Timur time

Timerzyanov clocks up ten years in Rallycross

by Tim Whittington |

It’s ten years since Timur Timerzyanov first took part in an FIA European Rallycross Championship event and in that decade the fresh-faced former gymnast has become a three-time European champion and earned his place among the World Rallycross elite. He is also one of the funniest men in the paddock with an acute sense of humour and is generous in the time he provides to support and help other Russian racers. He may not thank us for pointing this out but, having taken part in every World RX event, Timerzyanov is also sitting on the longest win-less streak in rallycross. His 2013 title came without an event victory and the last time topped the podium was Finland in 2012 – some 57 events ago.


The first day. Timerzyanov cut his teeth in Super1600, his first event in a Peugeot 206 owned and run by veteran Czech racer Jaroslav Kalny during the Czech round of the 2008 European Championship at Sosnova. The class winner that day was Jussi Pinomaki and the Supercar victor was Kenneth Hansen, both of whom would have a significant hand in the career of the driver from Kazan.

Winner. Timerzyanov returned in 2009 for a full season at the wheel of a Set Promotion Renault Clio, but it was not an easy start as a big crash ended his first day in round one at Lydden and only a sterling effort from the Finnish team got the car back on track for Sunday. The year would belong to Mats Lysen, but under Pinomaki’s tutelage Timerzyanov threw down a marker with a string of solid performances and, in round six of the ten-race series, his maiden victory at Holjes.

Champion. With a learning season under his belt, Timerzyanov stayed with Set Promotion for 2010 and guided his Clio to four wins in the ten-event season to take the title and become the first Russian driver to win an FIA Rallycross Championship.

Big league. With the Super1600 crown in his pocket, Timerzyanov set his sights on Supercar for 2011. Again the Tatarstan-based racer’s choice of team was astute, as he moved to Kenneth Hansen Motorsport and one its proven Citroen C4s. Timerzyanov again learned fast, and in the sixth round of the ten-event series he stood on the top step of the podium at Maasmechelen having bagged his first victory – and that despite a puncture.

Champ again. During 2011 Hansen had given his team’s new Citroen DS3 it’s debut. For 2012 Timerzyanov was installed in one of the new cars and proceeded to win six times in the ten-round championship. His first win of the year (and the first for the DS3) came in Austria, after which he added Hungary, Sweden, Belgium, Holland and Finland, the latter laughing all the way to the chequer in terrible weather conditions to take the title.

No win winner. Russia’s first Supercar event winner and first champion, Timerzyanov also has his name in the record books for being the only driver to have become champion without winning an event. 2013, the beginning of the new era as IMG became the championship promoter. That first year there were nine events in the European championship and five different winners, but Timerzyanov was not among them. Tanner Foust, Liam Doran, Andreas Bakkerud and Alexander Hvaal won two events each. And Timerzyanov’s KHM team mate Timmy Hansen broke his duck in Hungary. With the wins shared out, and Timerzyanov in great form everywhere except Sweden, his consistent points gathering was enough to take the title ahead of Davy Jeanney (also winless) and Hansen.

A little Lion. Timeryanov remained with his Swedish team for the first year of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014. The team morphed into Team Peugeot Hansen and traded its Citroens for shiny new Peugeot 208s. This was not a great year for Timerzyanov, but he did finish on the podium as the sport visited Canada for the first time. There was also a non-score in Great Britain and he wound up seventh at the end of the year.

The wanderer. For the 2015 season Timerzyanov moved west to east across Sweden and settled himself at Olsbergs MSE where he was an individual entrant alongside the two-car team entry for Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss. This turned out to be a difficult season, non-scores in Britain and Argentina were low points. Sixth place in Norway his best finish on the way to tenth in the championship – but even that was a tough day as it included Timerzyanov’s second roll of the season.

Austria! For 2016 Timerzyanov moved on to join Max Pucher’s new World RX Team Austria. Eighth place at the end of the year was an improvement over the previous season. There were two non-scores but the highlight of the year for both team and driver was third place at Barcelona. Canada may have delivered more, but for being disqualified from second place his semi final – which brought a spectacular display of rage resulting in his crash helmet being thrown through the windscreen of his car.

Moving and staying still. As MJP Racing took car builds and preparation in-house for the 2017 season, Timerzyanov decided to change team but stay in the same place and slip into a new Ford Fiesta at STARD which had built and run the 2016 Team Austria cars. Again two events brought zero points, the best run of the year came with sixth place in Norway. 13th place at the end of the year was poor reward for a season that frequently promised much. 

Back home. For the 2018 season Timerzyanov returned to the care of Pinomaki, who has Team Manager at GRX Taneco Team among his many hats. Timerzyanov remains among the fastest drivers in the World RX field and has shown that form several times this year in the new Hyundai. So far the best results are a brace of eighth places (Belgium and Sweden), but there have also been a non-scores in Norway and Germany, leaving Timerzyanov tenth heading into the season finale.

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