Hansen hoping for repeat of 2015 success in Norway

Team HANSEN MJP’s FIA World Rallycross Championship campaign contintues in Norway this weekend, with hopes of a repeat of the team’s 1-2 finish at Hell in 2015 to further strengthen its championship position.

Brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen are currently first and second in the drivers‘ championship, while the team extended its lead in the teams‘ championship last time out at Silverstone.

Timmy became the first double winner of 2019 with a clever undercut joker strategy in the World RX of Great Britain Final, while Kevin is determined to make amends for a mistake that cost him second place in his Semi Final.

Hell was the site of a breakthrough weekend on the world stage for the team in 2015, taking its first 1-2 result here. Having pulled off the same feat already this year in Spain, Team HANSEN MJP is aiming to repeat the same result on familiar territory.

 

The track: Hell

After four rounds at Formula 1 circuits adapted for World RX, Hell is a step back into old school rallycross. No artificial jumps, no tyre stacks; it’s a track built with RX in mind.

At Hell, the straights aren’t even particularly straight; it’s an open, flowing track where the corners are linked together in an almost seamless fashion. The joker at the start of the lap aside, all the turns are wide in their radius, encouraging the drivers to push just that little bit harder on both entry and exit.

What to look out for

Entry to the joker lap is a potential flashpoint for trouble. Just like Montalegre in Portugal, the racing line for entry is very similar as for taking the first corner normally but with much later braking. Drivers have to be careful not to trip up over each other!

That joker is also a strategy headache. Drivers starting further down the grid and on the outside are often tempted to go straight in on the first lap. But too many drivers taking this option at the same time can cause a traffic jam and compromise what is a high risk but potentially high reward strategy.

Best of all, every corner is a genuine overtaking opportunity. With fast sections leading to open and wide corners, there’s plenty of space to make a move.

 

Ideal set-up: Hell

Maximising traction is the number one priority around Hell. The set-up window is quite narrow here, so if a driver isn’t confident in the amount of traction the car is giving them, they risk being quite far off the pace.Aside from the crest over the start-finish line where cars catch a little air, there’s no real jumps around Hell, which means no need to compromise on suspension. It’s all about the fine tuning.

 

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Timmy Hansen:

timmy hansen
Photo: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

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Kevin Hansen:

kevin hansen
Photo: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

 “I’m looking forward to the weekend; we’ve got a few updates to the Öhlins dampers that Kevin tested in free practice at Silverstone, and this will be a good place to introduce them, as Hell is a bumpy track with a lot of traction needed. I feel that I’m on a roll now but I need to focus and get myself back into the zone. It’s a close fight with Kevin and I think we were both worried that it might affect our relation, but we’ve talked about it a lot and we’re probably even closer: just as well as we’re travelling around together this year!”

“The atmosphere in Norway is always brilliant: Timmy and I took a long road trip to get there in our camper van – a journey of about 850 kilometres – and we had a lot of fun, just anticipating the weekend to come. Looking ahead to the race, it’s always got good memories for me: I was the quickest driver in our team there last year, which was very encouraging. I’m second in the drivers’ championship now after Silverstone, so my goal is to get back on top.”

THE BOSS:
Kenneth Hansen:

kenneth hansen
Photo: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s a pleasure for us to go back to a traditional rallycross track. It’s one where we’ve had a lot of success in the past, especially in 2015! Our drivers are first and second in the championship, which is a perfect situation. Between myself and Susann as team managers, we try to get the most out of both of them so that they maximise their own performance. But the drivers themselves are involved in the team management this year too, so they see the bigger picture. They race each other but they don’t take excessive risks. It’s important to remember that our rivals aren’t standing still: we respect them greatly and we expect really fierce competition this weekend from many of them. We can’t afford to relax, we have to give it everything we can.”

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