Johan Kristoffersson likely to make World Touring Car switch
Two-time World Rallycross Championship and STCC drivers’ champion Johan Kristoffersson is set to join the grid in the 2019 World Touring Car Cup, following the withdrawal of Volkswagen Motorsport and Kristoffersson Motorsport from the rallycross category.
Kristoffersson, who turned 30 two weeks’ ago, wrapped up his second Scandinavian Touring Car Championship title this year at the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, while at the same time dominating the World Rallycross Championship, winning 11 from 12 events.
However, following a number of key withdrawals from the World Rallycross Championship in recent months, including the long-serving Olsbergs MSE team and Peugeot Sport, Volkswagen Motorsport have followed suit and announced they will not defend their title next year.
This leaves the door open for Kristoffersson to join the World Touring Car Cup, with the Swede understood to already be testing Volkswagen’s Golf GTI TCR at the unofficial test this week at Jerez.
Kristoffersson would become the second confirmed Volkswagen Motorsport entry in the championship after Rob Huff, who was the lone Volkswagen Motorsport Customer Racing driver in 2018.
With manufacturers upping the ante in 2019, with Hyundai Motorsport and Lynk & Co Racing all running four factory-placed drivers in 2019, and with Honda and Audi Sport set to do the same, this is likely to force Volkswagen’s hand to up their game as well.
Though Kristoffersson’s most noteworthy results in recent years has been for his rallycross achievements, he’s long been a touring car front-runner, winning the 2012 STCC drivers’ title in his second full season while racing a Super 2000-specification Volkswagen Scirocco, at the same time simultaneously securing the Italian-based International Superstars Series title in an Audi RS 5.
He’s been racing TCR cars for two years, after driving a partial season in the 2017 STCC due to his rallycross commitments, while a clash-free 2018 calendar saw him win both titles, defeating 2017 champion Robert Dahlgren to the 2018 STCC trophy.