Timmy Hansen: „It was fun to race here“

Timmy Hansen’s Sunday at Essay couldn’t have started any worse after he spun in Q1, but come the end of the day, that was nothing more than a distant memory after he schooled the field in the second half of the day.

He recovered to not only top qualifying, but dominated his semi-final and the final, avoiding the drama which was unfolding behind him.

„It was a tough way through the qualifying,“ he said. „It’s so difficult here to keep the lead, and if you’re not in the lead it’s a big fight to try and get there. You can’t rely on any speed so you have to pass and that’s what made it tough, but it was great racing.“

„It was difficult but once I got into pole in the semi-final, I made a brilliant launch in the semi and the final and that’s just a massive part of the race and I’m happy I could nail it when it was most needed.“

Sunday was filled with a number of on-track incidents as drivers pushed to find the limit of TitansRX’s reduced contact rules. The different approach created some of the best rallycross racing seen in recent years.

„I love this kind of racing, you can be harder because that definitely does open up more opportunities on track and [creates] better racing, and you know that if you’re in front you’re not safe so you have to protect your place,“ said Hansen.

„We’re all exploring where the limit lies in the racing. We’re just starting to learn how hard we can drive between eachother and I think that’s going to be a relationship between the race director and the drivers on track, that we’ll learn what’s acceptable.“

A key moment in Sunday’s final was the start, where Hansen and his brother Kevin squeezed Craig Breen going into the first corner. The pair settled into a comfortable one-two, which they maintained until the chequered flag. While the move appeared the be the result of perfect choreography, it was merely a result of the seasoned rallycross veterans getting off the line better.

„I’d like to say it was planned, but it wasn’t,“ Hansen quipped. „I had a good launch and he [Kevin] did as well, and that was just the way that it went.“

„I was very impressed with Craig, how he handled when I tried to pass him in Q2,“ he added, referring to an earlier on-track battle with the Irishman. „I was all over him and he managed to stay in front. I gave it everything I had, all the tricks in the book but he kept in front. That is very impressive for not having raced before.“

Next up for TitansRX is Lydden Hill, where the future of top-level rallycross will head to where discipline was born in the 1960s. With the first rounds now out of the way, Hansen believes the series will continue to improve once it lands in the UK.

„It was fun to race here, it’s a great challenge and the difference from yesterday to today was that we’re all getting warm, we’re all getting into that series, we’re all learning the car, and I think that when we get to Lydden it’s going to be even better,“ he said.

„I think it’s going to be brilliant. I know that Lydden is a track that naturally opens up for overtaking so I think it’s going to suit this car really well. It’s a fast track and of course I’m only guessing but I’m looking forward to driving there.“

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