course the result is amazing, to be out for one year, come back and be strong,” Kristoffersson said.
“It was good but we can also see that the guys have improved around us, we see that Mattias is also very strong and also [Niclas] Grönholm was really fighting hard and they’re for sure coming after us so we have to keep shape.”