Cape Town, 10 November 2019 – Timmy Hansen and Team HANSEN MJP scored the FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers and Teams titles respectively in a heart-stopping season finale in South Africa, with Timmy’s title won on a tiebreaker and team-mate Kevin Hansen also finishing third in the world championship.
Let’s watch the best of this glorious week-end!
Timmy extended his championship leader over closest rival Andreas Bakkerud from one point to two heading to the Semi Finals with second place in qualifying, winning Q1 and Q3. A straightforward Semi Final win then put him on the front row alongside Bakkerud for what would transpire to be greatest championship showdown in rallycross history.
Timmy was immediately on the offensive after being beaten to turn one by Bakkerud at the start of the Final, and a mistake by the blue-and-black car at the hairpin opened the door for Timmy to try and pass. An out-of-control Bakkerud then clattered into Timmy and spun him around, with all hope of the title appearing lost.
But as he had done several times earlier this year when the odds had been against him, Timmy regrouped and threw everything he had at getting the result he needed.
Qualifying 1 : 1st
Qualifying 2 : 9th
Qualifying 3 : 1st
Qualifying 4 : 2nd
Semi-Final 2 : 1st
Final : 4th
Qualifying 1 : 4th
Qualifying 2 : 6th
Qualifying 3 : 3rd
Qualifying 4 : 4th
Semi-Final 2 : 2nd
Final : 5th
This year’s season finale will go down in history as the greatest season finale in any top-level rallycross championship to date. Title deciders had gone to the last round of the season in FIA World RX before, but for the drivers championship to be decided in the final race of the season – and in a tiebreak scenario, no less – was unprecedented.
For pure excitement alone, the World RX of South Africa Final will struggle to ever be matched. It had everything condensed into six laps – drama, controversy, a title contender in the barrier facing the wrong way and multiple switches of who would go home with the drivers title mid-race. Our heart rates are still through the roof just thinking about it!
Timmy may have ended the year level on points and won on a tiebreaker, but that tiebreaker showed how much he deserved the title. He scored four wins in 2019, double that of the next-best driver Niclas Grönholm, who won the South African season finale.
The number that matters. 1st in the FIA World RX Drivers Championship. 1st in the FIA World RX Teams Championship. 1st in TitansRX. 1st in Nitro RX. Team HANSEN MJP has finished first in every rallycross championship it has entered in 2019.
“What would happen after the Final was not on my mind. I’m in shock! I was so focused all weekend; I think I put in the performance of my life. The whole weekend I was focused on going race by race. So many times this year we struggled in the beginning, so I just focused on each session at a time, knowing I needed to do the maximum every time to have a chance to become champion. When we won Q1, I knew we were in a good position to do well, but the focus was always on taking everything one step at a time.
“What a season it’s been. We are world champions! I don’t know what to feel – I wasn’t prepared for what comes after the driving part! I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I was a kid. It feels amazing. It’s everything that I wished for.”
“I’m happy with my season and to come third in the championship is a great feeling. I gave it everything I had to try and be Top Qualifier but after qualifying, I knew that my focus had to be on helping Timmy win the championship. I was just a bit too far back in the points after then. I’m so happy for Timmy; after every bad event like Abu Dhabi or Trois-Rivières, he came back stronger and won. We have driven each other to succeed and that’s a big part of the reason why we were so strong in the teams’ championship.
“Overall this has been an amazing year for me, my best yet. Third in World RX and winning TitansRX and Nitro RX, I couldn’t have asked for much more! I learned so many things this year: I’m sure someday it will be my turn to win the world title. But for now, I will join Timmy in celebrating his championship success!”
“To come from where we were at the end of last season to the end of this season is hard to believe. We overcame each hurdle one at a time: first, finding a way to get to the first race with two cars – one of which needed a total rebuild almost straight after! – then making sure we did all the races, all while developing the car to try and make it faster. Everyone in our team had two or three jobs: Timmy and Kevin were doing more than just driving the cars! We constantly worked to be better, to make the car better, and we could see the progress as the year went on.
“I’m so proud of Timmy and Kevin, of course not just as team principal but as a dad. They were brilliant, very focused on the task they needed to do, very respectful and mindful of what the team as a whole needed in how they raced each other. The first title is always very special, it’s a memory Timmy will keep forever, and someday I’m sure it will be Kevin’s turn to have that too.
“After crossing all over the world for World RX, TitansRX and Nitro RX we can finally have some rest! Not too much rest, of course, because we want to be back next year to defend our titles and that will require plenty of work in the off-season, but for now we will enjoy this moment. Everyone in the team worked hard for it and they deserve it!”