Timmy Hansen wins second round of the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship

Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) won the second round of the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Höljes in Sweden today (August 22). With brother Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208), winner of the 2021 opening round of World RX, finishing second the success was complete for Hansen World RX Team. There were also victories at Höljes for Thomas Bryntesson (VW Polo Mk5) in the European RX1 championship, for Jesse Kallio in the RX2e championship and for Yury Belevskiy (Audi A1) in the European RX3 championship.

After the first day of action at Höljes Timmy Hansen and Johan Kristoffersson (Audi S1) both were sharing the lead in the intermediate classification with a fastest and second fastest time. Q3 on Sunday went to Kevin Abbring (Renault Megane Mk4) while Timmy Hansen drove to the fastest time in Q4 securing himself the top qualifier position.

Kevin Abbring (Renault Mégane Mk4) drove to the fastest time in Q3. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

In the first World RX semi-final Timmy Hansen and Kevin Abbring were sharing the front row. Finns Niclas Grönholm (Hyundai i20) and Juha Rytkönen (Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST) were on the second row. Hansen went into the lead after the start ahead of Abbring and Rytkönen with Grönholm passing through the joker lap section immediately after the start. Abbring passed through the joker lap section the lap after and joined the main track as fourth behind Grönholm. When Rytkönen made his obligatory pass in the joker it looked like positions were sealed for the final with Hansen, Grönholm and Abbring. Grönholm then picked up a 5-second time penalty for “cutting the corner” putting him in fifth place in favor of Juha Rytkönen who was allowed to start in the final.

The second World RX semi-final had Johan Kristoffersson and Krisztian Szabó (Hyundai i20) on the front row. Kevin Hansen and Enzo Ide (Audi S1) started from the second row. Kristoffersson took the lead from Szabó with Hansen making it into the joker lap section. In the third lap Kristoffersson was forced to retire giving the lead to Szabó ahead of Hansen and Ide. Hansen eventually passed Szabó and won it from the Hungarian and the Belgian.

Start of the World RX final with Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) going into the lead ahead of his brother Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208). (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

An unpredicted World RX final – without Johan Kristoffersson and Niclas Grönholm – had the Hansen brothers on the front row. The second row was occupied by Kevin Abbring and Krisztián Szabó while the grid was completed by Juha Rytkönen and Enzo Ide. Timmy and Kevin Hansen were leading it after the start from Rytkönen and Szabó while Abbring and Ide opted for an early joker. During the second lap Abbring already closed the gap with Szabó. Rytkönen was next for the joker lap allowing Szabó and Abbring to climb to third and fourth respectively. In the following laps the gap between the Hansens and Szabó was growing. Therefore when all three passed through the joker lap section Abbring was able to claim third place but victory went to Timmy Hansen ahead of his brother Kevin [Hansen].

The World RX podium at Höljes with from left to right: Kevin Hansen, Timmy Hansen and Kevin Abbring. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

“It’s been a fantastic weekend,” Timmy Hansen said after the final. “I’ve been trying to win here for a long time and came super close on a number of occasions, and now finally we did it. This is a magic moment and I’m super happy.

“It was a shame to see Johan [Kristoffersson] not make the final because I was looking forward to continuing the battle.

“From our side, every session went smoothly and I’m very happy with the pace we’ve had. It shows that all our hard work over the winter has paid off.

“The first two rounds of the season have gone perfectly for us, and now we need to continue to focus and keep on working hard.”

Timmy Hansen is now leading it in the standings with 57 points. Kevin Hansen and Krisztián Szabó are in second and third with respectively 51 and 40 points.

In RX2e Fraser McConnell was the top qualifier. He won the first semi-final and together with Linus Östlund and Patrick O’Donovan qualified for the final. The second semi-final was won by Jesse Kallio who qualified second. Guillaume De Ridder and Isak Sjökvist were the other qualifiers for the final.

In the RX2e final Jesse Kallio lead if from start to finish. Guillaume De Ridder went into the joker lap section in the opening lap but the strategy didn’t really pay off for him. Kallio, McConnell and Sjökvist ran one to third and were by the end of the race largely ahead of De Ridder, who ran fourth. Therefore all three kept there positions when they all passed through the joker lap section in the final lap. In the standings after two events De Ridder is leading it with 51 points ahead of Jesse Kallio with 50 points.

Guillaume De Ridder (RX2e) is leading it in the standing after two events. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

After qualifying in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX1 cars eventually Thomas Bryntesson was topping the intermediate standings. With Q4 still to come, it looked like it was going to be played between Anton Marklund (VW Polo Mk5) and Fabien Pailler (Peugeot 208) for the top qualifying position. However an incident in Q4 involving Marklund, where he rolled the Polo and recorded a DNF, ruled him out. After Q4 came to an end initially Fabien Pailler was the top qualifier but after the Frenchman received a 5-second time penalty for track markers he dropped down to fourth in the intermediate standings. Marklund, despite his DNF, still got classified second with Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Peugeot 208) third.

The first RX1 semi-final had Bryntesson and Jean-Baptiste Dubourg on the front row. It was won by Bryntesson who lead it from start to finish from Jean-Baptiste Dubourg. The latter passed through the joker lap section in the third lap and remained second in the race. Bryntesson did the same in the final lap. The “real” battle in semi-final one was between Andreas Bakkerud (Škoda Fabia Mk3) and Andréa Dubourg (Peugeot 208). Eventually the Frenchman came in third in the semi-final but was later on set back to fourth place for pushing following a decision of the Stewards of the Meeting.

The second RX1 semi-final went underway with Fabien Pailler and René Münnich (SEAT Ibiza) as front row starters. Both went as one and two after a start filled with an incident between Hungarians Tamás Kárai (Audi S1) and “CSUCSU” (Renault Clio Mk4). Then Münnich went off the track while running second and not that much later, the race was also over for Fabien Pailler when his Peugeot lost a front wheel while he was in the lead. Eventually the other Pailler – Jonathan Pailler (Peugeot 208) – came in first ahead of “CSUCSU” and Kárai. Remarkable, “CSUCSU” initially was not part of the semi-final as he qualified as 13th in the intermediate standings. Due to the fact that Marklund was unable to start in the semi-final the Hungarian was the first reserve driver that was brought in to complete a six-car-grid.

Thomas Bryntesson (VW Polo Mk5) won Euro RX1 ahead of Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Peugeot 208) and Andreas Bakkerud (Škoda Fabia Mk3). (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

Bryntesson won the start in the RX1 final with Dubourg making it in second from the second row. Bakkerud who started from the third row immediately went into the joker lap section. From there Bakkerud kept pushing and was running fourth by the end of the third lap behind Jonathan Pailler. Pailler only went into the joker lap section in the lap after and therefore Bakkerud wasn’t able to close the gap with the leaders. Dubourg choose the penultimate lap and Bryntesson the last lap for the joker lap and both drivers kept their positions. Bryntesson won the RX1 opening round with Dubourg and Bakkerud completing the podium.

In the FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX3 cars qualifying went to Yury Belevskiy. He was already fastest during Q1, Q2 and Q3 on Saturday. Today he added another fastest time to it in Q4 to become the top qualifier. Jan Černý (Škoda Citigo) was second fastest in Q2 and Q4 and second in the intermediate classification. Janno Ligur (Škoda Fabia Mk3), second fastest in Q1, was third. Kobe Pauwels (Audi A1), who was in third after Q3 yesterday, got a DNF in Q4 dropping him to seventh in the intermediate standings.

Jan Černý (Škoda Citigo) was second in the Euro RX3 intermediate classification. (© Johnny Loix)

The first RX3 semi-final with Belevskiy on pole and Ligur beside him was won by the first named with Ligur coming in second. Third place finisher was initially Timur Shigaboutdinov (Audi A1). However, in the final lap when Shigaboutdinov came out of the joker lap and had to battle it out with Kobe Pauwels the Russian – according to the Stewards – was “cutting the corner”. For cutting the corner he was penalized with 5 seconds and therefore was set back to fifth place. Pauwels was allowed to join Belevskiy and Ligur to the final. The second RX3 semi-final was won by Marat Knyazev (Audi A1) from Jan Černý and Poland’s Damian Litwinowicz (Audi A1).

For the RX 3 final four (out of six) of the by Volland Racing prepared Audis made it to the grid with Belevskiy and Knyazev on the front row and Pauwels and Litwinowicz on the third row. The final delivered another win for Belevskiy therefore scoring a clean sweep at Höljes. Belevskiy won the start and lead it from Knyazev and Černý. Pauwels from the last row passed through the joker lap section in the opening lap. From there he kept the pace and was soon on the tail of Černý who still had to pass through the joker lap section. When Knyazev passed through the joker lap section Pauwels was able to climb to second behind Belevskiy who was out of reach. The RX3 podium turned into a Volland Racing lock out with Pauwels and Knyazev joining Belevskiy on the podium. Belevskiy is also leading it in the standings after two events with the maximum amount of 60 points, 17 points clear on Kobe Pauwels (43 points) who is currently second.

Höljes was a clean sweep for Yury Belevskiy (Audi A1) in Euro RX3. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

The next round of the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship is on September 4-5 at Lohéac (Circuit de Lohéac) in France.


World RX – Final: 1. Timmy Hansen (S), Peugeot 208; 2. Kevin Hansen (S), Peugeot 208; 3. Kevin Abbring (NL), Renault Mégane Mk4; 4. Enzo Ide (B), Audi S1; 5. Krisztián Szabó (H), Hyundai i20; 6. Juha Rytkönen (FIN), Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST;

RX2e – Final: 1. Jesse Kallio (FIN), RX2e; 2. Fraser McConnell (JAM), RX2e; 3. Isak Sjökvist (S), RX2e; 4. Guillaume De Ridder (B), RX2e; 5. Linus Östlund (S), RX2e; 6. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), RX2e;

Euro RX1 – Final: 1. Thomas Bryntesson (N), VW Polo Mk5; 2. Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (F), Peugeot 208; 3. Andreas Bakkerud (N), Škoda Fabia Mk3; 4. Tamás Kárai (H), Audi S1; 5. Jonathan Pailler (F), Peugeot 208; 6. “CSUCSU” (H), Renault Clio Mk4;

Euro RX3 – Final: 1. Yury Belevskiy (RUS), Audi A1; 2. Kobe Pauwels (B), Audi A1; 3. Marat Knyazev (RUS), Audi A1; 4. Jan Černý (CZ), Škoda Citigo; 5. Janno Ligur (EST), Škoda Fabia Mk3; 6. Damian Litwinowicz (PL), Audi A1;


World RX (2/9): 1. Timmy Hansen (S), 57; 2. Kevin Hansen (S), 51; 3. Krisztián Szabó (H), 40; 4. Kevin Abbring (NL), 37; 5. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 37; etc.

RX2e (2/5): 1. Guillaume De Ridder (B), 51; 2. Jesse Kallio (FIN), 50; 3. Fraser McConnel (JAM), 49; 4. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), 35; 5. Pablo Suárez (E), 31; etc.

Euro RX1 (1/4): 1. Thomas Bryntesson (N), 30; 2. Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (F), 24; 3. Andreas Bakkerud (N), 18; 4. Jonathan Pailler (F), 17; 5. Anton Marklund (S), 15; etc.

Euro RX3 (2/5): 1. Yury Belevskiy (RUS), 60; 2. Kobe Pauwels (B), 47; 3. Marat Knyazev (RUS), 41; 4. Jan Černý (CZ), 38; 5. Timur Shigaboutdinov (RUS), 36; etc.