Wednesday 19 June 2019

Kevin Hansen claims podium finish despite time penalty.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Kevin Hansen went from the back row in the World RX of Norway Final to claiming a podium finish in Hell, going toe-to-toe with Niclas Gronholm.

After a tricky start on Saturday, the young Swede was classified seventh overall.  

"The first day was tricky," he said. "The speed was there but we had to start from the outside, which is really tricky in Hell."

"For the second day we adopted some of Timmy’s set-up, made some changes, and that seemed to make a difference."

On Sunday morning, the Swede finished second behind older brother Timmy Hansen with a 1-2 finish in Qualifying 3. Another strong run in Qualifying 4 saw him climb to fourth overall in the standings and stamping his pass for the Semi-Finals. 

But there was a plot twist: a sudden downpour turned the track from heavenly too Hell for the Semi-Finals and final. 

Kevin was on the second row of the grid in Semi-Final two and opted for a late joker lap bringing him out just in front of his older brother to claim a back row start for the final. 

“Looking at what happened when the rain came, starting from the second row for the Semi-Final was a lot better than the first, so I was very happy to start there!" he said. 

The young Swede had a good start from the back row and he was up to the second place at the start, which briefly became first by passing Kevin Abbring for the lead.

He dropped one place when taking his joker lap and secured a very hard-fought second place, defending from eventual race winner Niclas Grönholm. 

"I had to drive carefully in the Final as there was wiper fluid spraying everywhere inside the car!" he says. "That also meant I couldn’t clear mud from the windscreen too. But we managed to cope with that well." 

"Gronholm behind me pushed so hard but we kept our cool, did our thing and kept the grip all the way. With a good joker lap we managed to finish P2 but then got a penalty and were P3 instead."

After the race, Hansen was handed a one-second time penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior for the pass on Grönholm on the first lap. 

"It’s not nice when you get a penalty but in the end, I think it was a fair decision,” he concludes.

TEXT - Junaid Samodien

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