Driver

THE TITLE CONTENDERS: THE STORY SO FAR

Saturday 2nd of November 2019

Ahead of the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship title-decider at the World RX of South Africa in Cape Town, where three drivers will fight for the Drivers’ Championship title in the closest ever finish to a World RX season, we take a look at how the leading three protagonists got to where they are so far.

Round 1 – Yas Marina – Abu Dhabi

Kevin Hansen P1

Timmy Hansen P11

Andreas Bakkerud P15

As two of the most experienced World RX drivers on the grid, Andreas Bakkerud and Timmy Hansen arrived at round one as the title favourites. Hansen was fastest in Q1 and Q2 on the new circuit, but in Q3, when at the joker lap exit on lap three when Bakkerud thought it was the end of the race, the Norwegian crashed into Hansen’s Peugeot. Hansen was out, and Bakkerud was disqualified from the session and didn’t make the semi-finals either. Kevin Hansen was fastest in Q3 and Q4 and would win the first round when Niclas Gronholm was given a penalty for pushing in the final.

Drivers’ Championship:

Kevin Hansen P1 (30 points)

Timmy Hansen P11 (8 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P15 (2 points)

Round 2 – Barcelona – Catalunya

Timmy Hansen P1

Kevin Hansen P2

Andreas Bakkerud P3 

Timmy Hansen’s Peugeot 208 was repaired in time for round two and the return to Europe at Catalunya-Barcelona, where he took a clean sweep of qualifying, then won his semi-final and the final to climb to P3 in the Drivers’ points. Kevin Hansen finished second and Bakkerud was third, but it was Kevin Hansen who still held the points lead.

Drivers’ Championship:

Kevin Hansen P1 (56 points)

Timmy Hansen P3 (38 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P9 (24 points)

Round 3 – Spa-Francorchamps – Belgium 

Andreas Bakkerud P2

Timmy Hansen P4

Kevin Hansen P8

Bakkerud was on form in round three at Spa’s new rallycross circuit. He was quickest in Q1 and Q3, to take TQ (top qualifier) in the Intermediate Classification. He then won his semi-final in front of GRX Taneco’s Timur Timerzyanov, but the positions were reversed in the final and Bakkerud finished second with a solid haul of points. Timmy Hansen could only manage fourth in the final, but Kevin Hansen had contact with Monster Energy RX Cartel’s Liam Doran at the end of the semi-finals and didn’t make the final. Bakkerud’s result lifted him to P5 in the points.

Drivers’ Championship:

Kevin Hansen P1 (69 points)

Timmy Hansen P2 (58 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P5 (51 points)

Round 4 – Silverstone – Great Britain 

Timmy Hansen P1

Andreas Bakkerud P2

Kevin Hansen P7

Timmy Hansen became the first double-winner of 2019 with victory at Silverstone. He and Bakkerud both took a pair of quickest times in qualifying and won their semi-finals but it was Hansen that came out on top in the final and moved into the points lead. Kevin Hansen followed his brother through the semi but spun in the last lap joker and didn’t make the final. Bakkerud climbed to P3 in the points.

Drivers’ Championship:

Timmy Hansen P1 (88 points)

Kevin Hansen P2 (84 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P3 (77 points)

Round 5 – Hell – Norway 

Kevin Hansen P2

Timmy Hansen P6

Andreas Bakkerud P8

In an event where rain hit the Hell circuit before the semi-finals and caused chaos, Kevin Hansen made the best of conditions and in the end, after a number of post race penalties were given, he finished P2. Timmy Hansen maintained the points lead but could only finish P6, but Bakkerud didn’t make the final.

Drivers’ Championship:

Timmy Hansen P1 (107 points)

Kevin Hansen P2 (106 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P3 (92 points)

Round 6 – Holjes – Sweden

Kevin Hansen P2

Timmy Hansen P6

Andreas Bakkerud P7 

With a pair of fastest times in some of the most difficult track conditions of the year, in Q1 and Q3, Bakkerud took TQ in the Intermediate Classification and was on course for a front row start in the final until slowed by a technical issue in the semi-finals. Timmy Hansen took the challenge to race leader Sebastian Eriksson in the final and after the jokers was fighting for victory, until he clipped a kerb that caused a puncture, dropping him to sixth. Kevin Hansen was again P2 and moved back into the points’ lead.

Drivers’ Championship:

Kevin Hansen P1 (131 points)

Timmy Hansen P2 (125 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P3 (109 points)

Round 7 – Trois-Rivieres – Canada

Andreas Bakkerud P1

Kevin Hansen P6

Timmy Hansen P13

Bakkerud set the fastest time in Q1 at Trois-Rivieres, then only just survived an incident-packed race in Q4 where first corner mayhem was followed by a track blockage after contact between Timmy Hansen, Doran and others. Bakkerud then won his semi-final and the final to take his first win of the year. Kevin Hansen was disqualified from the final for contact but Timmy Hansen didn’t make the semi-finals after crashing in Q2, then taking a slow time in Q4 when his car was badly damaged after the dramatic race. He dropped to third in the points.

Drivers’ Championship:

Kevin Hansen P1 (143 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P2 (138 points)

Timmy Hansen P3 (129 points)

Round 8 – Loheac – France

Timmy Hansen P1

Kevin Hansen P2

Andreas Bakkerud P5

Bakkerud beat Timmy Hansen to semi-final one victory at Loheac in front of a huge crowd, but when Bakkerud tried to hold off a challenge from Gronholm into turn one of the final, Hansen dived through and drove to his third win of the year. A clever joker lap strategy meant Kevin Hansen climbed to third in the race, but Bakkerud got stuck in traffic and could only manage P5. He did though move into the points lead, with the Hansen brothers tied for second, just two points behind.

Drivers’ Championship:

Andreas Bakkerud P1 (160 points)

Timmy Hansen P2 (158 points)

Kevin Hansen P3 (158 points)

Round 9 – Riga – Latvia 

Timmy Hansen P1

Andreas Bakkerud P3

Kevin Hansen P4

Bakkerud took TQ in the penultimate round of the year, one place ahead of Hansen after the Swede fought back from a DNF in Q2 after first corner contact, with two quickest times in Q3 and Q4. Hansen and Bakkerud both won their semi-finals, but it was Hansen who made the best start and led the final, taking his fourth win of the season and a one point lead in the standings ahead of Bakkerud, who finished in P3. Kevin Hansen was P4 and is seven points behind Bakkerud heading to the final round.

Drivers’ Championship:

Timmy Hansen P1 (187 points)

Andreas Bakkerud P2 (186 points)

Kevin Hansen P3 (179 points)

Relive the story of the title contenders here 

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