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18/10/2021 News

Hansen World RX Team lands telling blow in Montalegre!

MONTALEGRE, Portugal, October 18th - The Hansen World RX Team was widely expected – and perhaps needed – to bounce back at the penultimate round of this season’s world rallycross championship held in Montalegre, Portugal.

After making an excellent start to the season, the famous Swedish family having racked up three wins at as many meetings, the last three races had seen Johan Kristoffersson – their greatest rival in the title hunt – score some crucial points and make up ground on the leaders. However, Timmy – the elder sibling and 2019 world champion – was convinced that that Portuguese track and its higher level of grip would be more suited to their TotalEnergies-backed Peugeot 208 WRXs. He wasted no time in demonstrating that his belief was well-founded, winning three out of four races in the qualifying rounds to secure a decisive pole position for his semi-final. His younger brother Kevin almost matched him, taking third position in the qualifying rounds, notably winning his race in Q4.

The brothers maintained their excellent form to secure a fine one-two in the semi-final. However, they didn't have it all their own way in the final. Niclas Grönholm, a fourth competitor, opted to take an early joker lap right at the start, a strategy that paid off as he held on for victory. Timmy Hansen nonetheless turned his impressive competitiveness this weekend into a fine second place. It felt a little bit like a win for the Swedish ace as it put him clear again at the top of the drivers’ standings. His younger brother Kevin joined him on the podium, finishing third after Johan Kristoffersson was handed a five-second penalty for failing to stay within the track limits during an intense, hard-fought final between the leading WRX drivers. With just twenty-nine points now separating the top four in the drivers’ standings, the final double-header of the 2021 season at the Nürburgring, Germany, looks set to provide a thrilling conclusion to the championship, especially as there will be some sixty points up for grabs for the title contenders.

Championship update

In finishing as runner-up, Timmy Hansen added five points to his advantage over Johan Kristoffersson, his closest challenger in the championship standings, to extend his lead to seventeen points. Meanwhile, his younger brother Kevin is now just two points behind Kristoffersson, thus keeping his chances of winning the title very much alive.