South Africa World RX: Timmy Hansen crowned champion
Timmy Hansen claimed the World Rallycross Championship title in incredibly dramatic fashion in the South African season finale, as Niclas Gronholm scored his second win of the year.
Hansen started on the front row of the title-deciding final having won semi-final two, with title rival Andreas Bakkerud alongside. The Norwegian had beaten polesitter Gronholm to the first corner in semi-final one and taken victory to lift him to the front row of the grid.
By finishing one place ahead of Bakkerud in the Intermediate Classification, Hansen increased his points lead to two points. With both drivers winning the semis, they entered the final race of the season separated by the same margin.
At the start of the final, it was again Bakkerud who made the best launch to go around the outside of Hansen for the lead. With eight points available for victory and five for second, winning ahead of Hansen would have been enough for Bakkerud to claim the title.
But, at the loose-surface turn-six on the Killarney circuit on the outskirts of Cape Town, Hansen made a move for the lead, putting the nose of his Peugeot 208 up the inside of Bakkerud’s Audi S1 into the exit of the corner.
Bakkerud slid wide and into the tyre wall on the outside, the leader’s car bouncing off the wall and into Hansen, who was spun around the front of the Audi. Bakkerud’s Audi also ended up facing the wall on the outside of the circuit, while behind, Hansen’s brother Kevin spun in the dust cloud onto the inside of the track.
Amid the melee, Gronholm moved into the lead.
With Hansen recovered to run behind Scheider in fifth, second for Bakkerud would have been enough to claim the title.
Scheider remained ahead of Hansen after his lap two joker, but then spun with a problem mid-race, elevating Hansen to fourth.
Bakkerud remained ahead of Timerzyanov after his lap five joker, but when Gronholm took his compulsory extra route on the final tour and remained ahead to claim his second win of the season, second for Bakkerud and fourth for Hansen put the pair level on points to end the year.
On count back, with four wins to Bakkerud’s one, it was 14-time European Rallycross Champion Kenneth Hansen’s eldest son Timmy who secured his maiden World Rallycross crown.
Timerzyanov finished third to make it a double podium for Marcus Gronholm’s Hyundai team.
Kevin Hansen finished fifth, the Team Hansen MJP squad securing the team’s title, with Scheider classified sixth.
Timmy Hansen, Team Hansen MJP
Photo by: FIA World Rallycross
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