Timmy Hansen claimed his first 2019 WRX victory – the sixth of his career – with younger brother and Abu Dhabi winner Kevin Hansen finishing second. The Hansen name topped every session from the start of qualifying as they dominated in Barcelona. The incredible performances from Timmy and Kevin are reflected in the championship standings, with Team Hansen MJP leading the 2019 WRX Team Standings by 18 points, while Kevin remains on top of the 2019 WRX Driver Standings and Timmy climbs to third with his victory.
After a devastating first round in Abu Dhabi for Timmy, which required a complete rebuild of his Peugeot 208 WRX after a collision with Andreas Bakkerud, he proved himself as the driver to beat from the start of Q1 in Barcelona. Timmy won the opening qualifying session and every one after that, seizing a maximum allocation of qualifying points, while Kevin emerged second after the qualifying heats with impressive and consistent speed.
Their qualifying performances meant that the brothers were seeded separately for the semi-finals, as Timmy and Kevin lined up for semi-final 1 and semi-final 2 respectively. Both drivers took dominant victories in their semi-finals, with healthy leads of 2.148s and 2.525s for Timmy and Kevin respectively.
Timmy produced a faultless performance in the final to claim an untroubled victory, taking his mandatory joker visit on the last lap. Rounding off the Hansen one-two finish, Kevin put on a brilliant display of driving while employing some fine race craft to hold off his rivals. Kevin took his joker while running second on the fifth lap, passing Niclas Gronholm afterwards to take third with one lap remaining. On the final lap, Andreas Bakkerud took his joker, handing Kevin the opportunity to close in and pounce, claiming second in the closing stages of a nail-biting final.
Qualifying 1 – 1nd
Qualifying 2 – 1th
Qualifying 3 – 1st
Qualifying 4 – 1st
Semi-Final – 1st
Final – 1st
Qualifying 1 – 2nd
Qualifying 2 – 2th
Qualifying 3 – 5st
Qualifying 4 – 4st
Semi-Final – 1st
Final – 2st
Timmy bounced back from a disappointing Abu Dhabi to deliver a dominant and unbeatable weekend in Barcelona, becoming the third driver in WRX history to deliver a clean sweep.
The Hansen name will go down in history as the first siblings to claim a one-two finish on an FIA World Rallycross Championship event.
Timmy and Kevin also ensured that the Hansen name joins an elite club of families to have scored a sibling one-two in an FIA World Championship event: the other two are Michael and Ralf Schumacher in Formula 1, as well as Colin and Alister McRae in the European Rally Championship.
An enormous effort to simply be on the WRX grid at all this year has blossomed into incredible success, with Hansen leading both the drivers’ and teams’ championships after Barcelona.
The percentage of points available from a single FIA World Rallycross Championship event that Team Hansen MJP scored at Barcelona this weekend.
“I think this has been the best weekend of my career so far. We got off to the best possible start on Saturday, winning the qualifying heats, and then we won the semi-final too. For the final I lined up against Kevin, and we played a good team game as we agreed that we would give each other plenty of room. The final was perfect as well, and when I saw in my mirror that Kevin was behind me to finish second, that was a really special moment as well. I was actually feeling very emotional: this was the perfect revenge after everything that happened in Abu Dhabi. Now I’m just going to enjoy the moment and head to Spa with even more confidence.”
“We had a really good Q1 and Q2; then I had to get my elbows out a bit more in Q3 and Q4, but I really enjoyed it. I got the fastest lap of the weekend too, which made me really happy, as the ultimate pace compared to Timmy is perhaps the area where I’ve been lacking before, but now we’re getting there. Timmy did an amazing job this weekend; he really deserved to win. I wouldn’t say that he was completely uncatchable as there were times that I was close to him, but we drive each other on, which is perfect as it’s all about the team. Now I’ve extended my championship lead but this is not something that I’ve been thinking about much: we’re only on round two out of 10 so there’s a really long way to go.”
« I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of success in my career as a driver, winning many races and championships, but actually I think this feeling right now is even better. I can’t actually believe that it’s happened, so it’s going to take a while to sink in. There’s no way that we could have done better – so the expectation is even higher now, as the very best we could do from now on is equal what we have achieved now. And I think that will be very difficult to do, but of course we will try.
« I feel so happy and most of all so proud, both of what we have created with the Hansen MJP team but also as a dad. It’s hard to describe what it’s like seeing your boys finishing first and second, fighting so hard but so fairly. They think of the team first and they’re great friends. I think Timmy had something extra this weekend, while Kevin had to fight a bit harder, but they learn from each other all the time and that’s the biggest strength of our family team. »
Round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held at the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which makes its WRX debut in 2019. Belgium has a long history in rallycross, with Spa replacing the Mettet round. Already a host to some of the greatest races in the world, Spa will be a new experience for all teams and drivers arriving at the atmospheric Belgian venue. Eau Rouge, perhaps the most famous corner in the world, is set to have a starring role in the Spa World RX of Benelux: will anybody dare to take it flat?