Ide claims career best World RX result at Höljes but disappointing finish for Kristoffersson
The second round of the World Rallycross Championship at Höljes in Sweden was an event of mixed emotions for KYB EKS JC.
Reigning World RX Champion Johan Kristoffersson set two fastest times in qualifying, and qualified second overall in the Intermediate Classification to start on pole position in semi-final two. He won the race through the first corner and led from the front, set for a place in the final. But, on the third lap, a double puncture caused by a heavy jump landing put him out. He didn’t make the final and now lies joint fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Things went better for team-mate Enzo Ide in the second event of his first full World RX campaign. Eighth place in the Intermediate Classification, Belgian driver Ide finished third in his semi-final, despite a puncture. In the final, clever joker tactics lifted Ide to fourth by the finish, the result elevating him to seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.
In the new electric RX2e category, a week after claiming the RallyX Nordic Crosscar title, Isak Reiersen made his debut. The race marked the 17-year-old’s first four-wheel-drive start and Reiersen impressed with his pace in qualifying, but struggled in traffic. When he did find clear air, he won a heat race and qualified sixth overall. In the semi-final, he got squeezed in the first-corner traffic after a good start, got sent up onto two wheels and only just managed to avoid rolling the car. He went into the gravel trap on the outside of the circuit, lost time and finished fifth in the race.
Full results for World RX and RX2e can be found here.
Joel Christoffersson, KYB EKS JC Team Principal:
“We have mixed feelings from Höljes. For Johan, the weekend started strong, then we struggled to find the right speed in Q2 and Q3. In Q4 he was fastest again, and before the semi-finals I think we had found what we were looking for. His lead was clear, but the double-puncture stopped him straight away. That’s sad, we had been looking forward to a good fight in the final and to be able to pick championship points after we lost out in Barcelona. But of course we will not give up and look forward to Loheac in two weekends – the team and Johan are ready for revenge.
Enzo had a fantastic finish to his weekend. He had good speed in the final and had a really good race. I know how many test days and how much hard work is behind his development, so the whole team is happy for him.
This was the first electric rallycross event for both EKS JC and Isak, and also his debut in rallycross at such a high international level. So considering that, I'm very happy with his effort and pace, and I think he should be too. Unfortunately, an incident in the semi-finals meant that he couldn’t fight for a final place but we were here to learn, and we definitely did that. Hopefully we can do something similar with Isak in the future.”
Johan Kristoffersson (SWE):
“The weekend started really well with a fastest time in Q1. Then in Q2 and Q3 we did not really have the speed we wanted, but we changed the setup a bit and got into Q4 with good speed. It felt really good before the semi-finals, and I felt more comfortable in the car again. In the semis I made a good start and took the lead but on lap three I got a little too sideways in turn two and landed on the kerb after the jump. I got a double puncture and it was over.
It’s still early in the championship. At the same time, the margins are getting smaller, and our situation is a little more difficult now. But it is what it is, and I won’t think about it. We all know how fast things can happen in motorsport, these first two races I have raced the new car to me and I am still learning. We have to take the lessons from here with us, and simply try to do better next time.”
Enzo Ide (BEL):
“It’s been fun to drive in Höljes again and I’m really, really happy with the result. The weekend has been a bit up and down for me, but EKS JC has done a good job of getting the car where I want it. I am very grateful to compete with this team, which constantly helps me to be comfortable in the car, develop myself and push forward.
After the semi-finals I had some mixed feelings, and I really felt for Johan. At the same time while his punctures caused him to lose the lead, I was able, despite a puncture, to make it to the final. I chose to take the joker straight away in the final and that allowed me to set good pace and pick up places. I lost some focus for a while, but my spotter pushed me to focus and I managed to keep it together. I set some good lap times and coming fourth, in front of two very fast drivers, feels really good.”
Isak Reiersen (SWE), RX2e:
“This was not the result I was hoping for and I haven’t been able to keep the pace I wanted because we struggled with traffic. But I'm still happy with my speed all weekend, and how fast I got into the car. Compared to Crosscar, it’s been a different world. For a start it’s a full-size car, with four-wheel-drive. So unlike what I'm used to, I have not been able to attack as hard, but the focus has been on a calmer driving and keeping it clean at corner exit. Then, of course, it was a new experience to drive an electric car, without changing gear and with all the focus on the accelerator and brakes.
I want to say thank you to EKC JC, my sponsors and all those who made the weekend possible. It’s always been a dream to race in the World RX weekend at home in Höljes, so now I can tick that off my list. It is a fun experience to have competed in an electric car, and I see great potential for that in the future.”