HANSEN WINS IN CANADA AS SOLBERG REGAINS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD - CatalunyaRX FIA World Rallycross

Sweden’s Timmy Hansen has won this weekend’s World RX of Canada, round seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.  Hansen – who drives for Team Peugeot-Hansen – took an unexpected victory after he was promoted to the final when Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov was black flagged after an incident in the semi-final.  Andreas Bakkerud and Johan Kristoffersson finished second and third respectively.

Canada RX winner Hansen couldn’t believe his luck: “I am so surprised to win – I wasn’t even supposed to be in the last six but after Timerzyanov’s black flag, I was told I needed to line up for the final,” explained 22-year-old Hansen, who broke his car’s front-right suspension during yesterday’s second qualifying session.

In the overall driver standings, Petter Solberg regained the championship lead.  The Norwegian driver was Top Qualifier at the end of the four qualifying sessions, and took the maximum 16 points available. Solberg went on to win his semi-final but made a slow start to the after choosing dry weather tyres despite a shower of rain that saw four of his rivals switch to wet tyres. EKS driver Mattias Ekstrom slipped back to second in the standings, four points behind Solberg.  Ekstrom was fifth at the Intermediate Classification but retired from his semi-final due to a front-left puncture.

Runner-up Bakkerud added: “Firstly, congratulations to Timmy on his victory.  The whole weekend has been crazy and today we saw non-stop action.  In fact, the final is a bit of a blur and I can’t even remember what happened right now!  I didn’t feel like I had the best pace over the weekend but I took opportunities when I had them and thankfully everything worked out really well for us. This is our third podium in a row and now I can’t wait for the rest of the season.”

Kristoffersson’s third place finish sees the Volkswagen RX Sweden driver on the podium for the first time this year and the Swede was relieved to be back in the top three. “We’ve been so close and finally our hard work has paid off and we are back on the podium – it feels really good to be back here.  Petter was outstanding in the semi-final and I felt like I couldn’t catch him but then the rain started and our car works so well in the rain.  The first two laps were really good for us and the car worked perfectly.”

In the standalone RX Lites Intercontinental Cup, it was America’s Mitchel DeJong who triumphed in the one-make support category. The 18-year-old took two qualifying wins to sit as Top Qualifier.  A spin in his semi-final saw DeJong start on the back row of today’s final but he recovered in the last race to take a well-deserved victory.  UAE driver Saeed Bintouq finished runner-up after a strong performance in what is only his first season in an RX Lites car. Sweden’s Oliver Eriksson rounded out the top three.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship will now return to European soil for the eighth round of the season which will take place in Loheac, France (3-4 September).

Standings Rallycross of Sweden
1. Timmy Hansen
2. Andreas Bakkerud
3. Johan Kristofferson
4. Toomas Heikinen
5. Petter Solberg
6. Anton Marklund

Standings FIA World Rallycross Championship 2016 (R.7)
1. Petter Solberg                                     161 pts
2. Mattias Ekström                                  157 pts
3. Andreas Bakkerud                              132 pts
4. Johan Kiristoffersson                          129 pts
5. Johan Kiristoffersson                          106 pts
6. Sebastién Loeb                                   121 pts
7. timmy Hansen                                     105 pts
8. Toomas Heikinen                                  99 pts

http://www.fiaworldrallycross.com/result/can/2016