HANSEN VICTORIOUS IN CATALAN THRILLER
Saturday 17th of October 2020
Sweden’s Timmy Hansen raced to victory at the Logitech G FIA World RX of Pirineus-Barcelona 2030, round seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy (17 October), his first victory since winning the 2019 Drivers’ title.
The reigning champion qualified for the front row of the final with a full set of new tyres at his disposal on Team Hansen’s Peugeot 208 Supercar. Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson, the 2020 Drivers’ Championship leader with three victories to his name, started from pole position and led the final race in the opening phase, but when he took his joker lap – an alternative route that every driver much take once in each race – on lap six, Hansen moved into the lead following a series of near-perfect laps, and Kristoffersson had to settle for second at the finish line.
Hansen’s victory – by less than half a second – makes him the fourth different 2020 winner from seven rounds, and lifted him to third in the Drivers’ standings. Kristoffersson Motorsport’s Kristoffersson, driving a Volkswagen Polo, had taken the TQ (top qualifier) position in the Intermediate Classification, and the win in semi-final one and second in the final helped the 2017 and 2018 World RX Champion extend his 2020 standings lead to 25 points.
Sweden’s Kevin Hansen was second to team mate and older brother Timmy Hansen in semi-final two and finished third in the final to repeat the double-podium for Team Hansen from the Catalan round in 2019.
Finland’s Niclas Gronholm, the GRX Taneco driver, battled his way to fourth in the final. He overtook 2020 title challenger and 2016 Drivers’ Champion Mattias Ekstrom, from Sweden, during the final. KYB Team JC’s Ekstrom overcame technical challenges with his Audi S1 during the seventh round of the season to finish fifth and remains in title contention with three rounds of the season remaining. KYB Team JC maintained its position in the lead of the Teams’ Championship standings.
Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel’s Andreas Bakkerud, from Norway, delivered his strongest performance of the season so far. He set the quickest time in Q2 and finished sixth in the final.
“It feels like I’ve just beaten the unbeatable one. For so many years we have chased that Volkswagen, as a private team, as a factory team with Peugeot and now as a private team again. The guys have done some magic back home, we’ve been testing really hard but we’re onto something and we came here feeling we had the pace. But, I needed to get everything out of myself in that final, it was hard just to keep up with Johan in the beginning, then from the moment I took the joker I needed to get every single corner 100% right. I must say I was even a bit lucky a couple of times on those laps, but that was everything I’ve got. Johan has again done a fantastic weekend but finally I managed to beat him in a final and it feels fantastic to be the winner,” said Timmy Hansen.
Kristoffersson was pleased with another strong points haul. The Swede also won the round seven Champion Fast Start Award. “It’s been details here and there today. Q2 was not optimal, the start in the final was also not perfect, but still I managed to get out first after the start. But all those things are small details, for the overall picture I have to be very happy, to take 27 points and extend the lead in the Championship. The pace was fantastic from free practice one, we have to be happy and respect our competitors as well, Timmy and the whole Hansen team have done a fantastic job between the races, I’ve seen they’ve been testing and pushing on and that’s what keeps us on our toes as well,” said Kristoffersson.
Kevin Hansen’s podium was his second of the season. “What a day. Timmy has done absolutely incredibly, Barcelona and him is a magic combination. I saw in his eyes before the final that he wanted the win today. For me it was a good turn one in the final, I came out third but just missed a bit of speed to Timmy and Johan ahead. Today they were in a class of their own. I’m super-pumped to be on the podium again, and for the team to get another double podium in Barcelona. Finally it’s some payback for all the work we are doing and putting our life, sole and passion into it,” he said.
Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov, the GRX Taneco driver, was fourth in semi-final one in a Hyundai i20 after he lost time at the start. Xite Racing’s Oliver Bennett, from Great Britain, made a return to World RX and was fifth. Germany’s Timo Scheider, racing for ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport, retired on the second lap of the first semi-final with a technical problem. GCK Bilstein’s Anton Marklund, from Sweden, set top three times in qualifying and finished fourth in semi-final two, ahead of KYB Team JC’s Robin Larsson, from Sweden. Larsson made it into the semi-finals as the first reserve. He initially qualified 13th in the Intermediate Classification following a retirement from his Q2 race and a penalty for first corner contact, he then battled with Marklund on the first lap of the semi-final but ended up fifth. Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel’s Liam Doran, from Great Britain, was classified sixth in semi-final two.
Belgium’s Enzo Ide was 13th in the final classification. On his first start of the season the Audi S1 driver, racing with Team JC Raceteknik qualified in 12th but withdrew ahead of the semi-finals with a technical issue. That lifted KYB Team JC’s Robin Larsson into the top 12. Hungary’s Tamas Karai was 14th, France’s Patrick Guillerme was 15th with in a Hyundai i20 and on her debut in World RX, ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport’s Mandie August, from Germany scored a Championship point in 16th.
The first round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 also took place at the Logitech G FIA World RX of Pirineus-Barcelona 2030. Switzerland’s Yuri Belevskiy, the Volland Racing Audi A1 driver, started on the front row of the grid for the final and overtook teammate Gergely Marton, from Hungary, on lap one of the race to take victory. Finland’s Rasmus Tuominen drove to third place on his European Championship debut with a SET Promotion Renault Twingo. Norway’s Marius Bermingrud (Audi A1), Russia’s Arthur Egorov (Audi A1) and Portugal’s Joao Ribeiro (Skoda Fabia) completed the final finishers.
Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of Motorsports Events at IMG, concluded: “What a brilliant day of action we’ve had at the Logitech G FIA World RX of Pirineus-Barcelona 2030. The local organisers have done a great job to deliver his double-header weekend in challenging global circumstances, and the drivers did the business on track. Congratulations to Timmy, Johan and Kevin for finishing on the podium, it shows just how competitive the Championship is this year that we’ve had four winners in seven rounds and we can’t wait to do it all again in round eight tomorrow in the Logitech G FIA World RX of Catalunya before the fourth edition of the new RX After Track fuelled by Monster Energy on our Facebook and YouTube channels.”
The eighth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place tomorrow (18 October), also at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Logitech G FIA World RX of Catalunya.
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