Former FIA World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen got his 2023 season with the Hansen World RX Team back-on-track after second-place at the famous ‘Magic Weekend’ in Höljes, Sweden.
The multiple World Championship-winning team entered the third round of the campaign having increased the pace of its all-electric Peugeot 208 RX1es at the first two rounds in Portugal and Norway, but had endured a worst-ever World RX result at Hell last time out.
Hitting the ground running at the Höljes circuit, the Hansen squad had at least one car inside the top three times throughout the qualification sessions – Timmy Hansen setting the third best time in Heat 1 while Kevin Hansen, the 2016 European Rallycross Champion, was second fastest in Heats 2, 3 and 4 to finish second in the Ranking stage, one place ahead of brother and team-mate Timmy in the sister 208 RX1e.
The team faced difficult track conditions through the weekend – a dry day on Saturday giving way to wet conditions on Sunday – with the squad improving the pace of the 208 RX1es on the wet track throughout the second day.
Starting on pole for the second semi-final, Kevin Hansen overtook the race leader during the encounter to claim victory and move forward to the final, while Timmy Hansen also progressed to the final for the first time in 2023.
In the main event, Timmy ran third on the opening lap before making an overtake for second later on lap one, en-route to his podium return, shadowing event-winner Johan Kristoffersson and climbing to fifth in the Drivers’ standings.
Kevin Hansen meanwhile had a difficult start to the last race of the weekend, then touched a wall on his joker lap exit and lost time. He battled back, and just missed out on a podium place. The combined results mean the Hansen World RX Team closes the gap to second in the Teams’ Championship.
World RX returns to the UK and the Lydden Hill circuit for the fourth round later this month (July 21-23).
Kenneth Hansen said: “This is a good result for us and it’s always nice to be on the podium here in Sweden. It could have been two cars on the podium I think, until Kevin just touched a barrier and lost a little time, so it shows we had good speed. It’s a good step forward, but we still need to keep working to have the performance to be able to win the races outright. We will keep pushing to be able to do that – that’s what we do!”
Kevin Hansen said: “We had good speed this weekend and were the only ones to really challenge Johan [Kristoffersson] on pace. In the dry we were improving a lot now that we have found something that’s more comfortable to drive. In the wet we made big steps also. It’s the first time we’ve used the latest software and car setup in the wet but I did a bad launch in the final, then the wipers and washers didn’t work correctly so I couldn’t properly see, and I made a mistake in the joker. The speed after that was great and I closed on P3 but needed another lap to be able to get on the podium.”
Timmy Hansen said: “I’m very happy with this result. Of course, you go into every race wanting to win, and if you don’t want to be on the top you may as well not be here. So we’re doing everything we can to be winning again too. Johan [Kristoffersson] had another incredible weekend – when it started to rain today he just checked out. The battle for second though was super tight and Ole Christian [Veiby] just made a tiny error and I went on the inside. It just shows how small the margins are. For the team, it’s fantastic to be back on the podium, especially considering they had to rebuild the car after the first two races. This reward is for them, and it feels like now I have started my championship.”