Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 April 2019

Timmy Hansen shines in Abu Dhabi to start FIA World Rallycross Championship in style

Triumphant in both qualifying heats at Yas Marina Circuit

Timmy Hansen was delighted with his start to the new FIA World Rallycross Championship season after winning both qualifying heats on Friday at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Andreas Bakkerud, the Audi S1 driver from Norway was second fastest in the Qualifier 2, behind Hansen, ahead of the Hyundai’s i20 pair Reinis Nitiss of Latvia and Finn Niclas Gronholm.

This was after Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin were quickest in the Qualifier 1 earlier in the afternoon.

“What a start to the season in this new team,” said Timmy Hansen of his results.

“We have worked 100 times, so hard, harder than ever, just to be here. This is the perfect start for the team with my brother and I, one and two.

“I’m quiet touched with the work the guys have done. To get this result is a huge relief and to know we are there. The car was fantastic.”

Hansen was also all praise for the new venue and the circuit in Abu Dhabi, the first of the 10 rounds in the RX calendar.

“It’s a fantastic circuit,” he said when asked of his first full race over the 1,200-metre track which is 60 per cent asphalt and 40 per cent dirt.

“I must say it’s one of the best in the world RX calendar we have done. It’s a big challenge to go faster here and you have to be very clever to go through the Formula One section in the beginning.

“The there’s a difficult run coming into the chicane after the back straight and that hairpin in the uphill section is one of the most technical and difficult corners I have ever done.

“Coming in at high speed, balancing the car, and you have to stand on the breaks, and when you are balancing on the grid, you can break so late. It’s a fantastic circuit to race.”

There are two more heats on Saturday afternoon before the semi-finals and final take place at 7pm.

Updated: April 5, 2019 08:44 PM

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