18 Aug 2019
Kevin Hansen was elated to emulate his brother Timmy by winning the second-ever Nitro Rallycross event at the Nitro World Games in Utah.
The Swede, who completed a gruelling run of six events in four weekends with Nitro Rallycross, qualified for the main event by finishing second in the qualifying points after Friday’s running.
That meant he sat out of Saturday afternoon’s ‘Challenger’ and ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ races, but the lack of track time certainly didn’t slow him down, with the 21-year-old making a perfect getaway to beat compatriot Patrik Sandell into the first corner in the final. From there he led every single lap, resisting a late charge from Sandell to claim victory.
“That start was just gold, then I did the six best laps I’ve ever done. They were spot on, not a single mistake,” he said. “There’s not one thing I’m not happy about in that run and to come out just ahead of Patrik – what a day.”
While Nitro Rallycross is only into its second year, it’s quickly established itself as one of the premier events on the rallycross calendar. Hansen also leads the World Rallycross and TitansRX standings in Europe, but to emerge victorious at the standalone Nitro event clearly meant a lot to the youngster.
“I think this is the biggest event in rallycross this year,” he said. “This is a world event and I’ve won it, that’s just so so cool.”
“I don’t know what to say, we really needed this one and I think we deserve it so much. I really fought hard for it today so I’m very happy.”
With a Nitro World Games gold medal now hanging on his mantelpiece, Hansen stands the chance of claiming an unprecedented rallycross ‘triple crown’ if he can maintain his series-leading positions in World RX and Titans RX, but despite the potential of the unique achievement, Hansen isn’t getting carried away just yet.
“I’m just so happy where I am and I enjoy myself so much,” he said. “It’s so much fun driving this much and in every car I go in – in this one (the Peugeot 208); in the Pantera, I think the Pantera is amazing to race all year; so far this season I’ve not one thing to complain about. I’m just super happy that I’m at this level at this moment and you never know how long it will last so I’m just super super grateful for doing this well and enjoying myself so much.”