Monday, 29 November 2021

"I gave it everything until the very end" - Timmy Hansen.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Timmy Hansen left satisfied despite coming out second best to title rival Johan Kristoffersson in the tense World RX of Germany final at a snowy Nürburgring on Sunday

Having entered the final weekend (double-header) of the season with a 17-point advantage, Timmy Hansen had one target in mind, and that was to limit the gap between himself and countrymen Kristoffersson. 

On Saturday, the gap was brought down to just four points, after Timmy was disqualified from the final for contact with Niclas Gronholm. Had he not been penalized the gap would have been 9 points to Kristoffersson heading into the final day, but that was not to be. 

Sunday saw Timmy Hansen top the one-lap morning warm-up session just fractionally faster than Johan, but the three-time World Champion fought back to win Q1 with Hansen right behind in second. 

With two qualifying sessions remaining (Q2 and 3), Kristoffersson maintained his lead at the front claiming the top qualifiers spot, sealing pole position for the all-important semi-finals. 

Just requiring a handful of points on Sunday, the Hansen World RX Team claimed their third FIA World Rallycross Teams’ Championship with the semi-finals and finals remaining.

World RX of Germany - FINAL
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Johan Kristoffersson won semi-final one sealing pole position for the final, whilst Timmy Hansen had to win semi-final two to line-up alongside his rival and have a chance to win the title. But, after a slow start, Niclas Gronholm had other plans after his very good start immediately bolting over to try and cover off Timmy, but because he was not 100% clear of the Peugeot driver. They made contact sending the Finn sideways... and off at turn one. Hansen won the semi-final but was later handed a 7 second time penalty dropping him to third.

Kristoffersson on pole for the final, with Kevin Hansen alongside on the front row, and Timmy Hansen on the back row of the grid with a 3 point lead in the championship. It was all to play for... 

From pole, Kevin had a very good start from second place immediately blocking Kristoffersson, with Timmy right behind. As the final progressed, the younger Hansen brother slowed down the pace hoping that Timmy would be able to overtake his rival, but due to dirt blocking his windshield the visibility was very low hampering his pace. 

Johan went on to finish third and Timmy fourth, which meant the drivers’ championship ended level on points. A scene last-seen in 2019, where Timmy Hansen came out victorious, but this time around with three wins to his name. It was Johan Kristoffersson who clinched a fourth world title on countback. 

"This has been a fantastic season we've had with plenty of success and some great rallycross action. I gave it everything I had right until the very end but it feels a bit unfair with the size and number of penalties that were handed out this weekend. Opportunities to get the job done were taken away because of that and I don't agree with the outcome of those judgments, of course," Timmy Hansen said.

"We were on the top of our game today, doing everything we could and should have, and were right where we had to be. In the end, we finished equal on points and that explains the story of the season really. Johan was unlucky when we were on form and winning three events back-to-back with one-two finishes; towards the end, we had our own fair share of bad luck.

"It's a hell of a story, one that's great for the sport. I'm proud of this season and proud of my performance this weekend, my team, and my family. I'm looking forward to the future."

Despite coming out second best to Kristoffersson this season, the 2021 runner-up Timmy Hansen congratulates the newly crowned four-time World Champion.

"Johan did a fantastic job this weekend," Hansen said. "He knew he had to come here and win everything. He pulled off a great performance and if you are going to lose, I suppose that is the way for it to happen. It's a great sporting achievement by him."

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