|PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.|
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