One of the pre-season favourites for the European Rallycross Championship is out of the first round before it has even begun. Russian Timur Timerzyanov withdrew from the event this morning having been unable to resolve visa problems. Timerzyanov’s problems started when he arrived in the UK on Friday and border control officials refused him entry because he had the wrong kind of visa (it is necessary for Russians entering the UK to have a valid visa).
“Timur had a tourist visa but because he was coming here to do his work he should have had a working visa, or something like that. He had the wrong kind of visa,” said team boss Kenneth Hansen who while disappointed that his star driver would miss the first round of the championship, remained pragmatic about the situation. “Obviously it’s not what we wanted and Timur is very disappointed that it happened and that he could not get a different visa, but these things happen and all we can do is look to the next race and move on. We had three days testing with Timur and he was very happy with the Citroën DS3 and felt confident about the year. The organiser here was very good, they tried to help but there did not seem to be anything they could do because of the visa problem.”
Timerzyanov’s absence from round one effectively means that this event will be dropped score for the first half of the championship. The ten-event series is split into two halves with drivers able to count four scores from each five-event half towards their end of year total. His predicament clearly affords leading rivals an opportunity to put the Russian under pressure, both in terms of gaining an early advantage and in that he has no margin for error over the next four events.
The winner of the Belgian round of the 2011 ERC, and third in the championship at the end of the year, Timerzyanov was the Super1600 champion in 2010 and was expected to be a leading contender for the Supercar crown this year, his second with Hansen Motorsport for who he will race a new Citroën DS3.
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