Timmy Hansen: "I Will Continue Taking My Chances When They Come"
"I was born to do this." - Timmy Hansen
A few weeks ago we were all anticipating Round 6 of FIA World Rallycross Championship. The event was held at Höljes, Sweden, one of the most exciting venues on the calendar with one of the more challenging tracks and a favorite of most teams and drivers. One of those teams is Team Peugeot-Hansen. Back in June the team had spent time at the Höljes track conducting development tests. Their hard work and attitude of always striving to be better produced results in the proceeding round in Germany when Team Peugeot-Hansen driver, Timmy Hansen, earned his third podium of the season.
For Timmy, racing is a family affair. Most rallycross fans already know that he is the son of fourteen-time European Rallycross Champion, Kenneth Hansen. The senior Hansen is very well known within the sport of rallycross and is now the team principal for Team Peugeot-Hansen. Timmy's mom, Susann Hansen, has also successfully raced in rallycross and is now the team manager. His brother Kevin races for the Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team in the RX Lites Rallycross Championship were he is currently the points leader.
Rallycross360 chatted with Timmy Hansen about the recent FIA World Ralllycross event in Höljes. He described how bittersweet it was in that he had initially won the event only to have officials penalize him for being "off track" (later charged with "pushing") which dropped him from first to second place behind Mattias Ekstrom.
RC360: What are your thoughts about the officials decision in Höljes?
TH: "It was a shame what happened afterward but I still feel like a winner. I don't agree with the decision. First, I was punished for cutting. I knew we had to protest this when I heard about the penalty because I was on the track and I was absolutely sure of that. When the stewards looked into the incident with the different camera angles, they can see that I have one wheel on the track at all times, which regulations say that you must. They changed the penalty to a one second penalty for pushing. That is where it gets a little bit unfair. Because the contact in itself was not that hard. I think the one with Bakkerud was much harder. They initially punished me for cutting then changed it to pushing and I think that was very unfair. The way that I drove is rallycross. I was still there, I crossed the line first and was able to celebrate with the team and all the 40,000 spectators at my home track. So whatever happened in the stewards room I don't really feel that it can affect me too much. If that is the penalty they give me then I will accept that. I'm not going to agree with it but I will accept it. It was a difficult event but I am happy that I did what I did and I will continue to keep taking my chances when they come."
RC360: Tell us a your thoughts on the season so far?
TH: "I think we started off really, really good compared to last year. We have been able to fight for a podium right away. The car is new and there have been new things to learn about the car. The car has fantastic potential and race-by-race we continue learn what works, how we should set it up and how we should drive it. After the first four races we had a test in Höljes which was a key point. We took some big steps to go forward with the car and after that we went to Germany and Davy won the race so that was a huge moment knowing that the car can win races. I was third and it was my third podium of the year.
RC360: Can you give us a rundown on your successful run at Höljes?
TH: In Höljes we had a great event from the start, winning the first heat. Sunday was a little difficult, because we started fourth in both heats and it's quite hard to fight in from the outside and try to get in at the first corner and if you don't win the starts its quite difficult to be quickest through the heats but we did what we could through heats three and four. In the semi-final I got the fantastic start and finally I lead again. The car had felt fantastic all weekend. We had just been doing a few clicks on the dampers and by the semifinals it was perfect. I had fantastic speed in the semi final and we won it by quite a good margin and for the final I knew that we had the same pace. The tires we ran on were ripped so we really saved the best for last. I did a good start but so did Bakkerud. I was back behind him for three or four laps and had a massive fight with Andreas. I was absolutely on his bumper for a long time and when I finally caught him I had about one and half laps before the joker on the final lap. My dad was pushing me so hard on the radio. There was a gap but I never thought the race was over and in my mind I thought I just had to catch up and overtake Ekstrom and we could win the race. I pushed really hard and I was just hoping that Mattias would make a mistake and I did everything I could to just be there in case something would happen. When I landed from the jump I saw he was really wide. Because he was so wide I was able to get up in the inside and catch him in the final corner. It was absolutely unbelievable because it was my first time to cross the line first."
RC360: You have raced in other disciplines so why do you race in rallycross?
TH: "What I really like about his sport and I think what has made me successful in the long term, is that I really like the fact that when it's not going well, we can really dig deep into stuff and together with the team, engineers and every one involved, we can analyze what is going wrong and figure out how we can go forward. As long as I am able to give myself an answer as to why it's not going right, then I really love to develop the car and to develop my driving together with the team. That is a challenge in itself and probably what I love most about this sport. When you do that right then you will learn and that will make you a winner eventually. No matter how hard you work you will always have to keep working harder to either get ahead or stay ahead. That is what I like. I have been able to work with so many people who are so talented at what they do. From the mechanics to engineers and those who work in the kitchen. They are so hard working and it's just fantastic."
RC360: How is it working with family so closely?
TH: "As a family we don't always agree on everything. If we don't agree on something like breakfast, we can let that go and focus on what we need to focus on. We are able to let go of whatever we deal with as a family and be professional. I am happy that I am able to do this with my family. I think it is a big advantage because we know each other so well and on track and during the race there is never any miscommunication because we have always lived together making it easy to say things to one another and be straightforward. During a rallycross event we are so short on time during the whole weekend so I think that it's very important."
"Kevin and I train together a lot. I think that to be able to be focused on the last lap during the final and at the end of a race weekend you have to be in good physical shape. We try to motivate each other and push each other forward and I think in Holjes it proves that because of the training we are able to be so focused and ready all the way through the race weekend and not get tired at any point. It's a lot of hard work but it's nice to be able to do it together."
Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool
Follow Timmy Hansen: http://timmyhansen.se/ Twitter: @Timmy_Hansen Facebook Instagram
Follow Team Puegeot-Hansen: http://www.hansen-motorsport.se/default.aspx Twitter: @Peugeot_Hansen Instagram Facebook
Follow Davy Jeanney: http://www.hansen-motorsport.se/default.aspx Twitter: @DavyJeanney Facebook
Follow Kevin Hansen: http://kevinhansen.se/default.aspx Twitter: @KevinHansenJr Instagram Facebook