WRX: Kristoffersson returns and is crowned champion


The 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship saw the return of Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekstrom where Kristoffersson was to be crowned champion.

As was the norm for 2020 the start of the FIA World Rallycross Championship was delayed with the season getting underway in August. The season also came to a premature end when the final two rounds to be hosted in Belgium and Germany were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

What we did see was four weekends and eight rounds of close, hard-fought racing which produced four different winners, as well 10 different podiums scorers. This is how the championship unfolded.


The first weekend took place at the Holjes circuit. Kristoffersson and Ekstrom returned to the World RX grid, Kristoffersson as an independent entry whilst Ekstrom replaced Janis Baumanis in the KYB Team JC Audi. The two former champions would take a win each over the two rounds as well appear on the podium in the other.

Round one went the way of the two-time champion, Kristoffersson, ahead of Ekstrom. Anton Marklund was promoted into the final but picked up a time penalty which saw Timo Scheider take the only podium of the season for ALL INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport.

Ekstrom took the win in round two, whilst Kristoffersson picked up a time penalty dropping him from second to third. Kevin Hansen was promoted to second, picking up his first podium of the season.

After the first weekend Kristoffersson led Ekstrom in the points by just two points. KYB Team JC were ahead of Team Hansen by 28 points in the team’s championship.


A week later rounds three and four took place at Kouvola. Kristoffersson would take the win once again on the Saturday. Juha Rytkonen made his World RX debut with GRX Set and finished round three second ahead of the 2019 champion, Timmy Hansen.

On the Sunday Niclas Gronholm took his and GRX Taneco’s only win of the year ahead of Ekstrom. Whilst Timur Timerzyanov made it a GRX Taneco double podium, after edging ahead of Kristoffersson on the final turn of the race.

At what turned out to be the halfway point of the championship Kristoffersson had extended his points lead over Ekstrom to 17. Whilst Team Hansen had closed down the gap to KYB Team JC to 19.


Going into the second half of the season and on the Saturday we saw the first non-Kristoffersson Top Qualifier, with Gronholm taking the honours. However tyre tactics proved crucial over this weekend and Kristoffersson played it perfectly to take the round victory. As was becoming a familiar, Ekstrom would pick up the second spot, with Timmy Hansen was third.

With everyone learning from the double-champion the day before, Sunday saw the positions swapped, with Ekstrom taking the Top Qualifier and the win ahead of Kristoffersson. This time it was Ekstrom’s KYB Team JC teammate, Robin Larsson who joined them of the podium.

Leaving Latvia Ekstrom had maintained the point’s difference of 17 to Kristoffersson, whilst KYB Team JC had extended their lead to 43 points over Team Hansen.


With Portugal having been cancelled, this weekend held at the Catalunya circuit was to become a double-header.

Timmy Hansen took the round victory to become the fourth different winner of the season. The 2019 champion was joined on the podium by his brother, Kevin Hansen, who picked up third place, with Ekstrom splitting the pair.

The final race of the championship saw a big impact at the first turn between Andreas Bakkerud and Robin Larsson. Kristoffersson, however, ended the season how he started, with a round win, his fourth. Timmy Hansen finished second ahead of Marklund who picked up his only podium of the year.

The championship would be completed at this point with Kristoffersson crowned, 27 points ahead of Ekstrom. Timmy Hansen finished the year in third.

KYB Team JC took the teams title by 16 points from Team Hansen. GRX Taneco finished a further 70 points behind in third.

Last year’s runner up, Bakkerud was joined once again by Liam Doran in the team Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel. This year they were racing the GCK Meganes and struggled throughout the year. Doran was plagued by problems with his best result coming at round six where he finished fifth in the semi-finals.

Bakkerud would only miss out on one of the semi-finals of the season which would come at round one. He would only be able to compete in four of the five finals that he qualified for. At round eight Bakkerud had a big accident which saw Scheider disqualified from the race and Bakkerud reinstated as third, but the extent of the damage to the car as well as an injury prevented him from taking part.

Bakkerud came back with a vengeance in Spain where he would qualify for both finals, and start the finale on pole position. His race came to an end at turn one with heavy contact with Larsson.

The provisional 2021 calendar has been released by the FIA with the 10 round season set to start on 22-23 May at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Featured image credit: FIAWorldRallycross.com

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