Timmy Hansen makes final despite suffering qualifying Hell

A big crash in Q3 couldn't prevent Hansen from reaching the final - Photo credit: Paulo Maria / DPPI

A complex weekend for Timmy Hansen in Norway: Team Peugeot-Hansen‘s Swedish driver started round six of the FIA World Rallycross Championship with his car being fitted with an older-specification engine, just like his French team-mate, Sébastien Loeb, as a precautionary measure, due to the newer powerplants failing to comply with certain parameters.

Despite having to drive a seemingly handicapped car, Hansen immediately showed good pace in the qualifying heats, until Q3. In the third qualifying round, Timmy’s car sustained serious front-end damage, after contact with Petter Solberg‘s VW Polo caused him to crash into a concrete wall.

He escaped unhurt and Peugeot-Hansen’s mechanics worked wonders to get it ready on time for Q4, where the Swede made up for his previous DNF with a strong performance, qualifying for the semi-finals.

His run in the semi granted him a back-row starting position for the final, and on to a fifth-overall finish.

If someone had suggested that I would reach the final after what happened in Q3, I would never have believed them!, Hansen says.

“All the mechanics pulled together to do an incredible job after my crash, though, and it was their commitment that enabled me to come away with more valuable championship points and get both our PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2017s into the final.

“It wasn’t an ideal weekend overall and that’s a shame because I think I had the speed to challenge for the podium.

“Unfortunately, I made a small mistake which cost me vital tenths of a second.

Timmy Hansen and the whole Peugeot-Hansen outfit will be facing their next challenge, round seven, on home soil at the Höljesbanan in Höljes, Sweden. Deep in the forests of Värmland, Hansen was, back in 2015, the pivotal character in one of the most controversial moments in the history of World Rallycross, performing his famous last-corner overtake on Audi rival Mattias Ekström.

Subsequently, stewards reviewed his move, handing Timmy with a two-second time penalty for exceeding track limits, enough for Ekström to inherit his second win on the Swedish racetrack. Last year, Peugeot completed the podium with Loeb second and Timmy third, behind Andreas Bakkerud‘s winning Ford Focus.