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SOUTH AFRICA DEBRIEF: WHAT THE TEAMS SAID

Wednesday 13th of November 2019

The 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship title-decider couldn’t have ended in more dramatic fashion, with Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud and Sweden’s Timmy Hansen ending the year tied in points and Hansen taking the title on count back, while Finland’s Niclas Gronholm took the SABAT World RX of South Africa win.

Here’s what the teams had to say about the weekend in Cape Town:

GRX Taneco: Niclas Gronholm P1, Timur Timerzyanov P3

Marcus Gronholm (Team Principal): “I am really happy for Niclas this weekend – he was up to speed all the way to secure his first real win in World RX. The whole season both drivers and the whole team has been performing very well. We’ve had some problems and we had some great results, so I am very happy with the achievements this year.”

Monster Energy RX Cartel: Andreas Bakkerud P3, Liam Doran P16

Andreas Bakkerud: “The big disappointment has faded away and life goes on. At the end of the day, this championship fight goes down in the history books as the tightest fight ever. You couldn’t even write a script that could predict that final. Ending it all tied on points and not winning feels strange and very bittersweet.”

Team Hansen MJP: Timmy Hansen P4, Kevin Hansen P5

Timmy Hansen: “What would happen after the Final was not on my mind. I’m in shock. I was so focused all weekend; I think I put in the performance of my life. The whole weekend I was focused on going race by race. So many times this year we struggled in the beginning, so I just focused on each session at a time, knowing I needed to do the maximum every time to have a chance to become champion. When we won Q1, I knew we were in a good position to do well, but the focus was always on taking everything one step at a time. What a season it’s been. We are world champions.  don’t know what to feel – I wasn’t prepared for what comes after the driving part. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I was a kid. It feels amazing. It’s everything that I wished for.”

ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport: Timo Scheider P6

Timo Scheider: “That’s it for 2019. It was a great final with a lot of chaos in the end for me. Great speed all weekend, my car was quick all the way. Thank you ALL-INKL boys for this exciting year.”

Team STARD: Janis Baumanis P7, Jere Kalliokoski P14

Janis Baumanis: Unfortunately it was all over much earlier than we expected in Cape Town. However, let's look at the positives – the team did an awesome job and I'm inside Top 6 World RX Drivers standings. It would not be possible without such massive support from everyone."

GC Kompetition: Guerlain Chicherit P8, Anton Marklund P11

Guerlain Chicherit: “It wasn’t to be this weekend for me - I had a great time racing though and our commitment and pace was there. It’s been an incredible season of development and learnings for us as a team and I’m very proud of what we have achieved with everyone continuing to push even in the face of adversity. We definitely never gave up and the considerable development can be seen in our increasingly competitive pace and the results we managed to push for. Our preparations for next season start tomorrow and I’m excited to share our plans soon.”

EKS Sport: Krisztian Szabo P9

Krisztian Sazbo: “For me, it was similar to the track in Portugal, in Montalegre – I love that track, and I like this as well. It was my first time here, and I could learn the track really fast I think, but it’s very tight. I hope I can come back and not only to here, but to the championship, and to be better. I have nothing more to say, it was a bad season for me. Unfortunately I don’t have anything done yet for the next year, but I have plans and we will see.”

GCK Academy: Guillaume De Ridder P10, Cyril Raymond P13

Guillaume De Ridder: “Overall, it should’ve been a good weekend for me because I made it to the semi-finals for the second time of the season. We clearly had the pace to be in the top 8. We showed great pace on Saturday night with a top 3 in Q2 and also this morning with a top 5 in the warm-up. Unfortunately, during the last two qualifiers, I was pushed at the start and ended up in traffic so didn’t quite get the pace. While I found back the pace in the semi-final, I unfortunately made a huge mistake, which resulted in contact with my teammate Guerlain, which I’m really gutted about. I didn’t make many driving mistakes this entire season, so this one hurts. I want to thank the entire team and my team mates for this season, thanks for all your hard work.”

Xite Racing: Oliver Bennett P12

Oliver Bennett: “Bad end to the weekend with a DNF after contact in turn 1 of the semi. As always, till next time World RX.”

ESmotorsport – Labas GAS: Matvey Furazhkun P13

Matvey Furazhkun: “After the jump in the third lap, the quick connector for the steering pump hose broke resulting in fluid leak and by the time Matvey got into turn 5 and 6. He already had no steering on the car and had to pull aside to finish the qualifying Q4 resulting in DNF.”

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