Johan Kristoffersson secures 2018 title as Robert Dahlgren retires
Johan Kristoffersson has claimed the 2018 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship drivers’ title in the final race of the season at Mantorp Park, finishing the race in fifth while reigning champion Robert Dahlgren’s title defence faltered when his car stopped with a gearbox failure – in a race which was won by Brink Audi’s Tobias Brink.
Tobias Brink put on a dominant display in his Audi RS 3 LMS, starting well from pole position to lead into Turn 1, while alongside him Oliver Söderström bogged down off the line, with Mattias Andersson launching to second in the MA:GP Honda Civic TCR from fifth on the grid, with Kristoffersson third.
Brink began to break away as Andersson held up Kristoffersson, and when the Honda driver ran wide at the end of lap three this allowed the PWR Racing Cupra of Philip Morin up to third ahead of Kristoffersson, while the other two Cupras of Robert Dahlgren and Daniel Haglöf now caught the train.
Kristoffersson was able to repass Morin at Mjölbykurvan on the following lap, with Dahlgren and Haglöf also passing the junior trophy front-runner.
The championship battle soon ended however, when Dahlgren’s car crawled back to the pit lane, with the Cupra TCR reported to be suffering a gearbox problem.
Kristoffersson made another lunge on Andersson for second, but the two made contact which allowed Haglöf to dart past the pair of them and into second. From there, Kristoffersson was less animated and dropped back, eventually losing a further spot to the Lestrup Racing Team Volkswagen of Andreas Wernersson.
Brink went on to win by 3.1 seconds over Haglöf, his second win of the year, with Andersson third in his Honda.
Fifth place for Kristoffersson means the 2012 champion wins the 2018 STCC drivers’ title by 13 points over Dahlgren, a week before he can mathematically secure the 2018 World Rallycross Championship title next week in the USA.