Johan Kristoffersson was relieved to score his maiden win in the FIA World Touring Car Cup in race two at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with the Volkswagen driver also thanking team-mate Mehdi Bennani for his support.
Kristoffersson won the reversed-grid second race in Germany, the Swede beating Audi’s Frédéric Vervisch by a comfortable five-second margin to notch up his first win in World Touring Cars.
The 30-year-old had to contend with an initial challenge from fellow front-row starter Antti Buri, before retaking the lead a few corners later and settling into a rhythm which allowed him to open up a margin.
“It was a very nice race for me to start from pole,” said Kristoffersson. “I had a good car throughout the whole race, I could push really hard in the first two laps and the car was working fantastic.
“It was a bit tricky the first few corners, but from there on I could drive my own race and I was pushing as much as I could the first two laps.
“A big thanks to the team and also to Mehdi who has a lot of experience of the track and taught me a lot of tricks and tips.
“I’ve been looking forward to this track since I was last here in 2011, so it was very nice.”
Race three saw a complete change in fortunes for Kristoffersson, who got a poor start and initially dropped from tenth on the grid to 18th at the start.
The SLR driver was then involved in heavy contact with the barriers after he took to the grass to pass the Hyundai of Nicky Catsburg ahead on lap two, who himself had been baulked by Yvan Muller’s Lynk & Co.
“I had a very good take off from the launch and from there I was in wrong place at the wrong time after the start, so I was dead last.
“From there on I had a good race and picking up lots of positions and was enjoying the first lap pushing.
“Then on the second lap after Bergwerk there was a lot of dust and I couldn’t really see, and I ended up on the grass at very high speed.
“From there I was just a passenger and went into the Armco. I’m fine, but I’m not so sure about the car.”