The FIA World Rallycross Championship made a dazzling debut in Hong Kong 11 November 2023, as Johan Kristoffersson clinched his sixth career crown and Kevin Hansen made history by triumphing in the series’ first-ever city-centre event in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd.

Johan Kristoffersson seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023 Photo By @World for Red Bull Content Pool

In a stunning setting – sandwiched between Hong Kong’s iconic downtown skyscrapers and the waters of Victoria Harbour – the World RX superstars put on a sensational show around the Central Harbourfront Circuit, with thousands of fans lapping up the electrifying action.

Kevin Hansen seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023 Photo By @World for Red Bull Content Pool

Hansen delivered the most impressive performance of all, as the Swede battled back from a tough start to the day – picking up a puncture right at the beginning of qualifying practice – to top the table at the end of the heat races and then dominate both his semi-final and the all-important final. The result marked his third World RX victory – with his maximum score strengthening his grip on second position in the championship standings.

“This is just mega! I’ve been so excited to come to Hong Kong for so long – I was really pushing for this event to happen – and to finally be here in such a spectacular location is absolutely incredible!

enthused the Hansen World RX Team ace
Niclas Gronholm seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023 Photo By @World for Red Bull Content Pool

“The crowd has been simply amazing – we could really feel the fans cheering us on – and the track has been challenging but super fun to drive. No two laps were the same so it was essential to stay laser-focussed, but that’s what rallycross should be all about. The final was a great race and I would say this is my best win so far. The Hansen team is back on top! Now we need to reload for tomorrow and try to do it all over again.”

Hansen was challenged throughout the final by Kristoffersson, who uncharacteristically did not top a single session in Hong Kong, until the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS driver’s ZEROID X1 car stopped on-track on the last lap – although by that point, the title was already in the bag.

Niclas Gronholm seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023

Kristoffersson’s misfortune elevated CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment’s Niclas Grönholm to second place, after the Finn – who set the pace in heat two – prevailed in a tight three-way tussle with Ole Christian Veiby and Timo Scheider.

Kevin Hansen (SWE) of the Hansen World RX Team, Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) and Ole Christian Veiby (NOR) of the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS, Niclas Groenholm (FIN) and Klara Andersson (SWE) of the Construction Equipment Dealer Team and Timo Scheider (GER) of the ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport Team seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship seen in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023. Photo By Joerg Mitter for Red Bull Content Pool

The order was shuffled on the last lap of the final as Grönholm fought his way past his Norwegian rival, with Scheider similarly leapfrogging Veiby once all the joker strategies had played out – extending the German’s stellar recent run of podium finishes.

Spectators seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship seen in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023. Photo By Joerg Mitter for Red Bull Content Pool

Veiby ended up fourth ahead of Klara Andersson in the second CE Dealer Team car, with Kristoffersson ultimately classified sixth.

Kevin Hansen (SWE) of the Hansen World RX Team, Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) and Ole Christian Veiby (NOR) of the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS, Niclas Groenholm (FIN) and Klara Andersson (SWE) of the Construction Equipment Dealer Team and Timo Scheider (GER) of the ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport Team seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship seen in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023. Photo By Joerg Mitter for Red Bull Content Pool

The action continues on Sunday 12 November 2023 with a full day of racing on the streets of Hong Kong to bring down the curtain on the 2023 World RX campaign.

The Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS seen during the FIA World Rallycross Championship seen in Hong Kong, China on November 11, 2023. Photo By Joerg Mitter for Red Bull Content Pool

FINAL RESULT: WORLD RX

  1. Kevin HANSEN (SWE) Hansen World RX Team 5 laps
  2. Niclas GRÖNHOLM (FIN) CE Dealer Team + 2.290s
  3. Timo SCHEIDER (DEU) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 3.276s
  4. Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS + 4.818s
  5. Klara ANDERSSON (SWE) CE Dealer Team + 6.526s
  6. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (SWE) Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS + 21.893s

Kurhula David Ngobeni

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