|PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media.|
The Swedish team joins forces with Max Pucher's MJP Team Austria, and the team will race under the banner - Team Hansen MJP.
Team Hansen MJP will field a pair of Peugeot 208 RX Supercars for the Hansen brothers, Timmy and Kevin. The Swedes will compete in both the World RX and GRC Europe championships in 2019.
The future of Hansen Motorsport seemed bleak over four months ago when Peugeot Sport announced their withdrawal from the World Rallycross Championship.
Team Principal Kenneth Hansen, holder of 14 FIA European Rallycross Championship titles has described the 2019 World RX entry, as the most challenging in the Scandinavian team's history.
“The months following Peugeot Sport’s decision to close their RX activity – which saw the Hansen family stranded without a team and programme – have been some of our toughest ever,” said Kenneth Hansen
“Since then, with a commitment deeply rooted in our love for rallycross, Hansen Motorsport has used almost every single waking hour to find ways and possibilities to get a team and budget together to be able to return to World RX."
"It was a real last-minute agreement, but we are here and ready to race with a small yet efficient team. To be able to contest not just one but two major international rallycross series this year is a dream come true. You really can’t wipe the smiles off our faces at the moment!" he concludes.
“It feels like it’s been a long winter since our last rallycross race in South Africa in November, so it’s brilliant to confirm that we’ll be back in the World Championship,” said Timmy Hansen. “For a long time, we genuinely weren’t sure if we were going to make it or not so it’s a huge relief to know we will be there and I couldn’t be more excited right now."
Hansen is raring to go racing and believes that the 2019 World RX season is going to be competitive.
“Looking at the drivers and teams confirmed so far, it’s shaping up to be a competitive season with a very level playing field," he said. "The addition of a couple of new tracks only adds to the unpredictability, but I have a fantastic team of people around me, the 208 WRX is a great car that I feel very comfortable in."
Timmy's younger brother Kevin Hansen already has a long career in rallycross under his belt, going all the way back to 2013 and yielding titles in the RX Lites Cup and FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars – the latter earning him the most coveted award of all for newcomers, the FIA Rookie of the Year Award in 2016.
“It feels amazing to return to World RX as a proper family team,” says Kevin Hansen. “We have worked so hard to make this happen, and to finally be able to say I’m a driver for Team HANSEN MJP is crazy. Wow – what a journey we’ve been on."
“After two full seasons in World RX, I really feel that I’ve found my feet in the series and that I’m capable of taking on the very best drivers in the discipline. The next step is to begin pushing for podium finishes."
"That’s clearly going to be no easy task with so many quick drivers, teams and cars signed up, but it’s what I need to be aiming for and if I can achieve podiums, why not target a first win..?" said Kevin.
TEXT BY - Junaid Samodien