It is not know exactly when the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship season will get underway, so The Checkered Flag spoke to the current champion Timmy Hansen to reflect on last year.
Hansen was arguably the big favourite going into the 2019 season after some of the sport’s biggest names left the series.
A huge crash between himself and Andreas Bakkerud was the worst possible start for the Swede and Hansen knew it would be an uphill task from Abu Dhabi onwards: “I was disappointed that the season didn’t start the way that I had hoped, and worried because we were on a very tight budget and a crash like that was not what we wanted to begin the season.
“But at the same time I was very happy to see Kevin win his first race in World RX. We supported each other all the way throughout the season.“
Timmy bounced back in style at the next round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as he became the third driver in the championship’s history to do the clean sweep – top all four qualifying sessions, win your semi-final and the final. To make it the perfect weekend, brother Kevin was second in a Hansen 1-2: “It was a fantastic feeling. Specially because Kevin was 2nd and we could celebrate together.“
There were plenty of twists and turns throughout the next few events but it was that final qualifying race in Canada that Hansen points out was the toughest part of the year and something that was very tough to overcome: “I lost a lot of points in the championship in Canada. After that race I thought my chances of becoming champion were over. I just kept on racing as well as I could after that.”
Going into the finale in South Africa, Hansen was mentally prepared for the inevitable battle that would decide who became champion: I was very focused on EXACTLY what I needed to do. Just drive my car as best as I could. I took one race at a time and remained focused on myself.
In the end he did become champion following some controversy. More than four months on, he still finds it difficult to describe the feeling: “It’s hard to say, I know I’m champion and it feels good, but in the same time I’m still the same guy and not much has really changed in my life.
Hansen will defend his title in 2020 with Team Hansen for the second consecutive season. In 2018 he had factory backing so I asked him what the differences were: “Both have their separate advantages. I enjoyed being a factory driver, but it has also been a great experience running a small team like we have done since.”
The 27-year-old is working hard to prepare for the upcoming season when it hopefully does get underway within the next few months: “I think I’m more relaxed when driving today than I was 5 years ago. I believe in myself and do my own thing now.“
Nobody knows when we will see any motorsport this year, so rallycross fans will just have to wait and see as to when the season does get underway.