Looking Back: World RX Of South Africa 2019
The World RX Of South Africa takes place this weekend. Returning to the calendar after a 3-year absence. Let’s take a look back at the last time it was on the calendar.
Heading Into The World RX Of South Africa
The 2019 World RX season was a bit of an odd one. As Johan Kristoffersson was absent from the championship, after winning back-to-back championships. Timmy Hansen led the championship heading into the World RX of South Africa. Winning four rounds, including the last two rounds in France and Latvia to head into the final round with a 1-point lead over Andreas Bakkerud. Bakkerud only had one event win up to that point, winning the World RX Of Canada. It was pretty much winner-take-all in the final round. Realistically four drivers had a chance to win the championship at that event. Kevin Hansen sat 8 points behind his brother Timmy and Niclas Grönholm sat 30 behind Timmy Hansen. With 30 points on the table, anything could’ve happened.
Timmy Hansen started the World RX Of South Africa on a high note. Winning the first heat of the event, setting a time 0.280 seconds faster than Andreas Bakkerud. Niclas Grönholm was third on the opening heat, 1.290 seconds slower than Bakkerud.
Niclas Grönholm took home the win on the second heat of the event. Beating Timur Timerzyanov by 0.363 seconds. Guillaume De Ridder finished third fastest, 0.570 seconds slower than Timerzyanov. Timmy Hansen finished 9th, while Bakkerud finished 11th.
Timmy Hansen bounced back on the opening heat of the second day. Setting a time 1.975 seconds faster than Andreas Bakkerud to win the heat. Kevin Hansen finished top three in a heat for the first time at the event. Finishing 0.157 seconds slower than Bakkerud. Grönholm finished fourth, 0.677 seconds behind Kevin Hansen.
Niclas Grönholm won the fourth and final heat at the World RX Of South Africa. Posting a time 1.233 seconds faster than Timmy Hansen to win the heat. Andreas Bakkerud finished third fastest, 1.044 seconds slower than Timmy Hansen.
Niclas Grönholm took home the maximum 16 points from the heats as he set the fastest total time. Timmy Hansen took 15 for second, while Andreas Bakkerud took home 14. Meaning at this point Grönholm was 29 points behind Hansen heading into the Semi-Finals. While Bakkerud was now 2 points behind.
The first Semi-Final saw Andreas Bakkerud, Niclas Grönholm, Timur Timerzyanov, Anton Marklund, Krisztián Szabo and Janis Baumanis face off. Bakkerud topped the first semi-final group. Setting a time 0.160 seconds faster than Niclas Grönholm. Timur Timerzyanov finished third fastest, 0.758 seconds slower than Grönholm.
The second semi-final saw Timmy and Kevin Hansen, Timo Scheider, Guerlain Chicherit, Guillaume De Ridder and Oliver Bennett face off. Timmy Hansen topped the second semi-final. Setting a time 1.195 seconds faster than his brother Kevin. Timo Scheider finished third, 3.560 seconds slower than Kevin Hansen.
Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud both received 6 points for winning their respective semi-finals. Meaning there were still 2 points separating the two. Niclas Grönholm only scored 5 points in the semi-finals, dropping back to 30 points behind Hansen, his championship hopes were over.
World RX Of South Africa Final
Andreas Bakkerud, Niclas Grönholm, Timur Timerzyanov, Timo Scheider, Kevin and Timmy Hansen faced off in the finals. Niclas Grönholm won the finals, setting a time 2.308 seconds faster than Andreas Bakkerud. Timur Timerzyanov finished third fastest, 0.675 seconds slower than Bakkerud. Timmy Hansen finished fourth, 3.595 seconds slower than Timerzyanov.
Niclas Grönholm received 8 points for his victory in the finals. Andreas Bakkerud received 5 points for finishing second and Timmy Hansen received three for finishing fourth. If you haven’t figured the math out already I’ll put it here. Heading into the finals two points separated Timmy Hansen and Bakkerud. Bakkerud received two more points in the final than Hansen. Thus meaning they tied for points to end the season. Who won the championship then? Timmy Hansen. Remember at the beginning of this article when it was mentioned how many rounds each driver had won? That wasn’t just randomly mentioned. Due to Hansen winning 4 rounds and Bakkerud only winning one. Hansen was given the championship via countback.