Reigning World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson will defend his title this year with Audi squad EKS JC.
The three-time title winner previously told DirtFish that his chances of remaining on the World RX grid this year “looks dark” following the closure of Volkswagen Motorsport from which he had been leasing his all-conquering Polo R supercar.
But he has now inked a deal with last season’s teams’ champion to contest a sixth full season at rallycross’ top level. He will join former circuit racer Enzo Ide at the team, who was the first driver to confirm his presence in World RX this year.
“First of all, I’m very pleased that I can do a full FIA World RX season. And to do it with a new team is like a new challenge for me,” said Kristofferson. “EKS JC knows how to win races and championships and after the first two test days we see that we can learn and gain from each other.
“Joel Christoffersson and the whole team are very passionate and motivated to achieve the goal of me defending the Driver’s title and, together with Enzo, also the Team’s title.”
The move means that for the first time Kristoffersson won’t be contesting World RX in a Volkswagen Polo of some form, although he will remain in the Volkswagen family by getting behind the wheel of an Audi S1.
The car, which debuted in World RX’s maiden season in 2014 has been continuously evolved over the years and ran Kristoffersson close to the drivers’ title in the hands of EKS JC team owner Mattias Ekström last year.
“If you can’t beat him, join him – it’s as simple as that,” said Ekström. “I have had many great battles with Johan, and I think everyone can agree that he has a unique skill set, so, for me, he is a perfect fit for EKS JC’s 2021 campaign to once again challenge the rest of the field for both – team’s and driver’s – titles.”
EKS JC team boss Joel Christoffersson added: “Johan is the most successful World RX driver to date, and I am very happy that with support from Red Bull, Ravenol, KYB and Blåkläder we can have him in our team next to Enzo.
“His experience and knowledge will help us to develop further and also for Enzo this will be a great opportunity to learn from the very best,” he added. “We will continue testing before the season and I am sure we will give a hard time to our competitors.”
News of Kristoffersson’s return comes after 2019 champion Timmy Hansen, Kevin Hansen, Kevin Abbring, Niclas Grönholm, Krisztián Szabó, and Timo Scheider all confirmed their participation in this year’s championship.