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TO HELL AND BACK: ALL THE DRAMA OF 2019

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

The 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship featured some of the most dramatic moments of the closest World RX season ever.

The year began at a brand new venue for rallycross, Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, now best remembered for Andreas Bakkerud and Timmy Hansen’s crash in Q3, Reinis Nitiss launching off a kerb and landing onto the roof of Anton Marklund’s GC Kompetition Renault Megane, and the fight for victory between Niclas Gronholm and Kevin Hansen in the final.

Round two was at Catalunya RX, where in a weekend of dramatic first corner action, Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin claimed a one-two finish for the Hansen MJP team.

Another new venue for RX, Spa-Francorchamps was the host for round three, where fans enjoyed an incredible weekend of sideways action, side-by-side jump overtakes, battles through the famous Eau Rouge corner and a battle between Bakkerud and Timur Timeryzyanov for the win, the GRX Taneco driver taking the victory.

At Silverstone in round four, Xite Racing’s Oliver Bennett made a fiery exit to his semi-finals, as Joni Wiman rolled his Hyundai i20 out of the semis and it was another fight between Timmy Hansen and Bakkerud for victory, Hansen becoming the first double-winner of the season.

The headlines in Norway were all about the rain that drenched the Hell circuit before the semi-finals, and Anton Marklund claiming victory on track, before he was handed a penalty and Gronholm took the win.

Holjes in Sweden was the location of round six, where Nitiss rolled at the first corner of Q1 but fought back to finish on the podium, the Hansen brothers had a door-to-door battle in qualifying and Liam Doran had a hard shunt at the finish line in his Monster Energy RX Cartel Audi S1. In the final it was home hero Sebastian Eriksson who scored the win.

Bakkerud moved back into title contention with victory in Canada as the Hansen brothers had a difficult weekend, Timmy not making the semi-finals after an incident-filled qualifying race that left his Peugeot 208 WRX crawling to the finish line.

Hansen took the win at the next round in France however, when Bakkerud and Gronholm ran wide at turn one in the final, and Kevin Hansen also made the podium with a fully sideways last lap joker.

Timerzyanov completed a hat trick of GRX drivers to have rolled in 2019 in turn one at Latvia RX, as wet conditions on day two brought more drama, Robin Larsson touching the wall on the outside of turn three , as Timmy Hansen took his fourth win of the season to set up a final round decider.

Separated by just one point, Bakkerud and Hansen entered the final round in South Africa in the hunt for a first World Championship crown, and they started on the front row of the final. Bakkerud took the lead from the outside of the grid, but the pair had contact later on lap one. Bakkerud finished the race second behind winner Gronholm, but fourth on track was enough to crown Timmy Hansen champion.

Watch the 2019 season review video here.

 

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