Surprises this morning leave the SuperCar class wide open as Timur Timerzyanov fails to arrive, reigning European champion Sverre Isachsen eventually confirmed his absence and Peter Hedström faces continual engine problems.
A total of 69 ERC competitors arrived at Lydden Hill this morning, ready to kick-start the long awaited return of the 2012 season. Tomorrow morning we will catch the first glimpses of action in the first practice sessions of 2012 due at 12:30h.
But what can we expect? Saddening news which arrived early this morning revealed that Hansen Motorsport title challenger, Timur Timerzyanov had not been able to gain entry into the UK, being stopped at border controls due to visa issues. Team principal, Kenneth Hansen later confirmed this: “It looks like Timur will not be here,” replied a deflated Hansen. Of course there was speculation that he would himself take control of the new DS3 this weekend, but Hansen was adamant that this would not be the right decision. “I have thought about it a little, the desire is there, but it just does not feel right. The DS3 project is Timur’s so the car will have to wait for the driver to be ready,” told Kenneth Hansen. The reigning champion, Sverre Isachsen also fully confirmed his absence from racing at Lydden Hill. “After three championships in a row, I want some new challenges,” was the message published on his website.
In other SuperCar news, new full time arrival Peter Hedström revealed that he had damaged yet another engine this week. The team announced that they are still struggling to find the exact problem, but that the new engine is in. Finding a familiar face and ex-owner nearby, Swede Michael Jernberg was quick to comment that everything remained the same with the engine and that he never had such a problem with the Škoda Fabia.
With pressure on home driver Liam Doran to gain a good result this weekend, car builder and Rallycrosser Marc Laboulle will have helped to increase the confidence of home fans. “I was very happy with the testing of the DS3 in Dreux and Châteauroux, it was not only good, but very good. I believe that together they have a good package, but my biggest challenge is to make Liam drive more calm,” reported Marc Laboulle. Brit and GRC contender Andy Scott will also be on-hand to continue his good form into this season, with his Ford Focus.
Tanner Foust continued to be enigmatic in his comments over his attendance to the remaining nine events this season. “I want to do full season, but cannot confirm anything,” replied the American. We can only assume that this is down to GRC dates.