Timmy Hansen reached the final on Sunday at the World RX of Finland after getting his season back on track with a podium 24 hours earlier, although it was a day of mixed fortunes for the defending champion who started with a second place in Q1 before drama in Q2.
Hansen made a mistake coming off the final corner which allowed Andreas Bakkerud to look down the inside at turn one. They made contact with Hansen coming off worst, and was forced to save a half spin.
No penalty was given to Bakkerud but post-race the two drivers were side by side on the way back to the paddock. Both lined up in the same race for Q3 but it was a cleaner affair as Hansen got a front row start for the semi-finals.
Both Timmy and brother Kevin Hansen were in the same race but Timmy emerging in front of Kevin compromised the latter and meant only Timmy progressed to the final where he would finish in fifth.
The world champion said: “The key today (Sunday) was consistency and being able to maximise our pace when the opportunity arose. We managed that in Q1 behind Kristoffersson and then again in Q3 behind Bakkerud, which is what allowed me to secure a front-row slot for the semi-finals.“
“After the launch in my semi-final it was really difficult to see through the mud that came onto the windscreen, so I was quite happy to be second. We jokered on lap five in the hope of beating Gronholm to the semi-final victory but unfortunately, I came out behind Timerzyanov, which handed extra track position to him, and that led to Kevin missing the final once Timur rejoined. That was very unfortunate.“
In the four rounds so far and what the mood is like within Team Hansen, Timmy added: “The team is really strong together; we’re very motivated and everyone is working very hard. The car’s still very strong and it got to the finish line every time with no technical issues.“
“They’ve had the most difficult World RX events ever, doing two weekends with two full championship rounds each back-to-back, so the team has done an incredible job of keeping the car in one piece. So I need to thank them for all their work, for being able to figure out the problem that slowed me down in Sweden, and we’ll continue to work on finding more pace between now and Riga.
“I want to win a couple of races this year. Johan is incredibly strong and has been dominant so far this year but he is beatable, as others have shown twice now. I also want to get onto the top step of the podium this year and we’ll keep fighting towards that.”