Thursday 15 October 2020

Team Hansen hopes to "close the gap" with updates in Barcelona.

Defending team champions Team Hansen returns to Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona where they claimed a double podium in 2019 and will hope to replicate that result once more this weekend. 

It's been a season of highs and lows for the Hansen's who hoped to start the season as strongly as they had ended it in 2019, but things didn't go their way from round one. But there was some light at the end of the tunnel with Kevin Hansen securing the teams best result of the season, a second-place finish at round two of the championship in Sweden followed by two third-place finishes for reigning champion Timmy Hansen, but the team will hope to claim there first win of the season in Barcelona, Spain. 

As in 2019, the team has struggled with grip issues on low abrasion track, and they often excelled on high grip tracks, but during the Latvian-Barcelona "break" the team have been flat out testing in an attempt to find some much-needed improvements. 

"We've been pushing really hard with our testing programme since Latvia. We want to be winning races this year so we're pushing the limits beyond what we'd normally do, running our equipment for much longer than usual to make sure we get it right. But I like this level of commitment we're taking, which of course carries some risk with it," Timmy Hansen said. 

"I've conducted many rallycross tests over the years and the results we got out of our test last week were some of the best we've ever had. I'm very excited to be coming to Barcelona with this fresh approach we've got and the multiple updates we've brought with us."

Barcelona represents a strong opportunity for the team to score its best result of the 2020 season to date, having been the site of a 1-2 finish for Timmy and Kevin last April. The 1-2 finish last year meant the Hansen brothers would join an exclusive club alongside the Schumacher and McRae families in having siblings score a 1-2 finish in an FIA championship event.

While Johan Kristoffersson has been the benchmark this season, Timmy hopes that the multiple updates they have will assist them in closing the gap to the double World Champion this weekend. 

"I'm feeling optimistic but the only way to know how much difference it's going to make is once we're up against the stopwatch at a race weekend. The car does feel drastically different, in a positive way, so my hope is that this is the step we've been looking for," Hansen adds.

"There are so many good things going for us at this track, considering our history of results here and the updates we're bringing, so I hope that will close the gap enough for us to win some races this year."

In the lead-up to the World RX of Catalunya this weekend, both Team Hansen drivers have been quite busy. Timmy has been hard at work testing updates to the team's Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar, and testing the Spark Odyssey 21 E-SUV for Andretti United Extreme E team, while Kevin made his rally raid debut with the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team at last week's Andalucía Rally, finishing fourth in the SSV class.

"While Timmy was testing I was taking on a great new adventure in Andalucía, racing a buggy with the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team. It's the most fun thing I've done all year and I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to try it out," Kevin said.

"But now I'm switching back to the complete opposite of rally raid, with short racing on a circuit. This is my job, my passion, my life. It's been a month now since we were last in the 208 Supercar, so I can't wait to get the rallycross feeling back."

While Team Hansen has had good results in recent years at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, on the 1.135KM track. Timmy Hansen and Kevin Hansen are both seeking their first wins of the 2020 season and will hope that the new updates will bring them the desired results. 

"We had a great result here last year but of course, we can't take anything for granted, considering how strong our competition is. But we haven't been servicing the cars and sleeping since Riga. We've been doing testing and we've now got some updates on the cars that have shown positive signs," team boss Kenneth Hansen, said. "If those signs are as good as our first impressions suggest, this could be a good weekend for us."

Kenneth Hansen confirmed that the team focused on finding different set-up options, tweaks to the chassis and engine, and optimizing the set-up of the dampers in hope of finding some much-needed performance. 

"There were limits on how much we could test due to factors like the weather but we've done several test days with different set-up options, tweaks to the chassis and engine, and further optimizing the set-up of our Öhlins dampers," he said.

"The plan is simple: to be battling for wins again. Let's see what happens this weekend."

Written By - Junaid Samodien.

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