Wednesday 5 December 2018

Exclusive Interview with Timmy Hansen.

Timmy Hansen speaking at the Saturday top 3 post-qualifying press conference.
PHOTO CREDIT: JunaidSamodien.
Timmy Hansen, son of Kenneth Hansen (14-time FIA European Rallycross Champion) competes in the FIA World Rallycross Championship

Hansen began his motorsport career in circuit racing, where he claimed the Swedish Karting Championship in 2008 and won races in Formula BMW, Formula Renault 2.0 Alps and the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. 

In April 2011, Timmy competed in his first ever rallycross event in France in a borrowed Citro├źn Xsara Supercar. 

In 2012, Kenneth Hansen (his father) offered him a one-off drive in the FIA European Rallycross Championship

The Swede started his rallycross career by taking part in the entire 2013 Euro RX series, after nine rounds finishing in 3rd place overall.

Timmy Hansen claimed one win and three podiums in the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship, and fourth overall in the championship standings. 

The Swede joined Team Peugeot-Hansen in 2015, and took three wins. He went on to claim second in the championship behind Petter Solberg.

In 2016, Hansen claimed a win at the World RX of Canada. He continued with the team in 2017 and claimed four more podiums. 

At the end of the 2017 season, Peugeot announced full factory support for Team Peugeot-Hansen. With the factory support came a name change. The teams name changed to Team Peugeot Total. 

In 2018, Team Peugeot Total got off to a competitive start, but later introduced an evolution of its baseline model - 208 WRX Evo. The new car was introduced in Sweden and showed strong pace.

Timmy claimed a third place in Belgium and a second place finish in Canada. He ended the 2018 season in sixth in the drivers' standings. 

Peugeot Sport announced their withdrawal from the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the end of the 2018 season, leaving Timmy Hansen, Sebastien Loeb and Kevin Hansen without a seat for the 2019 season.

TIMMY HANSEN - FIA World Rallycross Championship STATISTICS:
- 351 Races
- 5 Event Wins
- 24 Podiums
- 38 Qualfiying Round Wins
- 43 Finals Appearances
- 1045 Total Points

Being granted the opportunity, I conducted general interview with Team Peugeot Total's Timmy Hansen

Junaid Samodien: Who inspired you to become a racing driver? Was it your father? [14-times FIA European RX champion]

Timmy Hansen: I guess, it was my father. You know, I was always travelling to races. I grew up in the paddock, so must have been there. Its always been with me somehow. I can't remember a time, you know. Its been obvious for me. 

JS: What has been the highlight of your career to date?

TH: I don't know, probably when we became Team World Champions in 2015, and when I finished runner-up. 2015 was a good year for me. 

JS: What is your favourite World Rallycross circuit?

TH: For World Rallycross, its probably Sweden [Holjes]. Its a fantastic circuit! 

JS: With Peugeot Sport leaving the World Rallycross championship this year (2018). Where do you see yourself next year? World Rallycross without the Hansen surname [Hansen brothers] is not World Rallycross.

TH: I agree. I hope we make it, but a lot of pieces have to come together and right now its very far from being finished. We are working as hard as we can.

JS: Goodluck!

JS: What would you say to your fans who have supported you through your entire career? As they wait for the news on your future?

TH: I really appreciate their support. And, that is so important to have the support from them [Fans]. I am happy with all the comments that they have given me on social media and everywhere, and wishing me goodluck and hoping to see me back. That is super important and I need that support through the winter.

JS: The Peugeot 208 RX Evo has looked quick this season, since its introduction. Is there anything that you would change or could have done differently to achieve success this season [2018]?

TH: I think we've had performance wise, a very strong year. Especially, the beginning of the season, we were always qualifying well and so-on. I have 30-points minused for engine changes. Also, we have had quite a lot of DNF's [Did Not Finish]. So, performance wise, its been really good and without the points that I've lost. I think we would have been in this fight for second place.
Timmy Hansen out on track in his Peugeot 208 WRX Evo.
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien

JS: With World RX changing from more traditional circuits to more festival styled venues. If you could change one thing about World Rallycross. What would it be and why?

TH: Nothing, I think its really good! I think its fantastic!

JS: What are your thoughts on the Electric Rallycross championship in 2021? Do you think it will be a success? 

TH: I am very excited. I think the car's will be super fast. Really, really fast! 

JS: Do you think that the reduction of sound compared to the current series will be an issue in 2021 [Electric Rallycross]? 

TH: No... No... I have driven a Formula E simulator, and honestly It took me like 20 minutes before I was like: "Ohh yeah... this is electric car". Because inside the car you still hear the rev of the engine, its a different sound. So, you know the electric sound, but you still hear the rev of the engine and it still sounds the same, but it is different. 

Of course, when we look at the next generation, I have a son now. And, probably when I am old, I am going to tell him about back in the day, how we had such loud cars and you know this V8 [engine]. Hear the sound of this and his going to be like, he does not understand. 

JS: You have spoken about your son? Would you let him continue the Hansen legacy and let him race when he is older?

TH: [Laughs] Whatever, he wants!  

Thank You to Timmy Hansen for answering my questions. Also, a big thank you to Alison Fyfe-Turck [Fyfe PR] and Charlotte of Team Peugeot Total for setting up the interview. 

Statistics and History Source: FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

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