After an incredible fight between Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen, Hansen took his first win of the year in round seven of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Barcelona.
The big news coming into the semi-finals was that Enzo Ide had reportdely suffered a problem which crucially allowed Robin Larsson to line up on the back row of the grid for semi-final two.
The grid for semi -final one lined up with Kristoffersson and Andreas Bakkerud on row one, Mattias Ekström and Timur Timerzyanov on row two, and Timo Scheider & Oliver Bennett on the back row.
It was an even start between Bakkerud and Kristoffersson but Ekström got an excellent start from row two, however he was blocked by both cars in front and couldn’t capitalise. Kristoffersson took the lead ahead of Bakkerud. Another problem for Scheider saw him unfortunately retiring from the race.
An early joker for Ekström paid off as he fought side-by-side with Bakkerud on the joker merge. The Norwegian tried to go around the outside but was shown the gravel trap by his old teammate. Ekström slotted ahead and took second while Kristoffersson took the win and pole for the final
Timmy Hansen & Kevin Hansen shared the front row for semi-final two. Niclas Grönholm & Anton Marklund lined up on row two while Liam Doran and Robin Larsson lined up on the back row.
It was a great start for Kevin who managed to slot in front of his brother into turn one. Larsson was fighting hard and tried a move around the outside of turn two to try and take third from Marklund but it didn’t work. There were problems for the megane of Doran as he spun coming off the jump and again in the long left-hander, dropping him out of contention.
Grönholm managed to beat Marklund at the joker merge securing him a spot in the final. It was a fight between the brothers for the front row and it was Timmy who got the better of Kevin at the joker merge, the former putting in some really fast laps to secure his spot on the front row next to Kristoffersson.
Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen lined up on row one, Ekström and Kevin Hansen on row two, and Bakkerud and Grönholm on row three. Timmy was the only driver with a brand new set of tyres to use for the six lap shootout. Would this help his cause?
Off the line it was an even start between Hansen and Kristoffersson. Once again, Kristoffersson was squeezed to the inside wall and almost went up on two wheels but managed to keep the lead.
Timmy was flying and the Peugeot was glued to the back of Kristoffersson’s Polo. A lap three joker from Timmy gave him clean air to try and bring the gap down. A mistake further down by Ekström allowed Grönholm to slot in front for fourth place.
Kevin Hansen then jokered and came out in front of Grönholm to secure his spot on the podium. Timmy was on a big push and was rapidly bringing the gap down to Kristoffersson.
It all came down to the last lap joker merge and Timmy managed to shut the door on Kristoffersson, who hit the back of him in the long left hander sending his front wheels into the air. It wasn’t enough though and Timmy held on to take a sensational tenth career win and his first of the 2020 season.
Kristoffersson remains at the top of the standings after round seven, extending the gap to Ekström, who could only manage fifth today.
The FIA World Rallycross action from Barcelona continues with round eight tomorrow, so stay tuned here on The Checkered Flag to find out what happens.