Six-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson is set for a new challenge in 2024, as he bids to clinch a seventh career crown in the sport behind the wheel of a sustainably-fuelled, combustion-powered (ICE) Volkswagen Polo.

Kristoffersson’s most recent two titles at the international pinnacle of the dual-surface discipline have been achieved with electric power, but for the inaugural campaign of World RX’s ‘Battle of Technologies’, he is betting on a different direction, with the confirmation of a pioneering new partnership between Kristoffersson Motorsport and HORSE Powertrain, through Swedish-based company Aurobay.

Kristoffersson Motorsport team-mates Johan Kristoffersson [left] and Ole Christian Veiby at World RX of Hong Kong on 11.11.23 Photo By Rallycross Promoter GmbH for Red Bull Content Pool

The team, rebaptised KMS – HORSE Powertrain, will field a pair of VW Polo KMS 601 RXs for Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby, who returns for a third consecutive campaign with the multiple championship-winning operation. The squad retains the support of erstwhile title partners Volkswagen, Red Bull and Bauhaus.

The sustainably-fuelled ‘hot hatches’ – developed in-house over the winter at KMS’ Arvika workshop – have been described by Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson as the best rallycross cars his crew has ever built. Underscoring that conviction, in their only competitive outing to-date – at Tierp in the 2024 RallyX curtain-raiser – Kristoffersson and Veiby delivered a crushing one-two finish on both days, but the former is playing down their chances of repeating that feat at the highest level.

“It will be tough to compete against the electric cars with our newly-built machines, but Aurobay is a dream partner for us, not only as a sponsor but also in technical terms. It will be really fun to work with a long-term structure and be able to plan accordingly. This is an exciting project that has a lot of typical KMS spirit about it.”

commented Kristoffersson Jnr
The wraps come off KMS – HORSE Powertrain’s VW Polo KMS 601 RX, which will be piloted by Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby in the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship on 13.06.2024. Photo By Rallycross Promoter GmbH for Red Bull Content Pool

“We are doing a turnaround and going in a different direction, which makes it difficult to predict how we will compare with the competition. There are many complicated elements that have to be tested on a new car, but it will be very exciting to work with such a large and supportive partner.”

echoed Veiby, who will be chasing his maiden World RX victory in 2024

Kristoffersson Snr – who guided KMS to the 2022 and 2023 Teams’ trophies in World RX – is similarly bullish about the new co-operation, which he believes can help to propel the eponymously-named outfit to the next level both on and off-track.

“Aurobay is the best partner we can think of. This is a win-win situation – we will benefit tremendously from each other. We both have a large staff of extremely talented engineers, meaning we will be able to exchange experiences and also personnel.

The wraps come off KMS – HORSE Powertrain’s VW Polo KMS 601 RX, which will be piloted by Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby in the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship on 13.06.2024. Photo By Rallycross Promoter GmbH for Red Bull Content Pool

“In the Volkswagen Group where I was trained, the motto has always been that all motorsport should ultimately benefit the consumer. There is nothing that drives development forward as effectively as competition, and with this project, we can take part in developing tomorrow’s engines.

“On the sporting side, ‘Battle of Technologies’ is a fantastic concept that is unique to rallycross. It is an extremely big challenge, but also an interesting one. We have a brand new car, a brand new partner and a very short timespan to match the electric cars.

The wraps come off KMS – HORSE Powertrain’s VW Polo KMS 601 RX, which will be piloted by Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby in the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship on 13.06.2024.Photo By Rallycross Promoter GmbH for Red Bull Content Pool

“Although we have won in World RX for the last few years, we have to be humble and realise that it will take a lot for us to fight for the title again, but having always aspired to be an attractive team for someone who is looking for a development partner, now we are there, it feels incredibly satisfying.”

The 2024 World RX campaign will get underway on home soil for KMS – HORSE Powertrain, at Höljes’ legendary ‘Magic Weekend’ on 6-7 July.

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