Thousands of motorsport fans were treated to a weekend of drama during the FIA World Rallycross Championship seanon finale at the Killarney International Raceway at the weekend.
While the continent has hosted a number of high profile events in the past, such as the Dakar Rally, World Rally Championship, Formula 1 and Formula E, the FIA World Rallycross Championship in SA was one of the first FIA-sanctioned world championship races since the SA Grand Prix of 1993.
The weekend belonged to the Hansen brothers, Timmy and Kevin, from Sweden. Despite a crash, they recouped and recovered to a fourth and fifth place finish respectively in the final. However, their team earned enough points to be crowned the season finale champions.
The FIA Rallycross Championship of SA was won by Finnish driver, Niclas Grönholm, with Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud in second place, followed by Russian Timur Timerzyanov. Timmy Hansen was crowned the World Rallycross Champion, with his brother, Kevin winning a bronze medal.
The talk of the day was a disgruntled Andreas Bakkerud.
He did not take the second-spot finish well. He started the final perfectly to lead the combative Timmy Hansen, but a disturbing knock in the first lap caused him to finish behind Grönholm at the end of the race. If Bakkerud had won the final, he would have been crowned the world champion ahead of Timmy Hansen. He ended up finishing a point behind Hansen. Bakkerud showed his disappointment while on the podium to collect his silver medal and left immediately after the Swedish national anthem finished playing.
Team Hansen MJP were in celebratory mode after being crowned the motorsport team of the season.
In the qualifiers leading up to the semi-finals and final, Timmy Hansen said he was anticipating good races on Sunday.
“It’s a fantastic atmosphere. All the fans have been super nice. I enjoy being here and enjoy racing here. It is all possible to get, we just have to believe in ourselves,” he said.
Kevin Hansen said Cape Town has an amazing track and they enjoyed it from the start.
“I’m really excited. To other youngsters, I will say ‘follow your dreams and drive fast’,” he said.