Johan Kristoffersson has taken his second consecutive World Rallycross Championship win with a controlled drive in difficult weather conditions in Montalegre.
With driving snow greeting the drivers as they lined up on the grid for the World RX of Portugal final, Kristoffersson powered into the lead from the front row before making the most of the clear track ahead to reel off a series of rapid laps thereafter.
They would be enough for him to retain the lead once he took his joker lap on lap five, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden claiming an 11th career World RX win and his ninth from the last 11 events.
Another exemplary performance from the defending champion on a day that would see the drivers tested by wildly varying weather conditions race-to-race – including heavy sleet and snow in the final – Kristoffersson extends his lead in the overall standings to eight points over Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud, who are tied in second.
Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg completed the podium, the pair making contact in the slippery conditions as they dived for the joker on lap one. With Loeb emerging ahead of the VW driver, the Frenchman attempted to get the gap down to Kristoffersson ahead but couldn’t do enough to get in front once his rival had taken the joker.
A second straight podium for the Team Peugeot Total driver nonetheless means he moves up to fourth in the overall standings.
Top Qualifier Bakkerud had to make do with fourth place as the only EKS Audi Sport driver to make the final, ahead of Guerlain Chicherit, who secured a maiden World RX final appearance for both himself and GC Kompetition following a superb semi-final run.
Timmy Hansen, who started on the front row with Kristoffersson, scuppered his chances of a podium after clipping the inside barrier at the final corner and tipping into a spin whilst running second.
Prior to the final, last’s year’s World RX of Portugal winner Mattias Ekstrom dropped out of contention in the semi-final when contact at turn one contributed to him finishing fourth behind Kristoffersson, Bakkerud and Chicherit, while Catalunya-Barcelona final starter Niclas Gronholm was another to miss out in the GRX Taneco Hyundai.