World RX: Timmy Hansen dominates Catalunya RX

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Timmy Hansen (centre) leads the celebrations after the 2019 Catalunya RX. Image sourced from fiaworldrallycross.com

Timmy Hansen and Team Hansen MJP dominated the Catalunya RX to secured his first win since 2016.

The second round of the championship got underway on Saturday with the Hansens topping both Q1 and Q2. Q1 was red-flagged after Hervé “Knapick” Lemonier rolled his Citroen in turn 3.

Anton Marklund was forced to sit out of the restart after failing to start the original race. As a result, only two cars took to the start of the first race in Q1, where Kevin Hansen came out on top.

Elsewhere, Timmy used the joker lap to full effect to overtake GCK’s Guerlain Chicherit in Q1 race 3.

Kevin Hansen continued his form from Abu Dhabi and went second quickest in both sessions. Timur Timerzyanov also impressed in the Hyundai to take third in the intermediate standings.

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy got his debut in the World RX championship off to a poor start. Hoy jumped the start in his qualifying heat and was forced to take two joker laps.

His teammate Oliver Bennett was forced to retire after clipping a barrier on entry to the joker lap, which broke his Mini’s steering and ended his chances. Hoy would go on to battle for a heat race win in Q3 with Jani Paasonen.

On the joker lap merge, the Finn shut the door on Hoy who made contact with the Tyre barrier putting an end to his hopes of a heat race win. He would, however, go on to take one championship point which is an incredible achievement nonetheless.

Timmy Hansen went on to win Q3 and Q4 after stellar performances in both races. Niclas Gronholm came within two tenths of the Swede in Q3 but again was unable to match him.

Anton Marklund put in an incredible performance in the GCK Megane and recovered to third in Q3. Guillaume De Ridder was another driver who impressed the paddock, and in Q4 took fifth in the GCK Clio.

Timmy Hansen was untouchable and continued on to win his Semi-Final. His brother Kevin went on to win his semi-final making it an all Hansen affair on the front row for the final.

Cyril Raymond stormed through into 3rd place in his semi-final to put the GCK Academy Clio into the final for the very first time. Janis Baumanis pulled a stunning pass on Kristian Szabo to clinch his second successive appearance in a final this season.

Come the final, there was only one man who could take the win. Timmy Hansen stormed through to take his first win since Canada 2016 and the fourth “clean sweep” in World RX history.

“Honestly, I just wanted a good, clean weekend but I started with a win in Q1 and Q2 and won all four qualifying races,” Hansen said afterwards.

“I think it’s only the fourth time that’s been done and only the third time anybody has the perfect weekend, so I’m really happy to be in the history books.”

Hansen added: “I really worked hard on my starts this weekend. You have to be super focused to get a good launch with a rallycross car but we did it all the way through. And I’m really looking forward to building on this result.”

His brother Kevin took his second podium in a row with second and Andreas Bakkerud came through to take third after his torrid weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Bakkerud said that the team as still recovering after the crash in Abu Dhabi and didn’t have the pace this weekend:

“Three times in a row I have been on the podium in Barcelona so obviously I Iike it here. But I have to say the Hansens have been the dominant team this weekend – especially Timmy, he has been superb, so congrats to him.”

It’s one win a piece between the Hansens as we move to the next round of the championship which will be held at beautiful Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for the first time.

The circuit will wind it’s way around the famous Eau Rouge corner and it is being hyped up to be an excellent spectacle with the return of 2016 champion Matthias Ekstrom for a one-off appearance.

Round 3 of the World RX championship gets underway in 10 days time at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. You can catch all the sessions live and uninterrupted on the official World RX YouTube channel.

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