Timmy Hansen was thrilled to reward Team Hansen’s hard work between the World Rallycross Championship season opener at Höljes and this weekend’s Kouvola round with his first series podium since last year’s Latvia round.
The reigning World RX Champion struggled for much of the Höljes double-header, where brother and team-mate Kevin Hansen was able to salvage a podium but Timmy was nowhere near his world-beating best.
Work was crammed into the four days between the two rounds at Höljes in Sweden and the next two at Kouvola in Finland, and the Swedish team now appears to have closed the gap to the front of the field.
“I’m happy for this [podium]. It’s a huge step from Höljes last weekend when we didn’t really know what was going on, and Kevin claimed a P2 but we were a bit off the pace,” Hansen said after the first Finland final. “And to find it through all the work we’ve done this week, it has been very hectic, and to be rewarded with a podium right now is incredible.”
The result, which was built on a first race win of 2020 for Timmy Hansen in Q1, marked a step forward for the team. But it still has some way to go to match the pace of event winner Johan Kristoffersson and his ex-works Volkswagen Polo.
“We couldn’t touch Johan today, he’s a step in front, and we need to continue to work very hard,” Hansen conceded. “[But] there are many things we want to improve, and although it is a short season, it’s a long season, so we’re going to work hard.”
Hansen also had to contend with an unlikely rival in the form of Finnish RX Champion Juha Rytkönen, who ended up finishing second on his World RX debut.
“He drove a brilliant race today, and when he took the joker I knew that we were racing for position and Dad on my radio was pushing me so hard, especially those two last laps was absolutely everything I could give it,” Hansen said of Rytkönen’s performance in the final.
“I’m all sweaty. The sweat was dripping from my face, on the jump it was landing in my eyes, that’s how hard I was pushing. I’m happy for this, I’m happy that I had a run like that, it feels great.”