Silverstone, 26 May 2019 – Timmy Hansen took a thrilling World RX of Great Britain victory at Silverstone, defeating Andreas Bakkerud thanks to a great strategy with a perfectly timed joker lap. Team HANSEN MJP team-mate and younger brother Kevin showed great speed all weekend but a small mistake cost him a chance to make the Final.
Saturday began in the best possible way, with Timmy and Kevin going fastest and second fastest respectively in Qualifying 1. It was a close fight, with Kevin sticking a stunning move around the outside to take the lead, only for Timmy to claw back time and resume the lead after joker laps had been taken. There was another formation finish in Qualifying 2, where both Timmy and Kevin were in the same heat once again, the former scoring Q2 victory and the latter going third fastest in the aggregate Q2 times.
Rain had fallen on Silverstone overnight, which meant both drivers being in the first heat would be a disadvantage. Timmy and Kevin were still 1-2 in their heat for a third consecutive time but ultimately would only place second and fourth in the session. Their positions then switched in Q4, which put both on the front row for Semi Final 1.
All appeared well in the Semi Final, with both Hansens running 1-2 yet again. Timmy and Kevin pulled away out front and both took their jokers on the last lap but a small mistake from Kevin when entering the hairpin, turning in slightly too early, put him nose-first into the tyre barrier and cost him 10 seconds. A second place had become sixth at the penultimate corner of the race.
Despite the setback, Team HANSEN MJP turned its focus straight to the final, in which Timmy was starting on the front row. His race was nearly over at the first turn when Timmy’s Peugeot 208 WRX was squeezed into the inside tyre barrier by Andreas Bakkerud, which inflicted minor damage to his car and dropped him to second place.
But a focused, determined Timmy regrouped and, with the help of a clever strategy from the team, jokered early and set the fastest lap of the weekend, taking the lead with one lap to go and delivering a stunning comeback victory.
A great weekend for Timmy put him straight into the lead of the World RX drivers’ championship, with Team HANSEN MJP still first and second, Kevin only four points behind Timmy in the standings. It was also a strong weekend in the teams’ championship, extending the lead to 25 points over GRX Taneco. After the disappointment of Sweden losing to Finland on Thursday in the IIHF World Championship ice hockey tournament, it was a nice bonus for the Swedish World RX team to beat the Finns three days later!
Qualifying 1 – 1st
Qualifying 2 – 1st
Qualifying 3 – 2nd
Qualifying 4 – 4th
Semi-Final – 1st
Final – 1st
Qualifying 1 –2nd
Qualifying 2 – 3rd
Qualifying 3 – 4th
Qualifying 4 – 2nd
Semi-Final – 6th
Timmy Hansen becomes the first driver in 2019 to take two World RX Final victories, following on from Team HANSEN MJP’s 1-2 finish at Barcelona.
Despite winning several World RX events during his career, this is the first time that Timmy has led the world championship.
Team HANSEN MJP has been on tour so far this year but the next two rounds are much closer to home: Hell awaits the Hansens in Norway, followed by Höljes in the team’s native Sweden.
The crucial time in milliseconds Timmy gained on Andreas Bakkerud between their respective joker laps in the Final, which put Timmy into first place to start the final lap.
“It was definitely hard today; Bakkerud found some good pace and won Q3 and Q4, as well as his Semi Final, so for sure it was tough to line up next to him. He squeezed me into the tyres at the first corner, so I was happy to be able to continue. I came out second and when I took my joker I did a great lap, so once he took his I emerged in the lead. I definitely had to work hard to get it, but it tastes even sweeter when that happens. Of course there were mixed emotions, especially after the Semi Final. We’re in this together. Kevin’s going to come back stronger, mistakes happen sometimes and I would have enjoyed to be up on the podium with Kevin this weekend but I hope we get to do that in Norway.”
“Saturday was really good, I think I had really good pace. The starts were amazing, I really felt at home and that I have upped my level quite a lot on Saturdays. Then on Sunday I was having good pace in qualifying but was struggling a bit with the reverse grid, it didn’t feel in our favour as in the end I was P3. The Semi Final was going really well and I had good speed behind Timmy, he was on fresh rubber and I wasn’t. I think it was a good Semi but just a small mistake in the end cost me a lot. It’s been a long time since I led a championship so it was nice to have it for four races, but now I want to take it back! Now I have led once, I know how it works so let’s take that lead back and keep it.”
“Saturday was really good, we had a strong performance, were 1-2 in Q1 and finished the day 1-2 which was perfect. Bakkerud came back quite strongly today and won Q3 and Q4 but we also had a very good day. The only bad thing was the small mistake from Kevin in the Semi-Final that cost him second place and he finished sixth.
“We had a big fight in the Final with a big push to try to overtake Bakkerud with a joker gamble, which we managed to do. This time the joker decision was very late. Timmy normally can feel when he wants to take the joker but won’t know what it looks like behind him. It’s my decision as I am the spotter for Timmy and I didn’t have time to see the time gap, but suddenly there was a big gap. In turn seven, before the split with the joker, I just had a feeling that we needed to call it and Timmy took the joker. We knew that Bakkerud had some hot tyres and was losing performance and it went very well for us.”
Team HANSEN MJP’s next stop on the World RX tour is closer to home in Hell, Norway. Unlike the first four rounds of the championship, it’s more of a traditional rallycross circuit, with plenty of history behind it. Those years were spent developing the circuit with good kerbs and no tyre stacks. In the words of Kenneth Hansen, it’s “proper racing” there and there’s a little evolution in the circuit. More than anything, though, it’s a track that drivers almost universally love, with plenty of undulation. We’ll see you in Hell on June 15-16.