|PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.|
Riga holds special memories for Kevin Hansen who won the 2016 FIA European World Rallycross title, and a surprise win after he was nudged into the barriers at the race start and dropping to last, six seconds behind the race leader.
The 21-year-old Swede turned in a series of quick laps and was able to capitalize on the errors of those ahead to cross the finish line first and claim victory.
Biķernieki is the only purpose-built race circuit in Latvia, and it features the longest lap of the year in terms of time: Circuit Trois-Rivières is 75 meters longer when it comes to distance, but Biķernieki's twistier nature means the lap record is 0.3s slower in Latvia than in Canada.
"Riga is a tight and technical track, which is quite fun and complex: you could call it our Monaco Grand Prix!" he said. "It’s important to take a very precise line and look after the tyres carefully: in other words not too much sliding with the throttle wide open. The main thing is to make sure that you’re spending more time moving forwards than moving sideways!"
The Team Hansen MJP driver predicts a complicated weekend with rain forecast this weekend (mostly Sunday) but believes that anything is still possible when the checkered flag flies on Sunday.
"What’s going to make it particularly complicated this weekend is that we’re expecting quite a lot of rain, so it’s going to be even more important than usual to keep everything clean and tidy," Hansen said. "It’s a nice day today, so it seems quite hard to believe, but it’s fairly common in Riga to have mixed conditions, so we need to be prepared for everything."
"I think it’s going to be an adventurous weekend, so it's hard to make any particular predictions right now."
Written By Junaid Samodien