Timmy Hansen and fellow world champion Johan Kristoffersson fought it out for honours during the qualifying stages, with the former getting the better of his countryman in a crowd-pleasing duel that pushed both drivers right to the limit around the legendary Värmland circuit.
That earned the pair a pole position apiece for their respective semi-finals, but whilst Timmy Hansen converted his into a lights-to-flag victory, Kristoffersson’s effort to do likewise was scuppered by a double puncture that brought an early end to the KYB EKS JC driver’s weekend.
His misfortune opened the door for Kevin Hansen in the sister Peugeot 208 to join his brother on the front row of the grid for the final. From there, the brothers were on imperious form as they raced to the top two steps of the podium, with Timmy – who had never previously triumphed at Höljes – turning the tables on the Barcelona winner to rise to the lead of the World Championship standings.
They were pushed hard by Unkorrupted’s Kevin Abbring, who claimed his maiden rostrum finish in only his sixth World RX start. The Dutchman was impressive from the outset in Sweden, overcoming Q1 contact that pitched him into a spin to top the timesheets in Q3 and unleash a scintillating turn-of-speed in the final.
Timmy Hansen, Hansen Motorsport Team said: “It’s been a fantastic weekend. I’ve been trying to win here for a long time and came super close on a number of occasions, and now finally we did it. This is a magic moment and I’m super happy.
“It was a shame to see Johan [Kristoffersson] not make the final because I was looking forward to continuing the battle, but from our side, every session went smoothly and I’m very happy with the pace we’ve had – it shows that all our hard work over the winter has paid off. The first two rounds of the season have gone perfectly for us, and now we need to continue to focus and keep on working hard.”
Kevin Hansen, Hansen Motorsport Team said: “We had a tough time of things in the qualifiers, and whilst I tried my best to break that pattern, nothing seemed to work. When I got the opportunity in the semi-final, I had to grab it, and to extend our lead in both championships is just awesome – I don’t think two brothers have ever achieved back-to-back one-two finishes in World RX before.”
Kevin Abbring, Unkorrupted Team said: “We were consistently quick right the way from free practice through to the final and didn’t make many mistakes. We obviously had to fight back after Q1, and we stayed out of trouble, if not out of traffic. I’m happy to score my first podium and I think we put on a good show for the spectators.”
In the FIA RX2e Championship, Jesse Kallio emerged triumphant after an enthralling battle with Fraser McConnell in round two of the FIA all-electric series.
The Finnish driver recovered from a disappointing Saturday to move into contention with consecutive qualifying session wins before showing good pace in both the semi-finals and final to claim the overall spoils.
McConnell was a narrow second after impressing throughout the weekend while Isak Sjökvist claimed third place his RX2e debut after a frenetic final.
Guillaume De Ridder remains top of the drivers' standings after finishing fourth, but the Belgian is just a point ahead of Kallio and two clear of McConnell as the first-ever FIA electric rallycross championship now turns its attention to Lohéac in France for Round 3.
Sweden’s Thomas Bryntesson took the honours in the Euro RX1 in his Gulf Oil-liveried Volkswagen Polo. After fending off Jean Baptiste ‘JB’ Dubourg for victory in the first semi-final, Bryntesson then repeated that result in the final in an inch-perfect display.
The 2019 World RX Championship runner-up Andreas Bakkerud fought back from a driveshaft failure in Q3 to round out the rostrum from the rear of the grid on his debut for ESMotorsport.
Swiss-licensed Russian driver Yury Belevskiy was on commanding form once more in Euro RX3, although last year’s highest scorer was again pushed hard by young Belgian rookie Kobe Pauwels, who battled back from misfortune in a similar Volland Racing Audi A1. Russia’s Marat Knyazev completed the rostrum finishers in third.
The 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship campaign resumes in a fortnight’s time at Lohéac in France on September 3-5, for another full bill of World RX, RX2e, Euro RX1 and Euro RX3 action.