World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson to contest Rally Sweden – WRC

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Reigning World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson will contest next month’s Rally Sweden in a Skoda Fabia R5.

The Swede started his home round of the World Rally Championship in 2016 but this will be the first time he competes in a car capable of winning its class.

Kristoffersson almost had to pass up the opportunity to conest the second round of the 2018 WRC season because of a clashing World RX test.

“When I did the event two years ago, I was driving the Fabia S2000, so this wasn’t the competitive car for the class,” he told Autosport.

“The Fabia R5 is. But this isn’t why I’m doing it.

“I’m doing the rally to help with my preparations for WRX.

“I’m really happy to be doing the event. I will get one more day of testing before the start and then we go.”

Kristoffersson finished 11th in class in 2016 and he said his aim for this event is to finish in the top 10.

“I know I’m not going to be able to challenge long-term across the event, but one top-three stage time would be nice,” he said.

“But the big thing for me is to get through every kilometre – the experience is what I’m there for.

“I’m learning by doing.”

He will spend time working on his pacenotes during the test and will look to Ole Christian Veiby and WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand for help.

“A couple of years ago I did a few rallies and I found it quite hard to take the notes in, to listen to all the detail,” he explained.

“I got better and now I would say I’m getting about 70% of what the professional drivers are hearing.

“The problem for me now is the recce, I have to find a way to describe the corner in a a really short number of words – this isn’t easy, but I’m working on it.”

Kristoffersson’s confirmation that he will start the February 15-18 event means both PSRX Volkswagen Sweden drivers will be competing in the country.

His team-mate Petter Solberg is sharing a Ford Escort RS1800 with his wife, PSRX team principal Pernilla, for Rally Sweden Historic.

Asked how confident he was of beating the 2003 World Rally champion on the stages they both start, Kristoffersson said: “I definitely have the car to do that, but you can never underestimate the champion of rallying!”



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