Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Swedish driver wins world title after championship comes down to final race.
came out on top in the world title fight after a decisive final weekend
of racing at the World RX of South Africa that ended in the most
dramatic possible manner. In addition to Timmy taking the drivers’
title, Team Hansen MJP were also confirmed as team champions. Here is all you need to know:
After nine rounds of fierce competition spread across the globe, the
championship went into the final weekend on a knife-edge. Timmy Hansen led on 187 points, just a single point ahead of Bakkerud. Then came Kevin Hansen in third on 179 points, within sight of the title if everything went his way
– For Timmy Hansen
and Bakkerud the sums required were straightforward. If either of them
were able to race the perfect weekend and take the maximum 30 points on
offer then they would be crowned world champion.
– World RX drivers had only managed to claim the full 30 points at four of the nine race weekends leading up to South Africa. Kevin Hansen (Abu Dhabi) and Niclas Grönholm (Hell) had both driven one perfect weekend, while Timmy Hansen had pulled off the feat twice (Catalunya and Silverstone).
– Saturday saw Timmy Hansen
out of the blocks quickly to top Q1, before finishing a disappointing
ninth in Q2, although crucially two places better off than Bakkerud.
Timmy started Sunday’s decisive action the strongest, topping Q3 to
overtake overnight leader Grönholm and beat Bakkerud into second.
Grönholm came back strongly in Q4 however, topping the standings ahead
of Timmy and Bakkerud in second and third respectively, with Kevin one
place back in fourth. Although the result confirmed TQ for Grönholm, the
points gained were enough to seal the Teams’ Championship for Team Hansen MJP and give Timmy a two-point lead over Bakkerud heading into the semis.
The semi-finals saw Bakkerud just able to hold off the challenge of the
flying Grönholm in SF1, while the Hansens steered clear of trouble as
they contested SF2. with Timmy taking P1 and pole position for the
final; pushing the title decider right down to the last race of the
season. The equation was at least simple by now: if Andreas Bakkerud won the final, he’d be world champion, and if Timmy Hansen won it, he’d take the title.
The final proved to be as dramatic as befits such a thrilling season.
Bakkerud took the holeshot off the line, before Timmy, pushing hard to
overtake, came together with the Norwegian and span into the wall early
on. However, with Grönholm taking the lead to deny Bakkerud the race
win, and Timmy managing to get back on track to finish in P4 after Timo Scheider‘s
retirement, the two rivals finished the season tied on 211 points each.
Timmy therefore won the title based on having won four races this
season to Bakkerud’s one.
– The result is still subject to an inquiry concerning the coming together between Timmy and Bakkerud in the final race.
– Timmy Hansen
said: “This didn’t exist for me, to come past the final, it wasn’t on
my mind. I’m in shock. I was so focused, I think I put in the
performance of my lifetime this weekend. Now I’m in shock. What a season
it’s been and to end it as world champion… I’ve been dreaming about
this my whole life, since I was a kid. It feels amazing, it’s everything
that I wished for”