Johan Kristoffersson claimed a comfortable win in the World Rallycross Championship at Spa-Francorchamps, leading the final from start to finish.
Starting the main event from pole position, he quickly moved to block off fellow front-row starter Kevin Hansen at the race start, then pulled away in dominant fashion.
Similarly, Kevin Hansen was unchallenged for second, with the key battle of the final between Krisztián Szabó and championship leader Timmy Hansen for third.
Timmy Hansen began the race from the back of the grid, despite winning his semifinal, as a result of a penalty for contact with Kevin Abbring in that race. The contact took the Renault driver – who’d had an excellent weekend up to that point after winning qualifying – out of contention.
Szabó made a decent start from the second row of the grid to instantly thrust himself into podium contention, while Timmy Hansen was eager to overcome the damage from his infraction. He was already up to fourth by the Raidillon hairpin and set about pressuring Hyundai man Szabó.
With Hansen unable to find a way past Szabó, he jokered on lap three of six to gain some clear air, but Szabó responded a lap later and remained in front.
By race end, Kristoffersson won by a massive 2.6 seconds over Kevin Hansen, with Szabó finally taking his first World RX podium in third. Timmy Hansen’s fourth place marks the first time this season he has finished off the podium.
Enzo Ide was fifth, ahead of series returnee Anton Marklund who was driving the same Hyundai i20 that won the only other World RX event at Spa-Francorchamps in 2019 in the hands of Timur Timerzyanov.
As well as top qualifier Abbring, Niclas Grönholm was another big name to miss out on a final berth – the third time that has happened this season.
The Hyundai driver started the second semifinal on the front row of the grid but was forced out wide by Kristoffersson early on, dropping him to the back of the pack. While he had the pace to fight back, a costly decision to leave his joker until the final lap ultimately cost him the chance to advance.
In RX2e, Guillaume De Ridder maintained his 100% podium record and championship lead, resisting title rival Jesse Kallio to win on home soil.
Kallio challenged for the lead early on, looking up the inside of the hairpin on each of the first three laps, but an early joker call for the Finn on lap three allowed De Ridder to pull out a gap and by the time he took the longer route on the final tour, he was able to take a comfortable win, his second of the season.
Earlier on in the all-electric category’s weekend, in the first semifinal Patrick O’Donovan suffered a heavy crash at the first corner, his car quickly snapping to the right sending him into the wall at high speed. The race was red flagged and he was taken to a local hospital as a precaution but he was not seriously injured.
The European RX1 championship was settled at Spa this weekend, with Andreas Bakkerud wrapping up the title with his first round win of the season.
The two-time European Super 1600 champion entered the weekend two points adrift of double French title winner Fabien Pailler, but went into Sunday’s final with a one-point lead after winning three out of four qualifying rounds as well as his semifinal.
Bakkerud led that final from pole, fending off pressure from Pailler into turn one and gradually increasing the gap over the next six laps.
Pailler had to settle for second in both the race and the championship, with Bakkerud’s ESMotorsport Skoda team-mate Jānis Baumanis in third, again in both the race and the title fight.
The European RX3 series meanwhile will conclude next weekend in Portugal. Yury Belevskiy won at Spa, his third victory from four starts so far this season.
1 Johan Kristoffersson (Audi)
2 Kevin Hansen (Peugeot) +2.601s
3 Krisztián Szabó (Hyundai) +5.338s
4 Timmy Hansen (Peugeot) +5.663s
5 Enzo Ide (Audi) +6.119s
6 Anton Marklund (Hyundai) +6.648s
1 T Hansen 151 2 Kristofferson 139 3 K Hansen 136 4 Niclas Grönholm 123 5 Szabó 108 6 Kevin Abbring 97 7 Timo Scheider 75 8 Ide 72 9 Juha Rytkönen 52 10 Mattias Ekström 37