Saturday 30th of June 2018

The grandstands and banks around the Holjes circuit at the World RX of Sweden, round six of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be full of fans from around the world.

But, the majority will be cheering for their home heroes. We caught up with one of the fastest Swedes in World RX, Timmy Hansen, ahead of his home race.

Q. You’ve had good pace at all events this season but things haven’t seemed to gel for you so far to fight for a win in the final, why is that?

TH. “I think it’s been a fantastic start of the season because we’ve been really fast, that’s what you’re always chasing, that’s what’s so hard to get. But we’ve had five races and I still haven’t had a trouble-free weekend, but that must make it good odds for me to have a good weekend here.”

Q. Does how things have gone so far this season change your philosophy?

TH. “No, not at all. There are so many positive things for us, it’s just that in rallycross if you have one bad moment it really effects the whole weekend. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, they will happen, but most of the things this season haven’t been down to me, so I’m going about it as I’ve done the whole year. Soon the bad luck will be over.”

Q. You started semi-final two next to your younger brother Kevin on the front row in Norway. How was that?

TH. “When I saw Kevin pull up next to me on the grid, I started to laugh and said on the radio ‘this is so cool, this moment is amazing.’ They had that on the TV shot and Kevin put that on his Instagram, it was such a feeling – really cool.”

Q. Does it make you more determined to beat the guy next to you when it’s your brother?

TH. “Of course I want to win, but if I have to be beaten then it’s better by Kevin than anyone else.”

Q. Team Peugeot Total has a new car for Holjes, how different is it to the car you’ve raced so far this season?

TH. “It has the same DNA that I’m so familiar with in the 208 WRX – it’s my fifth year with Peugeot now and it still has this feeling. It’s a new engine, transmission, dampers, chassis made to reduce the weight and get the mass into the centre and really low. The updates feel well, but at the same time because it’s so many things and it’s the first race we are doing with this, we have to be very down to earth right now. It’s felt good and we believe in everything, but at the same time it’s not going to be easy. It’s fast in testing but we will only know the real result when we get racing.”

Q. You won at Holjes, briefly, in 2015 (before getting a penalty for passing Mattias Ekstrom in the final corer). What are your memories of that?

TH. “I’m actually very happy about that move, that I did it and people are still talking about it three years later. People have opinions of it – yes, I got a one second penalty for pushing, not for cutting but for pushing because the stewards thought I had a little bit too much contact with Mattias. I’m fine with penalties, you know in any sport you have to push to the limits and I saw the gap and tried. If I wouldn’t have tired I would have been second anyway. If I get this chance again, I’ll take it again.”

Q. Many drivers say it’s special to race in Holjes, but what would it mean to win there for you?

TH. “I’m missing a win at all, it would be really special to do it in Sweden but my last win was in Canada 2016, it’s been a while. I’ve been really close many times, I’ve been leading finals, but I’m so keen to win again and I really believe in myself and that we’re near. I’m going to keep on focusing and it’s going to be really special when I step back onto the top step again.”

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