‘Russian rocket’ Timur Timerzyanov has a chance to take over the lead of the European Rallycross Championship with a strong result in Montalegre, Portugal this weekend.
Red Bull athlete Timerzyanov came close to getting the defence of his 2012 crown off to a winning start in the opening round at Lydden Hill, England in early April but was denied by a puncture after starting the final from the front row of the grid.
During the event he was also hit by personal tragedy with the death of his grandfather back home. And he felt unable to get the most from his Hansen Motorsport-prepared Citroen until his team had reverted back to its 2012 suspension system.
With all that now behind him, Timerzyanov is eager to return to the top step of the podium.
26-year-old Timerzyanov said: “Lydden Hill was a mixture of ups and downs. We were really fast, but a puncture in the final meant we didn’t finish with the result we were capable of.
“It shows how competitive we are that I am fourth in the points table and we didn’t have a very good event at Lydden. The field in the top Supercar category is tough this year – there are lots of good drivers. But our whole team is very strong and we know we can fight right at the front.”
“Timur has the speed and he went well in Portugal the last time we were there,” added team principal and past multiple European champion Kenneth Hansen. “Last year he didn’t even compete in the first round of the championship and still won the title with a race to go. With a good score this weekend he will be right at the front of the championship table.”
Timerzyanov’s main opposition is likely to come from drivers in similar 550bhp Citroen DS3 supercars, namely Swedish team-mate Timmy Hansen (currently second in the standings), Briton Liam Doran and Norway’s 2003 World Rally champion Petter Solberg. Finland’s Jussi-Petteri Leppihalme in a Ford Focus and France’s Davy Jeanney in his Citroen C4 are also ‘ones to watch’.
Norwegian superstar Solberg endured mixed fortunes on his RX debut at Lydden as he overcame new car problems to take wins in two heats prior to being eliminated in his semi-final.
Meanwhile Lydden winner and X Games contender, American hero Tanner Foust, is not expected to compete in Portugal due to commitments in the USA.
The RX action gets under way at Montalegre, Portugal at 12.00pm on Saturday April 27 with the finals starting at 3.00pm on Sunday April 28.
Click here for the news as it unfolds during the weekend.