KYB EKS JC fast in Portugal but miss out on World RX podium
Enzo Ide, Johan Kristoffersson and the KYB EKS JC team battled hard through the entire weekend at the latest FIA World Rallycross Championship round in Portugal but despite challenging for the race win, came away with a fifth and sixth place finish.
Kristoffersson set the pace in Free Practice on Saturday morning, but the triple World RX Champion lost time in traffic in Q1, then suffered a puncture. He battled back in Q2 and Q3 but starting on the outside of pole position, he found it difficult to make it to the front of the times.
The Swede executed a brilliant overtake in Q4, then again in the semi-final to claim the race win and start on the front row of the grid for the final. But, in a fight for the lead of the final in a three-car rallycross battle, Kristoffersson was pushed into a track marker and even though he finished third in the race, was given a five-second penalty and was classified sixth.
Belgian driver Enzo Ide set the third fastest time in Q1 and continued his World RX learning through the weekend. He set impressive pace in the semi-finals to again make the final, where he finished the race fifth. Kristoffersson remains second in the Drivers’ Championship, with Ide in eighth.
The final rounds of World RX take place at Nurburgring in Germany (November 27-28).
Full World RX results can be found here.
Joel Christoffersson, KYB EKS JC Team Principal:
“It was a tough rallycross weekend. We had quite good pace on Saturday but unfortunately we had some quite bad luck with a puncture and then we were always on the outside on the grid and never got the perfect heat. We were always fighting, we managed to get P1 in the semi-final, then it was a proper rallycross fight in the final. It was good, but unfortunately Johan got pushed out wide and got the five-second penalty and that was it. We lost points this weekend but there is still 60 points to race for at the Nurburgring so we cannot give up.
It was a good weekend overall for Enzo, to be here for the first time I am impressed with the speed, especially in the semi-final where he did good lap times. We’re getting there, things are getting better race by race and his race craft is starting to be very good too so we’re really looking forward to the next one.”
Johan Kristoffersson (SWE):
“Free Practice felt pretty good to start the weekend, then the air went out a little bit after Q1 when we had the puncture. We were a bit on the back foot but we were three times second, then in the semi-final I had a decent launch but Niclas [Gronholm] just got in front. I managed to overtake him, which was good fun. In the final we decided to follow Timmy [Hansen] on the first lap, I tried to pass him but for some reason his pace was not the best, then I ran a little bit wide and Kevin [Hansen] got up the inside and I had to cut the track, so I got a five second penalty from that. There are two races and 60 points left to win, so we are not out of the fight for the championship.”
Enzo Ide (BEL):
“I’m happy that I discovered a new rallycross track this weekend, the circuit is very nice with great gravel and kerbs. It was a bit surprised with myself that I could get quite quickly up to speed, but then I struggled a bit with certain corner. In the end I managed to handle them. I made some mistakes like always, it’s part of my learning process – I learn from my mistakes which is good. I had a small issue in the final, the pace was good then in one corner something happened where I lost a lot of time which was a shame. I finished fifth, but the result without this problem would have been better. It’s all learning though, the team did a great job, we had a good setup and the guys did amazing work."