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Thu 12 Oct 2023

Hansen rues missed opportunity but pleased with podium double

Kevin Hansen believes he ‘could have won’ in Cape Town last weekend ‘if things had played out a bit differently’, but the Swede nonetheless came away with a podium double to move up to second in the World RX standings with only one event left to run in 2023.

Kevin Hansen believes he ‘could have won’ in Cape Town last weekend (7-8 October) ‘if things had played out a bit differently’, but the Swede nonetheless came away with a podium double to move up to second in the FIA World Rallycross Championship standings with only one event left to run in 2023.


Hansen was the driver who finally brought Johan Kristoffersson’s spotless SuperPole record to an end on Saturday in South Africa, and he reckoned he could also have been the driver to stop his fellow Swede’s winning run at Killarney International Raceway – an honour ultimately claimed by an inspired Timo Scheider.


A momentary loss of power saw the Hansen World RX Team star concede the advantage to his countryman in heat one on Saturday, but he battled back and deployed an early joker strategy in the final to seal the runner-up spoils – a result that he replicated 24 hours later, after withstanding race-long pressure from the championship leader.

“It was great to leave Cape Town with two podiums,” the 25-year-old acknowledged. “Saturday was a really rough battle. Once you lose the inside line at the start – particularly with such fine margins in equal cars and given how tricky it was to follow in the dust – it’s difficult to get it back.


“We had a good joker strategy in the final that allowed us to climb from fifth up to second, and then Sunday was a little bit more straightforward, and we executed it well. I was really under pressure from Johan in the final, and we all know you can’t afford to give him an inch, but we fought hard and I was able to hold him off.


“I actually think we could have won if things had played out a bit differently, but that’s how it goes and we still scored solid points towards the championship. I’m so happy for Timo [Scheider]. It’s such an incredible day when you win your first World Rallycross event, and one he will never forget. Overall, it was fantastic to be back racing again in World RX – and pushing the limits.”

Team-mate Timmy Hansen – who was crowned world champion for the first time in Cape Town in 2019 – showed improved form compared to his debut in the all-electric ZEROID X1 in Belgium back in the summer, but bent suspension in one of the heats and contact from other cars in both finals restricted him to a brace of fourth-place finishes, as he fell just shy of the rostrum on both days.


“It was a strong weekend for us in terms of pace, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for me in the end,” he reflected. “In both finals, I was pushed and the other driver got a penalty – I guess I was just a bit caught out, but that’s how it goes sometimes.


“We didn’t score badly, but you want a lot more when you feel you have the pace. Still, I’m happy that we were in the fight and were able to deliver some good lap times. Congratulations to Timo and the whole ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team – they did an amazing job.”


“It wasn’t easy but we learned a lot, focussing on small details here and there and at times we had very good speed,” summarised Team Principal, Kenneth Hansen. “Killarney is a very challenging track where you need to be at the front, and it’s difficult to take the joker to gain any advantage.


“Kevin had very good results which we are pleased about. Timmy unfortunately had some drama in the finals, but we look forward to the next rounds now, where we will work towards achieving even better results.”