Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Kevin Hansen promoted to World RX winner at Yas Marina Circuit after Niclas Gronholm handed three-second penalty

GRX Taneco Hyundai i20 driver penalised for coming together with Hansen during inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship of Abu Dhabi

The result of the World RX race at the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship of Abu Dhabi was sensationally reversed on Sunday after Niclas Gronholm was handed a three-second penalty.

The GRX Taneco Hyundai i20 driver was first past the finish line at Yas Marina Circuit in Saturday's race, edging out Peugeot’s Kevin Hansen in a fierce battle that went down to the wire in the six-lap final.

It was a first win of the 22-year-old Gronholm's FIA World Rallycross Championship career, but the three-second penalty for a coming together with Hansen saw him relegated to second place with the Swede promoted to race winner.

Liam Doran in the Monster Energy RX Cartel Audi S1 claimed his first podium by taking third.

Saturday was the opening round of the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Al Tareq Al Ameri, chief executive of Yas Marina Circuit, said: “The final was a fantastic way to finish what has been an incredible weekend and we are delighted to have opened the World Rallycross 2019 season in Abu Dhabi,

“Once again, we have proved that Yas Marina Circuit is a world-class venue capable of hosting globally resonant events. We would like to offer our congratulations to all the drivers and teams that participated, as well as our thanks to our valued partners whose support made this weekend possible.”

Torben Olsen, managing director of the FIA World Rallycross Championship for IMG, the series promoter, added: “Our first visit to the UAE has been a resounding success.

“The people of Abu Dhabi have embraced World RX and we have been delighted to bring world-class rallycross to a region which already has a strong motorsport following.

Updated: April 7, 2019 06:53 PM