Sweden’s Timmy Hansen became the talk of the FIA European Rallycross Championship’s paddock after an impressive podium finish at Lydden Hill at the weekend.
To make matters even more impressive, the event was his first after switching to rallycross full-time over the winter.
Hansen said: “I’m really happy with the result, but almost more than that I’m really happy about the pace of myself and the car over the whole weekend.”
The Swede raised eyebrows when he managed to finish the first heat of the season almost two seconds faster than his closest competitor. The second heat saw him finish over two seconds ahead, and he became the first to break the three minute barrier as the times tumbled.
By asserting himself as the fastest driver in the fourth heat, he beat famous names such as Tanner Foust and Norway’s Petter Solberg. Of his performance, Hansen said: “To be two seconds faster than the next driver in rallycross is a huge gap. If you had told me we would have that pace before we came here it would have been hard to believe.”
After taking pole position for the first semi-final, a transmission problem on his Citroen DS3 meant that Hansen had to settle for second in the race. With no time to fix the issue before the final, he had to change his driving to compensate.
Foust won the final event, with Finnish Jussi-Petteri Leppihalme behind in second. Hansen was able to salvage third, but his performance has certainly excited followers for the next round in Portugal at the end of April.
Hansen said: “I stayed really focused on what I had to do. It’s amazing to finish third with such tough competition. I am going to enjoy this feeling. Portugal will be tough because I have never been there before, but I am going to study data and videos hard to learn as much as I can.”