JOHAN KRISTOFFERSON'S

BREAK­THROUGH 2012 SEA­SON

Autosport (UK) - - PERFORMANCE -

All drivers have a defin­ing year. It can be one in which every­thing came to­gether, or that kick­starts a ca­reer. For Johan Kristof­fers­son, 2012 was a mix­ture of both.

The Swede had done par­tial sea­sons in his do­mes­tic tour­ing car cham­pi­onship be­tween 2009 and ’11, with a best fin­ish of third. The fol­low­ing year he em­barked on

a dual cam­paign of the Swedish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship and Porsche Car­rera Cup Scan­di­navia, win­ning both ti­tles.

“2012 was my best sea­son for sure,” he says. “It was a chal­lenge for me to change cars and be com­pet­i­tive in these dif­fer­ent se­ries.”

As the STCC and Porsches shared the same cal­en­dar, he was con­stantly switch­ing be­tween front and rear-wheel-drive cars, with lim­ited time be­tween ses­sions.

“I learned so much that year, es­pe­cially switch­ing from the front-wheel-drive Scirocco to the rear-wheel-drive Porsche,” he says. “I had no plan to win both those cham­pi­onships in that year, I just ended up be­ing com­pet­i­tive and put to­gether two strong cam­paigns.”

Kristof­fers­son also found time to com­pete in the Ital­ian-based Su­per­stars Se­ries in an Audi RS5. He de­feated some big names – in­clud­ing Formula 1 ex­ile Vi­tan­to­nio Li­uzzi and Gianni Mor­bidelli – to take the ti­tle de­spite hav­ing never vis­ited most of the cir­cuits be­fore.

“You had to drive these cars in a cer­tain way,” Kristof­fers­son re­calls. “Some­times you were com­pet­i­tive, other week­ends not, so you had to make sure you got the best re­sult pos­si­ble at that round.

“In many ways, it was ex­actly like cross-coun­try ski­ing. You have to be 100% in, oth­er­wise you’ll fail. It’s all about the ef­fort you put in.”

World Ral­ly­cross ri­val Timmy Hansen uses Kristof­fers­son’s

2012 feats as proof that com­bin­ing dis­ci­plines has helped the reign­ing cham­pion be­come what he is to­day: “Johan re­ally shows us how to com­bine RX and cir­cuit rac­ing, and what he did in 2012 es­pe­cially was re­ally im­pres­sive. He has a good un­der­stand­ing of driv­ing dif­fer­ent cars fast, and he’s so con­sis­tent.”

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