Showing posts with label Timmy Hansen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Timmy Hansen. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Team Hansen hope "to take a step forward" in Riga.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Team Hansen has not had the start to the season that they had hoped for after being crowned champions in 2019. However, after a 3-day test in Sweden, the team aims to take a step forward in Latvia. 

The Hansen brothers have claimed two podium finishes thus far in 2020, with Kevin picking up a second-place finish in Sweden (currently fifth place in the drivers' championship), and reigning World RX champion Timmy scoring third place in finish Finland (ranked fourth in the championship). Their combined efforts have put Team Hansen only 19 points off the top of the teams’ championship with more than half the 2020 season to go.

Latvia will mark the half-way point of this year’s World RX season, as it hosts the third double-header event of the year. 

During the three-week gap since the previous round at Kouvola (Finland), the Hansen's have been hard at work making refinements to their Peugeot 208 WRX Supercars, conducting a three-day test at Lidköpings Motorstadion with their two drivers.

"The start to this season has been a little bit difficult at times but overall it's still been a positive beginning," Timmy Hansen said. "We did a three-day test near the workshop to evaluate the areas we'd been struggling with so far this year, as well as developing some new things. Hopefully, that'll pay off this weekend."

"We've definitely done everything we can to take a step forward for now and although this season is tricky, with there not being much time between the races, the test went well, so I'm excited to see what happens this weekend."

Timmy Hansen returns to Riga, a venue with fond memories after claiming a third-place finish in 2016, and a victory in 2019, which was key to his championship fight. 

"I won here last year which was a key point in taking the world championship, so I'm excited to be coming back to Riga and see how we fare," he said. "With this being another double-header round, we need to be sharp and on the pace from the beginning, as there's no time to make any significant changes between the rounds."

With a return to a track expected to suit the team's Peugeot 208 better than the opening four rounds, the team is hoping for a first win of the year.

"Riga is a very nice track. It has suited us very well in the past; it's more of a high-grip circuit like Loheac, Abu Dhabi and Barcelona, which is the type of circuits we're best at," Kevin Hansen said. "Johan has won here twice in the past of course but I feel that we've got a good car for this track and it should suit us more compared to the tracks we've raced on so far this year."

“We've been testing recently to make improvements in specific areas and we feel like we're arriving in Riga with fewer question marks, which should hopefully bring us a little bit more performance from the first race of the weekend. It looks like it'll be a dry, warm weekend, and it's great to have fans safely back at the track for this event.

“Riga feels a bit like a street circuit; its corners are tight and twisty, with some fast stretches in between, but more than anything you need to watch out for the walls and barriers everywhere," the Swede adds. "There are plenty of run-off areas in Höljes and Kouvola but here, it's a bit like we're competing at the Monaco of rallycross."

The purpose-built Biķernieki circuit in Latvia features the longest lap of the year in both distance and time, with a lap length of 1.295km and a track record time of 48.485s.

"Riga is a bit more like circuit racing compared to what we had in the first two rounds," says  Kenneth Hansen, Team Boss. "It's a challenging track because of how different it is, with it being the longest lap of the season and also the hard jump early in the lap, which requires a delicate set-up balance between softness to cope with the landing but stiffness for grip elsewhere in the lap."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Consistency key to maximizing results in condensed season for Timmy Hansen.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Reigning World RX champion Timmy Hansen believes that consistency is key to maximizing results in the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Hansen is currently fourth in the drivers' standings (41 points) behind championship leader Johan Kristoffersson, with younger brother Kevin in fifth overall.  

Whilst the season did not get off to the way Team Hansen expected, Kenneth Hansen (team boss) was able to figure out the reasons behind the team's pace in Sweden, which saw Timmy showing a stronger pace in Kouvola, after confirming that he did not feel as comfortable in the Peugeot 208 WRX as he was in 2019.

With some work done between Sweden and Finland, the Peugeot's were slightly stronger, but still off the ultimate pace of Johan Kristoffersson (the benchmark). 

On Saturday, Timmy returned to the podium with a third-place finish, while Kevin finished in sixth-place. With overnight rain saw track conditions became tricky seeing Timmy Hansen missing out on a podium finish by 0.7s.

Kevin definitely had the pace to progress to the finals on Sunday, but the slimmest of margins saw him miss out (0.060s). 

"It was a wet race so we had to set-up the car completely for those conditions, and we made some progress in that area," Kevin Hansen said. "I had the best feeling during the semi-final; I was very fast and had never felt so confident in the wet, so I was very happy in that respect."

Although only one of two cars made it to the final, Timmy Hansen had a good start from the second row of the grid, he ran a touch wide at the first corner seeing Ekstrom, Bakkerud, and Timerzyanov sneak up the inside, and while Bakkerud ran into technical issues at turn two, Timmy moved into P5. And, despite a fight in the final corner between Gronholm, Ekstrom, Timerzyanov, Kristoffersson - Timmy was not close enough and finished in fifth-place.

"The key was consistency and being able to maximize our pace when the opportunity arose," Timmy Hansen said.

The condensed 2020 World RX calendar has posed unique challenges to the teams this season, with three doubleheaders - two events per weekend opposed to the normal two day single event weekends, which will return in the second half of the season. Any mechanical or technical issues would punish drivers due to the quick turnaround times. And, Timmy credits Team Hansen for a clean start to the season thus far. 

"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," the 2019 World Champion said. "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."

Double World RX Champion Johan Kristoffersson returned to the championship this season, and whilst he has dominated qualifying, he hasn't had it all his own way only converting two of four finals into wins. Timmy Hansen believes that despite Johan's strong start to the season, he aims to get onto the top step of the podium this season. 

"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," he said. "I also want to get onto the top step of the podium this year and we'll keep fighting towards that."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Team Hansen ready to bounce back after 'mixed' season opener.

Team Hansen are keen bounce back after a weekend of highs and lows in Sweden, as the FIA World Rallycross Championship enters its second phase this weekend with the third and fourth rounds of the season in Finland. 

Whilst Sweden ushered in the new season, it wasn't the smoothest of starts for Timmy Hansen on homesoil. However, his younger brother Kevin lifted the team spirit with a second-place finish in the second round of the championship at the same venue.  

Team boss, Kenneth Hansen believes that his team were at a slight disadvantage compared to their rivals who competed in the RallyX Nordic "Magic Weekend" in Höljes with 2020 specification machinery. 

And while the dust settles on the season opener in Sweden, the World RX championship moves to Finland for the second doubleheader of the season. 

Kouvola's addition to the 2020 calendar was somewhat sudden but also highly welcomed, as other events dropped off the calendar due to complications from the ongoing Covid-19 situation. With past experience at the track for both Timmy and Kevin, it's a favourite circuit of both the team and drivers.

"Kouvola is a great track. It has strong character, good jumps, elevation changes, fast and slow corners, so it's nice to be driving there again. I think I have the lap record there but I'm not sure! I've had some good races there and I'm looking forward to going back," Timmy Hansen said.

The defending champion struggled with traffic all weekend in Sweden, but he firmly believes that Team Hansen has the package to challenge for wins in 2020. 

"I believe we have what it takes in our package to win a couple of races and to be able to fight at the top," he adds. "Last weekend wasn't normal and my hope is Finland is closer to what we would consider 'normal'. The car is still good, so we're hoping for a better result in Finland."

Kouvola is a track of two very distinct halves: the first half almost like Rally Finland, with wide, fast roads featuring jumps, while the second half is tight, twisty and technical.  

Kevin returns to a track with fond memories having made his first appearance at an international-level rallycross event and won his first-ever RX Lites race at the age of 16.  

"Kouvola is quite similar to Höljes, with a lot of elevation changes. I love the track; it's got a good flow and I think we have a good car for it too," Kevin Hansen said.

Having stepped onto the podium in Sweden, the 22-year-old expects to score more podium finishes in Finland but admits that the team needs to keep pushing. 

"I expect we'll be able to score podiums in Finland. That's the aim, and we need to keep on our toes and do the maximum possible," he said. "If we want to reach the podium or score wins, we have to keep pushing step-by-step beyond where we are now."

Whilst Team Hansen did not have the pace they expected in Sweden, rounds 3 and 4 of the condensed calendar will give the team strong motivation to perform at their best. 

"It's good to be back racing so soon after the last round. We didn't have the result we expected last time, so we have strong motivation to be back on track again and trying to perform to our best," Team Hansen team principal, Kenneth Hansen said. "It's going to be quite unusual this time, as it's the first time we're racing with only World RX present and none of the support categories."

"Both Timmy and Kevin know and love this circuit, so they'll have a slight advantage over the drivers who've been here before. But there won't be a big difference compared to the top-calibre drivers who've not raced here before; they'll get into it quickly."

Written By - Junaid Samodien. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

"We expected to have slightly better pace" in Holjes - Kenneth Hansen.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull.
Team Hansen did not have the easiest of starts when the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship season finally got underway in Sweden, with Kevin Hansen leading the team's charge in fourth and reigning champion Timmy Hansen finishing eighth in the drivers' standings after two rounds.  

The reigning champions' hopes were high for a strong result during the return of World RX after an extended break. And while there were signs of strong pace at times, the team's key focus is to find improvements ahead of the third round of the championship this weekend in Finland.

Ultimately circumstances conspired against either reigning world champion Timmy Hansen and his younger brother, Kevin Hansen, from scoring a top result in round 1 on Saturday. Both drivers faced a similar fate at turn two, as Kevin was pushed wide into the joker lap in his semi-final and Timmy spun around in the final.

After overnight fine-tuning for the second round of the season in Holjes, Kevin got off to a much better start compared to his brother who started on the outside in Q1 and ultimately got caught in traffic. Whilst Kevin was consistently in the top five throughout the three qualifying sessions, Timmy worked his way out of the dropzone to ninth place, to qualify for the semi-finals.

Kevin Hansen had a much smoother run in the semi-final compared to his brother who got pushed wide by Andreas Bakkerud on lap one and took the joker lap. Whilst Marklund jokered to cover off Hansen. The GCK Bilstein driver emerged alongside Timmy and the two fought for track position with Hansen coming out on top. Timmy later recovered to fourth-place but after colliding with Andreas Bakkerud and Timur Timerzyanov in an attempt to get the final spot in the final, he was disqualified from the semi-final.

In the thrilling final, Kevin took the joker lap right behind Mattias Ekstrom on lap one in an attempt to jump traffic. A lap later, Robin Larsson, Timo Scheider, and Andreas Bakkerud took the joker lap. With a hard push, Kevin was able to jump Scheider and Bakkerud but emerged from the joker lap on par with Robin Larsson and the two fought all the way around the lap. On lap 5, Larsson ran into some trouble, and in a bold move around the outside of the KYB Team JC driver exiting the velodrome, Kevin took third place, which became second when Johan Kristoffersson was given a five-second penalty for a track marker infringement.

14-time European Rallycross Champion and team boss, Kenneth Hansen believes that despite struggling in some conditions on Saturday (season-opener) and encountering some unexpected issues, the team figured out the issues and were better prepared for the second round on Sunday. 

"I think we adapted very well. Kevin got into a good rhythm and his pace was very stable, pushing really hard. We weren't completely on the pace today (Sunday) but once we make some small adjustments, we'll be there," Kenneth Hansen said. "We continued to learn the upgrades we'd developed and tested; we didn't quite get that right [on Saturday] but today (Sunday) we started going in the right direction."

"I'm quite sure Timmy will be back at the front next weekend, especially as he struggled a bit with having to start on the outside for every race today, which isn't easy."

"We expected to have slightly better pace from the start but we've seen some small things in the car which changed its behaviour quite a lot. We also know that while Höljes is a home track for our team, it's also traditionally been quite a difficult one for us over the years."

The next stop in the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship is Kouvola, Finland. A track that last featured on the World RX calendar in 2014, and an unknown for the teams and drivers, which poses a unique challenge. 

"It will be very interesting to try this car in Finland, to see how well it works around Kouvola, how much speed we can gain there, and how close we can be to the Volkswagen and Audis, with the hope that we'll really give them a fight next week," Kenneth said.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Ekström wins after thrilling battle with Kristoffersson.

Mattias Ekström has beaten Johan Kristoffersson in a thrilling six-lap straight fight for victory in the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Holjes. 

The 2016 Champion has been Kristoffersson's biggest rival all weekend. Ekström admitted after round one (yesterday), that he could give Kristoffersson a proper run for his money in a straight fight. 

Ekström started on the second row of the grid after being beaten in semi-final 2 by his teammate Robin Larsson, whilst Kristoffersson started from pole having topped qualifying and winning his semi-final. 

In the final, Larsson had the best launch seeing him, and Kristoffersson fight for track position into turn one. Whilst they fought, Ekström opted for his first lap joker tactic that has worked for him all weekend and gained clean air with only Kevin Hansen behind. 

Larsson went on the attack in the early stages keeping Kristoffersson very honest at the front of the field, but by lap two, the chasing Swede, Timo Scheider, and Andreas Bakkerud took the joker lap. Thus promoting Mattias Ekström into second and clean air with no real distraction. 

From there he was able to post fastest lap after fastest lap reeling in Kristoffersson. On lap 4, Johan had a 2.175-second buffer to Mattias and on lap five responded with the fastest lap of the race to extend the gap to 2.711 seconds, but Mattias eeked closer taking a further four-tenths out of the round one winner. 

In an attempt to drag out a few more tenths, Kristoffersson pushed the limits of the joker lap, but the gap was not enough and he emerged behind Ekström. In a pursuit to try and muscle his way past, the double World Champion tried a number of different lines, but to no avail. 

The pair crossed the line split by 0.194s, but later Kristoffersson was handed a five-second time penalty for hitting two-track markers on the joker lap. 

"Today we made constant adjustments because of the weather, and I have to say that Robin [Larsson] was really contributing and did really good starts. He took me in the semi-final, but then I got clean air in the final, which was key to my win," Ekström said. "I had a clean run and the car worked fine. I heard the gaps to Johan and I could hear that I was reeling him in and then I knew just to bang every lap inch-perfect to beat him and it's quite a pleasure because it's quite a while since someone beat him in that car fair and square because it hasn't happened many times."

"We made a step over the last two years with them [KYB]. To win is what I love and today is a great win!"

Johan Kristoffersson was left with a big smile despite finishing in third-place. 

"It was such a fun final," he said. "First of all, Robin [Larsson] had a good start from there on we had a little bit of a wiggle, so lost a little bit of time in the beginning and then started to push and getting into the rhythm. The car was working fine, so I am happy with that. Then I got the gap to Mattias and I heard that he was really close and then I heard no the radio that I really need to push. Then I got told that I increased the gap a little bit and I am not sure if it was correct or not, and then I had the joker and I knew that I would have to do everything in the joker and I actually cut both the pillars and I was meant to do one, but it turned out to be two and then got a five-second penalty. That was a fight to enjoy!"

Despite his mighty charge in the opening laps, Robin Larsson slowed into the velodrome section, and Kevin Hansen took third with a ballsy outside move soon followed by Timo Scheider. 

"I was there all day challenging the guys ahead a bit, but just not quite enough," Kevin Hansen said. "Then I took advantage of Robin's mistake in the final, and I think it was a pretty bold move around the top (outside) when I did it. I was like... what am I doing? Am I completely crazy or what? It was mega fun. And to get home from Holjes with a podium is great. It's a good start for the team, but we need to keep working hard because we have two fast guys to beat."

The 2019 EuroRX Champion ended the final in fifth, while Andreas Bakkerud brought it home in a distant sixth +31.949 seconds behind Ekström.

A heated battle in semi-final two saw reigning World RX champion Timmy Hansen, Timur Timerzyanov, and Anton Marklund not making the cut. 

Timmy Hansen was later disqualified "unsportsmanlike behavior during competition" after pushing both Bakkerud and Timerzyanov in semi-final 2. 

Niclas Gronholm, Krisztian Szabo, and Anton Marklund also failed to advance to the finals. 

The question on everyone's lips after the thrilling final is: Will Mattias Ekström return for the full-season after winning in Sweden? 

"It was only planned for here [In Sweden]," Ekström said. "I will speak to Joel [Christoffersson] when I get back [to the garage]. I still have other commitments, which is clashing with other weekends. Finland, I admit would be nice, but then afterward it looks really difficult unless some of my bosses, friends or partners would like to contribute for me to continue, but for the time being that is not the plan."

Written By Junaid Samodien 

Monday, 17 August 2020

“If we are fast in Höljes, we can be fast anywhere” - Timmy Hansen.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Timmy Hansen will begin the defense of his FIA World Rallycross Championship drivers' title five months later than initially planned as the 2020 season gets underway with a double-header on home soil at Höljes in Sweden this weekend. 

Coming off the back of an extraordinary 2019 season, where Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud ended the World RX season on equal points leading to a countback of race victories ultimately determining the champion. Timmy and Team Hansen RX will have their eyes on defending the drivers' and teams' titles this season against a line-up that's even tougher than last year. 

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and restrictions in place in a number of countries, Höljes (Sweden) inherited the role of season-opener this weekend, giving Team Hansen RX a unique opportunity to begin the season on home soil.

"It's exciting to start a new year. We begin the season in Sweden with our home race but it's going to be very different this year; without spectators, it's going to be more like a 'normal' race," Hansen said. "But the track layout is always fantastic and I'm looking forward to racing at Höljes."

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.

Having spent the off-season preparing their Peugeot 208 WRX supercars for the season ahead, the 28-year-old Swede believes that the 
Höljes double-header will be a good indication of where they stand as a team for the 2020 campaign. 

"This weekend should be a good indication right away of where we stand. If we are fast in Höljes, we can be fast anywhere," he said. "I want to continue what we did last year; it was a fantastic season, the best season I have ever had as a racing driver. But I still have more to give, more left in me that I want to give to the sport and I can still become a better rallycross driver. That's my goal for this year, and hopefully, that leads to another world title."

And with a more compact 2020 season, keeping out of trouble will be vital for all the drivers aiming to lift the championship trophy at the end of the season. Hansen is aware of this and aims to avoid another Abu Dhabi like incident, which saw his Peugeot 208 requiring a chassis rebuild after Andreas Bakkerud collided with him last year. 

"We have to be clever during these first races not to end up in any trouble because there is definitely no way you have time to repair any big damage between the two rounds on Saturday and Sunday," he said. "So ideally I want to avoid another Abu Dhabi from last year! To recharge between the two days will be challenging but I'm up for it."

The reigning champion has elected to race with number one on his rear window this season.

“To race with number one on the rear window is a nice reminder of what we did last year. It's a journey that I will never forget and I worked so hard for it. It had been a dream for many years and a goal, and now we have achieved it, so seeing that number one is a way to continue to enjoy it. It definitely feels good.”

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

“I aim to turn the pressure into a positive” - World RX Champion Timmy Hansen.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Reigning World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen will have a target on his back this season as he returns to defend his crown in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The 2019 season was the closest fought season in the history of the world championship with both Timmy and Andreas Bakkerud ending the season on equal points, but with a count-back of wins, Hansen was declared the victor.

Slipstream SA spoke to Timmy Hansen ahead of the 2020 season opener. 

In all forms of sport, defending a title always comes with added pressure. So, we asked the reigning champion if he feels any added pressure as he heads into the season with an aim to defend the title(s), and how he aims to turn that added pressure to a positive?

“Well, the pressure is always there as a race driver and I think mainly about myself. I always want to perform and I am here because it's a huge challenge and that is what I love about it, so yes,” he said

“I do aim to turn the pressure into a positive but I wouldn't say it's more pressure. I would rather say I put less pressure on myself now because I have won the world championship already and I have achieved my goal in that way, and it feels like I don't have to do it again, but I definitely want to and I most of all I want to improve as a driver and drive faster than I've done before.”

The 2020 World RX season has been condensed into a ten round calendar, with 3 venues hosting double-headers this season, and no fly away events due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Whilst there was some downtime for many, it does not mean that racing drivers or any athletes for that matter used the downtime to relax. They often use it as downtime to improve themselves both physically and mentally for the challenges ahead, and this is no different for Timmy Hansen. With a condensed calendar in 2020, it will add enormous pressure on teams and drivers to perform from the get-go.

“This break has been a huge help to prepare myself on the physical and mental side,” Hansen said. “I feel really strong after all the training. I haven't been traveling so training has really been uninterrupted and I've done all the training that I planned to do. So, I feel really strong physically and mentally.”

“I've been able to set aside what happened last year and really find my motivation to perform and to continue to push myself as an athlete, so yeah. I feel great! I feel better than before any other season.”

Timmy will embark on the challenge of retaining his World RX crown in 2020 with heavy hitters returning to the championship, the likes of double World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson and Euro RX champion Robin Larsson in a former EKS RX Audi. 

2019 runner-up Andreas Bakkerud will switch to GC Kompetition machinery in a Renault Megane R.S RX Supercar alongside Liam Doran in Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel.

In the pursuit of perfection and improving, teams will refine their cars and update them to solve flaws of previous seasons and this is no different in World Rallycross. At some 2019 events, the Peugeot 208 WRX had the tendency to struggle on loose surfaces and excelled on high grip tracks. This year, the team has made changes to both the engine and to solve the grip issues, as Kevin Hansen revealed in an interview with Andrew Coley (World RX commentator).

“We're not a factory team anymore, and we do have a great car so I don't want to overextend what we're doing, but with that said of course as a team we want to continue to improve and there are several areas in which you can improve: teamwork, me as a driver, set up, performance of the race car, and the engineers have worked hard and have had in many ideas,” Timmy said.

“Together as a team, we had many ideas at the end of last year and we were working on them and hopefully, we have fine-tuned the car even better for 2020.”

Timmy Hansen leading his brother and Timo Scheider in Cape Town.
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
The 2019 World Rallycross Championship was a tense affair and went right down to the wire between Andreas Bakkerud and Timmy both vying for top honors. The season finale was won by Niclas Gronholm after Bakkerud and Hansen collided in the tight gravel hairpin in Cape Town. Hansen spun and lost track position crossing the finish line in fourth behind the event winner. That meant the pair were equal on points and a countback would seal the title for Hansen having won four events in 2019.

Rivalries make sports very interesting for fans, and with old champions returning there is no doubt we’ll see new rivalries form in 2020. So, who does Timmy think will be his biggest rival this season?

“I mean Kristoffersson, of course, he is a two-time world champion and he will be on the grid and in the same machine that he used so on you know, looking at it that way I'm looking forward to race against him and again to really measure myself against him, after all the work we have done and how far we've come as a team,” he said. “But Andreas, you know, we ended on equal points last year, and I know he hasn't been lazy (during off-season) and, Gronholm as well, he was super strong last year and I know they've been working very hard to do you know there are four drivers or three drivers apart from me and Kevin and then.”

“You know, you have to be very humble before these the start of a season. I think is very important to know that your competitors will be strong but mainly focus on your own performance.”

The 28-year-old Swede has also added two eSport titles to his belt during the off-season. He claimed the World RX eSports Series and Race of Champions Virtual titles. We asked him if simulator racing was a good tool to sharpen his racing skills during the off-season.

“I don't know, time has to tell if I improved by doing that or not, you know, motorsport practice and training it's very hard to measure and like when I'm out running or in the gym do I become faster by doing that, you know for like one session doesn't make a difference, but all the sessions combined.”

“I'm sure that it makes a difference and I think it's the same with eSports. I've been racing and I have been keeping sharp so I wouldn't say there's anything particular I've learnt apart from being in that racing zone and mentally it was a big challenge which I could carry some lessons from so yeah, it was it was a good way to spend the break. And fun of course.”

Whilst many countries are still battling the Coronavirus pandemic, and some are still under partial lockdowns. The reigning champion shared a few words with motorsport fans.

“We are all in this together and even if I am a racing driver or you know, a CEO of a large company or an employee of a large company or anybody else in the whole world have an equal part in fighting this, you know, it's all about social distancing and we can do it and I can only encourage people to continue to stay, you know, stay socially distant,” he said.

“I've been staying at home. I've been going to work and really limiting what I'm doing so yeah, I'm not better than anyone. I don't have a bigger responsibility, but we're all equally responsible and yeah, this is something that the world is really doing together never before have I seen the entire world like this acting in the same way for the same goal to save our elderly, you know family mainly as well as everyone else in risk.”

“And motorsport is starting again soon, so you'll be in entertained if you're at home.”

The 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship season is now just a week away with a double-header at Höljes in Sweden.

Written By: Junaid Samodien