Two years ago – and in record time – PSRX Volkswagen Sweden was formed. Since its inception, the Torsby-based team has redefined success in motorsport.
Under the guidance of team principal Pernilla Solberg, Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg have won 19 from 24 FIA World Rallycross races since the start of last season. That’s an unprecedented success rate of 79 per cent.
Johan has won back-to-back drivers’ championships and helped Petter secure PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s 100 per cent success rate in terms of teams’ titles – an impressive display in one of only four FIA-sanctioned world championships.
Unfortunately, the loss of competitors in the FIA World Rallycross Championship means PSRX Volkswagen Sweden will sit out the 2019 series. The team and its partners, Volkswagen Motorsport and Volkswagen Sweden will focus their attentions on other areas and disciplines in motorsport.
Monster Energy remains a valued PSRX team partner next season.
Team principal Pernilla Solberg said: “It’s really sad, but the declining numbers of teams in the series makes it impossible for us to remain for 2019.
“You wouldn’t believe how much pride I have in what this team has achieved. It’s incredible to think where we were two years ago and what we have done, and what we have won, in that time with a team we created in just weeks and days. I’d like to thank every single member in the team, our partners, Volkswagen Motorsport, Monster Energy and Volkswagen Sweden for the support through 2017 and 2018. We have written a fantastic story together and we’ll never forget that.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said: “In the past two years the competition in WRX between the cars from Audi, Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen has been huge, resulting in fantastic sport with close racing between some of the most famous drivers in motorsport.
“PSRX Volkswagen Sweden had enormous success in World RX and a big part of this success came thanks to the extremely dedicated work from Pernilla and Petter Solberg by setting up this fantastic team – and from Johan Kristoffersson, with his brilliance behind the steering wheel of the Polo R Supercar.
“Unfortunately, with the exit of three works or works-supported teams from World RX, the situation has changed dramatically. Together with PSRX and Volkswagen Sweden, we had to re-evaluate the involvement in the championship. We certainly didn’t take the decision lightly, but we came to a mutual agreement not to continue in WRX in 2019 as there is huge uncertainty regarding the entries and the competition for next season.
“Naturally, Volkswagen Motorsport will keep a close eye on any developments towards the electrification of the sport of rallycross. From the beginning we have been supporters of this initiative and we continue to be interested.”
“But in the meantime, we would like to thank the promoter IMG and all event organisers involved for their dedicated work in the past few years.”
Sten Forsberg, Director of Volkswagen Sweden said: “It’s really sad that we could not continue in the WRX with PSRX Volkswagen Sweden. From our side, we had a strong wish to see the team fight for yet another title. But the decision is a result of the current circumstances and we hope for a further development towards an electric championship in the future. I would like to thank Johan, Petter, Pernilla and the whole team for a great job during these two years.”
This year’s World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson said: “I have absolutely loved every minute of my two years with this incredible team. I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly, but it has also gone with more success than we could have imagined or hoped for!
“Honestly, it’s been a privilege to work with, race with and live with this PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team. Obviously, I’m really sad not to be competing in my fantastic Polo R Supercar next season, but I completely understand the reasons why this decision has come. If we don’t have enough people to race, what can we do?”
Those frustrations were shared by team owner and triple FIA world champion Petter Solberg, who added: “We can all see the potential here, but it’s just not sensible to continue for PSRX Volkswagen Sweden in 2019.
“The important thing to understand here is that this is a pause – a pause and not an end. As a team, we continue and we work together. We can’t say much about this now, but there will be more to talk about in the New Year.
“What we did in two years, to go from absolutely nothing and no team, to winning both championships in both seasons is an unbelievable start for this team. Me and Pernilla, we had some sleepless nights to get everything ready, but it was worth it. And now, we look to the future to build on that incredible beginning for the team.
“I still believe in World RX. I still believe this championship can deliver the most sustainable, relevant, entertaining and competitive racing anywhere in the world.
“We work on the future and we look forward to sharing those exciting plans with you early in 2019 – and those plans include me being behind the wheel of a Volkswagen.”