Wed 06 Jul 2022

Happiness fuels Kristensson's i20 pace

Tom Kristensson has been one of the stand-out performers at the previous two rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).

Stepping out of his Hyundai i20 R5 last Sunday afternoon at the finish of Tet Rally Liepāja, there was a sense of serenity surrounding the Swedish driver. 

Earlier that day, the 31-year-old had been denied a second-consecutive podium result after stopping to change a wheel mid-stage. He eventually finished down in 13th overall - but that didn’t matter.

"It happens," he smiled. 

Kristensson is no stranger to his fair share of bad luck. Out of five WRC2 starts with M-Sport Ford last year, only one went without drama. 

But this year, contesting a partial ERC programme with the Kowax 2BRally team alongside other national outings, happy Tom is back. 

“Most of the changes are inside my head,” Kristensson told “We have no big championship to take care of and no big budget to be pushing for. Okay - the budget is big, but it’s a huge difference compared to last year.

“We basically changed the plan and went into a team which feels very much like a family and it’s been a little bit easier for me to handle everything here. I feel like a priority. It’s not that we had a bad service last year - absolutely not - but it’s a fresh start.

“It’s been a good way for us to start the mid-season, like we planned from the beginning - to have some rallies here, some rallies there. If I don’t want to go, I don’t go, and if I want to go then I go. It’s something completely different. 

“After we got the puncture, we had nothing to drive for. We can just restart and go for the next rally. It’s fantastic to know that we are on the pace even if these things are happening and it’s very good for developing,” he added.

Next up for Kristensson is Rally Žemaitija this weekend, where he’ll defend his Polish championship lead. He’ll be back to contest his third and final ERC round of the year at Barum Czech Rally Zlín later in the year (26 - 28 August).

And - while the goal is to get back to the top level as soon as possible - we may be seeing more of Kristensson next year. 

“My plan is to get back to WRC2 as soon as possible,” he admitted. “But to do one full season in the ERC could absolutely be an option. 

“I think the team would be interested in that also. Kowax is a Czech company and 2BRally is Polish, and of course we have rallies in both countries - so it could be an option. 

“We decided before this week that we should have one meeting after this rally or after the next one to make an appropriate plan, so let’s see. I just want to drive as much as I can.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM