Mattias Ekstrom, Timmy Hansen celebrate the podium during the FIA World Rallycross Championship 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa on November 12, 2017 – Jaanus Ree – Red Bull Content Pool
Swede ends 2017 WRX season with gutsy second at fun new South Africa stop.
Relive our exclusive blogs with Timmy Hansen and Kevin Hansen from all 12 World RX stops in 2017.
I wanted to get the win in South Africa. That was what I was aiming for. I really think it was possible.
The start of my semi-final was mad. I got so many huge hits. I was in front and I turned into Turn 1 then bam bam bam and, at one point, I was facing the opposite direction!
I had nose to nose contact with Seb (Loeb) and that put me back in the right way to go. We had to joker in the right moment to get out in front and win the race.
It was nice to hear from my girlfriend, who was watching from the grandstand, that when we lined up for the final I was called a small favourite by the announcer over the speakers.
I was treated a bit rough in the final, though, as there were a lot of strategic moves from Mattias (Ekstrom) and Petter (Solberg) who were going for second place in the championship plus it is not so often that you are able to catch Johan (Kristoffersson) as he has been almost invincible this season.
It was a good way to end the season with a second place. I can’t regret anything I did in this final stop. I did everything I could in every moment. I had good lap times all the way through. I won Q1, Q4 and the semi, but it was not quite enough to win the final.
It is quite cool that a lot of people recognise me here now and it makes it much more equal with the more well known guys like Seb. The fans can’t be disappointed after what they have seen here. They have been really open to World Rallycross as a sport and I am sure it will grow. It was a sell out with 23,000 apparently. They were absolutely crazy.
I am actually really proud of how consistent I have been this season. I reached 11 finals out of 12 races, so just me and Kristoffersson that did that. That was one of my biggest challenges earlier in my career. That is what I am going to take away with me the most.
I always have that extra 1% with me in the final when it is really needed. First full season for Kevin too and he has really progressed as well with two finals in a row.
At this moment I still don’t have a job for next season, so that has to be sorted out first then we will see how the off season shapes up. Sweden is quite amazing in the winter driving on frozen lakes and in the snow, so I will have some fun in different cars.
We are going to Austin, Texas in the USA next year so that is new to the championship. I think the Circuit of the Americas is going to be great. That track looks really cool.
We won’t come back to Hockenheim next year otherwise the calendar will be pretty familiar with the classics like Holjes, Norway and Canada.
I think whoever succeeds next season depends a lot on which teams put in the biggest effort in the off season. Johan (Kristoffersson) has done a very impressive job in the best car. I hope it will be closer and we will see more different winners.
We arrived quite late in Cape Town, but we are staying for a week now for some holiday. My girlfriend is here with me plus Mum, Dad and Kevin. Good to relax finally.
Thanks for spending the 2017 season with Kevin and I!
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