Latvia World RX: Hansen to take one-point lead into finale after win

Timmy Hansen moved to the head of the World Rallycross Championship standings by a single point after fighting back to victory in the Latvian round

Latvia World RX: Hansen to take one-point lead into finale after win

Hansen placed only 15th overall at the end of the opening day at Bikernieki in Riga, after retiring from his Q2 race when he made contact with European Champion Robin Larsson at the first corner.

But as bone dry conditions turned to full wet on Sunday morning for the remaining two qualifiers, Hansen set the best time in Q3 and Q4 to climb to second in the intermediate classification, behind then points leader Andreas Bakkerud.

Norwegian Bakkerud started the Latvia round two points ahead of Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin, and stayed out of trouble in the Sunday morning qualifiers to secure top qualifying position - thereby extending his championship margin by a single point.

He then survived a dramatic opening corner in the first semi-final from pole position, where contact with the fast-starting Renault Megane of Anton Marklund, coupled with all six of the competitors running deep, dropped the Audi S1 racer to second after the first sequence of corners.

However, he immediately dived up the inside of RX Cartel team-mate Liam Doran into Turn 4 to take the lead and claimed victory, which gave him pole for the final.

Hansen meanwhile started semi-final two from the front row alongside team-mate and brother Kevin, and made the best start from pole as Kevin shut the door on Latvian driver Reinis Nitiss to run second - the duo finishing in that order.

With the rain having eased, but the circuit still soaking, Hansen then made the best launch of the front row protagonists in the final, while Timur Timerzyanov made the best start of all from the third row but ran wide at Turn 1.

Bakkerud dropped into the pack through the Turn 1/2 chicane, ending the first lap fourth after passing Doran, who was also jumped by Kevin Hansen at Turn 3.

Timerzyanov ran third on the opening lap, but made a mistake at the hairpin after the jump and ran wide, handing a place to Bakkerud before diving into the joker.

Bakkerud would also make a mistake at Turn 8 while running behind Niclas Gronholm on lap three, as Gronholm went straight to the joker and dropped to third, ahead of Kevin Hansen.

Finishing second would have meant Bakkerud shared the lead at the top of the points table ahead of the season finale in South Africa, but he dropped back behind Gronholm when he served his joker.

Despite pressuring the Hyundai driver all the way to the finish to the finish, Bakkerud ended the Latvia event third, as Hansen took his joker on the final lap - with a comfortable fourth victory of the season moving him back into the series lead.

Result - 6 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Timmy Hansen Team Hansen MJP Peugeot 5m20.070s
2 Niclas Gronholm GRX Taneco Team Hyundai 2.297s
3 Andreas Bakkerud Monster Energy RX Cartel Audi 2.670s
4 Kevin Hansen Team Hansen MJP Peugeot 6.055s
5 Timur Timerzyanov GRX Taneco Team Hyundai 8.773s
6 Liam Doran Monster Energy RX Cartel Audi 24.540s

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Timmy Hansen 187
2 Andreas Bakkerud 186
3 Kevin Hansen 179
4 Niclas Gronholm 157
5 Janis Baumanis 126
6 Timur Timerzyanov 122
7 Liam Doran 113
8 Anton Marklund 110
9 Timo Scheider 93
10 Krisztian Szabo 81

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About this article

Series World Rallycross
Drivers Timmy Hansen , Kevin Hansen
Author Hal Ridge
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