28-29 june 2014
The fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship took place at the scenic venue of Kouvola in Finland. With day one held in mixed weather, the second day of the event was subjected to torrentially wet conditions.
Both Timur Timerzyanov and Timmy Hansen qualified for the semi-finals, despite Hansen rolling his Peugeot 208 WRX in heat three. With damage to body parts and mechanical components from the crash, the experienced Team Peugeot-Hansen showed fantastic team spirit and produced the performance of the weekend, repairing the damaged car in time for heat four to give Hansen the chance to join team mate Timerzyanov in the semi-finals.
Starting together in semi-final one, Timerzyanov and Hansen made amazing starts, Timerzyanov was up to second position at the first corner while Hansen was boxed in by the cars around him. In unexpectedly slippery conditions, Timerzyanov slide into a barrier on the first lap, retiring from the race with two punctures, while Hansen made a mistake on lap two, sliding into a bank after braking too late for turn two.
Timur Timerzyanov: “We have learnt a lot here and we will continue to fight for the World Championship.”
Russian driver Timerzyanov was happy with both his own and the 208’s pace in Finland, and feels he could have qualified higher up for the semi-finals had he not been stuck in traffic in heat four. The double European Rallycross Champion is confident that the team has made another big step forward with the new car in Finland.
“We had a good weekend, apart from the semi-final. We worked hard to get a good setup for the rain, so we know what to do in these conditions now. In the semi-final, both me and Timmy made brilliant starts, and I tried to get to the lead at the first corner. I ran wide on the gravel, then I think I took a touch from another car and hit the wall which gave me two punctures, so I had to stop. We have learnt a lot here and we will continue to fight for the World Championship.”
Timmy Hansen: “The work the guys did was fantastic to fix the car after the roll.”
Fourth overall at the end of day one, Hansen had eyes on the top of the Intermediate Classification, until he rolled his car in heat three. The young Swede drove a clean race in heat four in his repaired car to line up for the semi-finals. Having perfected the launch procedure for the wet conditions, Hansen made a great start but was stuck behind other cars in the first corner, and slid off the track on the second lap.
“There was nothing wrong with the car all weekend. The roll was unlucky, I went for a gap behind the car in front and then got a touch in the side which put me into the wall. The work the guys did was fantastic to fix the car. In the semi-final the start was perfect. Then at the start of lap two I made a mistake. I braked at the same place as I had all weekend but it was so slippery I just went into the bank. It feels so disappointing that we have so much pace, but we are not able to show that in results yet. We will, we just need some luck.”
Kenneth Hansen: “Our guys never, ever give up.”
With eighteen European rallycross championships to his name as a team owner and driver, Kenneth Hansen’s team are one of the most experienced in the World Rallycross paddock, and performed a fantastic display of team spirit in the face of adversity by repairing Timmy Hansen’s 208 WRX after he rolled out of heat three.
“When I first saw the car I thought the damage wasn’t too bad, but then we realised that the gearbox was damaged and we had to change that too, so I wasn’t too sure. But our guys never, ever give up. The engine was fine so we changed the gearbox, suspension, brake and body parts and got Timmy back out. It’s incredible what the guys did really. The wet conditions were hard for everybody today, but we understand our car better with each event and we are really looking forward to Holjes next weekend.”
The fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place next weekend at Holjes, Sweden (5th - 6th July). The Holjes event is widely regarded as the one of the biggest in the sport, in 2013 over 30,000 attended the venue where Swedish based Team Peugeot-Hansen are hoping for a strong result.
FIA World Rallycross Championship round four, Finland: Final Result
1 Tanner Foust (VW Polo)
2 Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta)
3 Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta)
4 Kryzstof Skorupski (LD Motorsports, Citroen DS3)
5 Anton Marklund (Marklund Motorsport, VW Polo)
6 Joni-Pekka Rajala (Hedstroms Motorsport, Skoda Fabia)
FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers standings (after round 4 / 12):
1 Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta), 96 points
2 Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta), 82 points
3 Petter Solberg (PSRX, Citroen DS3), 80 points
4 Toomas Heikkinen (Marklund Motorsport, VW Polo), 74 points
5 Anton Marklund (Marklund Motorsport, VW Polo), 61 points
6 Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen, Peugeot 208) 48 points
7 Timur Timerzyanov (Team Peugeot-Hansen, Peugeot 208) 48 points
FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams standings (after round 4 / 12):
1 OlsbergsMSE/Ford, 178 points
2 Marklund Motorsport/Volkswagen, 135 points
3 Team Peugeot-Hansen, 96 points
4 PSRX, 92 points
5 Monster Energy World RX Team, 33 points
6 Albatec Racing, 14 points