Thursday 12 October 2023

Winning 2019 title 'would've been impossible without Kevin' - Timmy Hansen.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool/Joerg Mitter
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States of America, once said: "Nothing worth doing was ever easy."

The future of World Rallycross seemed bleak after the simultaneous withdrawal of manufacturers: Audi, Peugeot, and Volkswagen at the end of the 2018 season. 

Many questions arose: Who will race in 2019? Will they race? And more... These questions were soon answered with an array of privateer teams signing up to the dual-surfaced championship, followed by a last-minute entry of the Hansens who beat the clock having secured two Peugeot 208 cars, and the necessary funding for the season.

Timmy Hansen 21 explained the challenges that his family-run team faced when speaking to Slipstream SA in 2019: “Many hours of work went in to secure an entry, but it’s more than just hours, it was everything. My whole passion. It’s quite hard to describe all the things that we have put together and our ambitions. You don’t achieve this by working for hours. It took a lot, it really took everything that we had, but we made it.”

Despite all these obstacles and challenges, the 2019 season was arguably the best season to date with a healthy entry list at every round. 

The season will also live long in the memories of Niclas Gronholm, Andreas Bakkerud, and Timmy Hansen, who had to overcome highs and lows to achieve a childhood dream. 

Moments before Andreas Bakkerud hit Hansen.
PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
The 2019 campaign got off to a bang for Timmy who led the way through the qualifying heats in Abu Dhabi but was involved in an accident with Andreas Bakkerud who thought that the race ended a lap earlier.

His Peugeot 208 WRX suffered extensive chassis damage, but after 9 days of hard work, the car was rebuilt, and back on the grid in Barcelona where he and his younger brother Kevin claimed a 1-2 finish becoming the second-ever siblings to finish first, and second in an FIA World Championship event.

The 31-year-old Swede claimed three more wins that season, in Great Britain, France, and Latvia on his way to a dramatic season finale in Cape Town. With a championship on the line, preparation is always key, “I think the key is to not treat [the championship decider] any differently. To treat it as [a normal weekend], because like, you're just gonna get in the car again and drive again. So, the secret is in keeping it simple,” Timmy Hansen told Slipstream SA.

“And I tried hard to do that, but also the nerves are there, you know what's on the line. It is that was kind of the balance to stay focused, and not to make any mistakes. But I think both me and Andreas [Bakkerud] did well. And, he delivered very, very well. And, and so did I.”

The weekend had been building up towards a winners-takes-all battle between Timmy Hansen and championship rival, Andreas Bakkerud, whilst Kevin had an outside opportunity, had the two ahead encountered bad luck. 

With a solitary point separating the two with one race remaining, the Hansen Motorsport driver knew that taking maximum points at the final race of the weekend would be enough to hand him his first FIA World RX title, and admits that his younger brother Kevin played an instrumental role in clinching the title.

“I wouldn't have been able to win that year without Kevin and I, working together,” he said. ‘’Before the semi-final, he was also in the title fight. He [Kevin] was only eight points behind coming into this final race. And, he had also done a fantastic season, but after the heats, it kind of looked like, it was going to be me and Andreas. And then he said: ‘Okay, I've got your back now.’ So, I chose to run the semifinal with used tires, because Kevin was in second place and he would cover up the inside and stay behind, you know, have my back. So I was able to run that semifinal with used tires to have four new tires on the car for the final. It would've been impossible without Kevin."

After a strong performance in the semi-final stages, the Hansen brothers secured the World RX Team Championship for Team Hansen MJP. 

The launch of a lifetime for Andreas Bakkerud at the 2019 World RX of SA.
PHOTO CREDIT: Junaid Samodien/Slipstream SA.
Having both won their respective semi-finals, it was a pretty simple, but a tense situation - Bakkerud had to win the final to become world champion, and if Hansen won, he’d also take the title. 

It all came down to this… the final! Andreas Bakkerud took the holeshot off the line, ahead of Timmy who applied tons of pressure from behind, pushing hard to overtake. The Norwegian ran a touch wide opening a gap, as Timmy launched an overtake, with slight contact between the two, Bakkerud clipped the outside wall, and hit Hansen who spun off the track and onto a grass bank. His younger brother Kevin also took avoiding action, whilst Niclas Grönholm took the lead to deny Andreas the race win, but as the race progressed Timo Scheider stopped on track, handing fourth place to Timmy, a position, which would mean the two rivals would finish the season tied on 211 points each.

Following the final, the FIA launched a rather lengthy investigation into the collision at turn seven, and later deemed that ‘no further action’ would be taken.

Ayrton Senna da Silva, once famously, said: “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you're no longer a racing driver.” 

Returning to Cape Town, after four years, Timmy Hansen explained how things really went down in the tense final: “I put a lot of pressure on him early in the lap. And, then he he overshot that fast right-hander before the hairpin. He went a bit too wide, caught in the dirt. He was wide, there's a gap, and you go into the gap. The reason we spun was because he touched the wall and went into me and spun me around. That was really unfortunate, but I think, you know, I had the move don. I was passed, but then, then we collided.”

Timmy fulfilled a life-long ambition and dream to be an FIA World Champion. 

“It’s a title that not many people have reached, and the ones that have reached it are the very greatest to have been in motorsport,” he told Slipstream SA prior to the 2019 final. 

Relive the 2019 World RX of SA with Andrew Coley. 

Sunday 8 October 2023

Scheider dedicates "emotional" victory to father, whilst Kristoffersson extends championship lead.

    PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Flawless Timo Scheider claimed an "emotional" maiden victory in South Africa today, bringing an end to Johan Kristoffersson's dominant run in the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

After finishing third on Saturday – matching his previous best result from the 2023 season – Scheider got the better of all of his rivals today to reach the top step of the podium.

The All-Inkl Munnich Motorsport driver’s day did not get off to the best of starts with a rear motor failure, which was investigated by the FIA Stewards, however, QEV technologies accepted responsibility, and therefore, the German was given a joker. His luck did not get any better picking up a puncture in Heat 1. 

Trying to correct the wrongs, he battled his way to victory in heats two and three, moving him into the overall standings lead, which meant he would secure pole position for the first semi-final. 

The German continued his strong turn in form winning both the semi-final and final [starting from pole position] crossing the chequered flag just over three-tenths-of-a-second ahead of Kevin Hansen.

“It’s pretty difficult to describe this right now. I feel quite emotional. It wasn't always easy, but we've been always fighting and trying hard to put everything together because competition in World Rallycross is pretty high and I always try to squeeze the most out of what I have. It's super, super tricky, and challenging to beat them [the other elite drivers], but today we managed, so I am not only proud of the team but also proud of myself," he said. 

"After turn one [in the final], I was like, OK, let's do this tight and clean, as good as possible, just to make your way to turn two and three. So when that worked, I was more relaxed. And right after, I just tried to focus on my race. And then the final call with the joker came from my engineer, he just gave me the call at the right time, I guess. But he said, we are clear, it felt amazing, but when we entered the last time."

"I want to dedicate this victory to my dad, who passed away last year. And to all of the fans here in Cape Town – thank you for being amazing!” he added. 

Having had the first opportunity to seal the title, Johan Kristoffersson, admitted to "completely sleeping on the start line. So, I think it's better to go when it's green [he joked]" at the start of the final, enabling Kevin to dive up the inside and into second place. 

Try as he might, the Swede was never able to get back ahead.

"After all, it was a good weekend for me, even though you always want to do more," the five-time World Champion said. "Losing Q2 set the pace for the rest of the day. I got involved in a lot of traffic. It's hard when you feel that you have the pace but you can't use it."

With victory in Cape Town, the two-time DTM Champion has moved up the championship standings to third, with just three points between him and Kevin Hansen. 

Klara Andersson crossed the finish line fourth following a much-improved display compared to the previous day, just ahead of Timmy Hansen, but their positions were switched after the 23-year-Swede was handed a penalty for a breach of AppendixI, Chapter V2 [B] of the FIA's International Sporting code. 

"It was a tough weekend. Both me and Niclas have struggled to find the feeling in the car. It is a difficult track, and the fact that I am here for the first time also plays in," she said. "We have had the same problem all weekend, and experimented with the set-up, and it felt a bit better today."

Her team-mate, Niclas Grönholm – the winner in South Africa four years ago – had a rocky start to the day having had a puncture, and contact during the other heats. 

"It was a tricky weekend. I could not put on whole race together. At times, there were some positive lap times and such, but something was missing all the time," he said.

If Niclas had issues, then OC Veiby had tissues... the Norweigan had endless car trouble, with it either shutting down on track or a crash into the barriers at turn eight, which meant he'd finish in seventh overall just ahead of All-Inkl Munnich Motorsport team owner Rene Munnich.

"I don't know what to say. It's hard to believe all the problems I had this weekend, and we couldn't solve it, because there were no spare parts," Ole Christian stated. 

The 2023 World RX Championship will now move from Cape Town to downtown Hong Kong for the series' title-deciding double-header [final rounds]. 

"It's always fun to head to a new venue in Hong Kong, so that will be fun and then also a new track is always a challenge to go there, and hopefully, a very limited amount of testing as well. It always makes it even more exciting to learn a new track," Kristoffersson said.


1. Timo Scheider [ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport]

2. Kevin Hansen [Hansen World RX Team] + 1.021s

3. Johan Kristoffersson [Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS] + 1.344s

4. Timmy Hansen [Hansen World RX Team] + 6.656s

*5. Klara Andersson [CE Dealer Team] + 6.175s 

6. Niclas Gronholm [CE Dealer Team] + 8.532s

*1 position penalty

Saturday 7 October 2023

Kristoffersson rules the roost to further extends championship lead.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Johan Kristoffersson has extended his 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship lead with another convincing win in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday afternoon.  

It wasn't all plain sailing for Kristoffersson, who had to work hard to fight back after having his unbeaten SuperPole record broken by a hungry Kevin Hansen by the slimmest of margins - 0.081s, whilst three different drivers won the heat races - Johan, Timo Scheider and Timmy Hansen. 

However, it was the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS driver who was more consistent than the rest of the field ending the heats at the summit of the standings ahead of Timmy Hansen and Scheider.

Kristoffersson and team-mate OC Veiby claimed victory in their respective semi-final. The latter had the path opened for him after Timmy Hansen hit a rutt at turn 3, which sent him straight into the barrier on the jump. The older of the Hansen brothers' kept pushing kept it pinned to bring his damaged ZERIOD X1 home in second to seal a place in the final behind the aforementioned Veiby.

Having locked out the front row, it seemed relatively simple for Johan Kristoffersson, who placed his car at a defensive angle from pole position, but with a good start, he luckily survived a turn-one squeeze in the final to make his escape, whilst the Hansen brothers' looked to make the most of their day. 

As Kristoffersson scampered off into the distance, OC Veiby came under immense pressure, to the extent that he defended quite aggressively, leading to Timo Scheider slipping up the inside of both to slot into second on the road, whilst Veiby stopped on track and was later reprimanded for the incident with Timmy. 

Kevin Hansen who jokered on lap 2, kept pushing whilst the drama happened ahead, to claim second over, whilst Johan emerged victorious by 3.915s to claim his 39th career victory. 

“It’s really good to be back and it’s always nice to win,” Kristoffersson said. “It was a tricky day, but I was lucky enough not to be in the traffic too much; I imagine it was easier for me than for the others, because it was difficult to follow with such limited visibility. These cars are a little bit different to the ones we are used to driving and the field is really tight. The first couple of corners in the final were pretty exciting and I actually thought I was going to spin in Turn Two; the track also got quite rutted in places, so I just played it safe to avoid any punctures and bring it home. Now we’ll try to do the same again tomorrow.”

Speaking in the press conference after the final, the top three drivers pointed out that the circuit was quite challenging with the amount of dust, which caused visibility issues, which they have demanded should be fixed with the use of more dust-ex. 

The action continues tomorrow at the Killarney International Racing tomorrow, with Johan potentially on the cards to lift a sixth championship title should be win the final. But, can anyon stop the Super Swede?

Friday 6 October 2023

"Every piece of the puzzle was there" to lift the 2019 title had Grönholm not suffered from appendicitis.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Niclas Grönholm has firmly established himself as one of the championship stars, with his cool, but calm demeanor. 

In the 2019 season, he was regarded as the quickest driver, and could have challenged for the 2019 title, however, due to appendicitis, he was forced to sit out of two rounds. But, he was quick to rebound with a victory in Norway, and at the season finale in Cape Town, which was overshadowed by the tense title tussle between Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud. 

Speaking to Rhea Morar at the Killarney International Raceway, the Finn said: "Obviously, it felt good [to win the 2019 World RX of South Africa]. That was the target to win some races after I missed a few races. We couldn't win the championship that was pretty clear, but overall, it still feels quite bad."

"I felt that year I was the most prepared that I've ever been. I had a really good feeling with the car and the driving, and I was physically in really good shape when the season started until I got sick."

Grönholm admits that all the stars aligned in 2019, but unfortunately, a case of appendicitis proved costly for his ambitions to be a world champion that season. 

"So, since then it's not quite the same. I think that year was really a good feeling in the team, and I think every piece of the puzzle was there, but then I didn't go to the doctor in time, but for sure, that was a good year," he said.

Audio Source/Interview Quote: Rhea Morar and Russell Atkins. 

Written By: Junaid Samodien 

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Kristoffersson looking forward to Cape Town return with "100 percent win" record.

PHOTO CREDIT: Qnigan/Kristoffersson Motorsport
The FIA World Rallycross Championship 'finally' returns with a double-header in Cape Town, South Africa following a fire at Lydden Hill that destroyed two Special One Racing cars, equipment, and a truck.

After three months on hold, the World Rallycross Championship returns after the FIA World Motor Sport Council elected to continue the championship, but with equal cars, as the investigation into the route cause of a battery fire at Lydden Hill continues. 

Five-time World Champion Kristoffersson took a firm hold on the title fight during the third round of the championship early this season. With a maximum of 69 points up for grabs, and a lead of 27 points over runner-up Niclas Grönholm.

"Finally, it will be a race again! I'm really looking forward to driving in Cape Town," Johan Kristoffersson said. 

"100 percent wins down there. Also, I won the Gymkhana in Johannesburg, so I know worse places to go than South Africa. In general, I also enjoy it there. There are nice people, a nice atmosphere, and very good food."

Despite a big lead in the championship, he doesn't feel completely confident yet.

"It is late in the year, but there are actually more than 50 percent of the competitions still left. You have to be on your guard, but after all, I'd rather sit in my seat with a 27-point lead than have to take risks and chase," the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS driver said.

Team-mate Ole Christian Veiby, on the other hand, will make his competitive debut on South African soil this weekend and said: "It'll be fun. The course looks really fun. We were also fast with these cars in Belgium. It is very important that we have driven this type of car a little before."

The Swedish squad has set a goal for the four remaining rounds - two in Cape Town and two in Hong Kong in November.

"Johan will win the driver's championship, where we will also get Ole Christian up on the podium and then we will secure the team championship," Tommy Kristoffersson, Kristoffersson Motorsport team manager, said. 

PREVIEW: World RX returns to the Mother City with a thriller in prospect.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
After over two months, the FIA World Rallycross Championship finally gets back underway in Cape Town, South Africa at the Killarney International Raceway with the first double-header of the season. 

The last time World RX visited the Mother City [in 2019], fans were treated to arguably the most tense championship fight in history, as Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud went mona-e-mona for title glory, clashing on the first lap of the final and ending up tied on points – with Hansen prevailing on countback.

Hansen returns this weekend, as he bids to close the gap to championship leader Johan Kristoffersson. The 2019 Champion failed to finish two events this year, as a result of the FIA Safety Light system. 

The World Championship has been on hold since a devastating fire destroyed Special One Racing's cars, equipment, and truck at Lydden Hill just over two months ago, but with the season now resuming using equal machinery - the ZEROID X1 cars, the battle is back on with a vengeance.

It also means that for the first time in World RX history, there will be a completely level playing field, as all competitors take to the track in equal machinery – placing the emphasis firmly on skill behind the wheel and engineering expertise to extract the very last thousandth-of-a-second.

Six of the drivers in the field have already sampled the ZEROID X1 through guest outings in the FIA RX2e Championship during the summer. Kristoffersson won the RX2e event at Mettet in Belgium, and went unbeaten in Cape Town in 2017 and 2018 – on both occasions, having already clinched the coveted crown.

This time, the fight for honors is still very much alive, and while the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS star will arrive in the ‘Mother City’ holding a 27-point advantage at the summit of the standings, his rivals are firmly focused on chasing him down.



Track Length: 0.663 miles (1.067KM)

2019 Winner: Niclas Gronholm

Asphalt/Dirt: 60%/40%

Joker Lap Loss: 2.6 seconds (approximately)


Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) 

Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team)

Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team)

Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team)

Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) 

Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team)

Timo Scheider (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport)

Rene Munnich (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport)

Round 7 &8 - World RX of South Africa (CAT Times)

HEAT 1: 14:10
HEAT 2: 14:30
HEAT 3: 15:00
FINAL: 15:35

HEAT 1: 14:10
HEAT 2: 14:30
HEAT 3: 15:00
FINAL: 15:35

1) Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - 69 POINTS

2) Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) - 42

3) Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - 38

4) Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - 35

5) Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - 33

6) Timo Scheider (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) - 31

7) Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) - 30

8) Sebastien Loeb (Special ONE Racing) - 29

9) Guerlain Chicherit (Special ONE Racing) - 27

10) Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) - 20

11) Rene Munnich (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) - Making debut in Cape Town