The Hansen name is the most famous and respected in the history of European rallycross. Kenneth Hansen is the sport’s most successful racer of all time, with a remarkable 14 European Rallycross titles to his name and now Kenneth’s son, Timmy, is making waves in the rallycross paddock.
Growing up in the rallycross paddocks, motorsport runs through Timmy Hansen’s blood; the now 22-year-old made his way up through the karting ranks, winning the Swedish Championship, before entering single-seater race series Formula BMW Europe and Formula Renault Eurocup.
In 2012, Timmy made his rallycross race debut at the Finnish round of the European Rallycross Championship and he’s now in his first full season of the FIA World Rallycross competition.
“Rallycross is something I’ve grown up with – it’s a very special sport and, coming from single-seater racing, it’s very different…there is so much action and it is so fast paced, you don’t have a second to relax.
“The first time I ever drove a SuperCar, I remember that the Cooper tyre I was running developed a great deal of grip. The Cooper tyre allows you to go very far sideways without losing grip or traction, which is completely different to any single-seater racing tyre.
“In rallycross, there is an open tyre choice – you don’t have to run a particular manufacturer’s tyre, but almost everyone runs Coopers because they really are the best by far. In a sport like rallycross, the tyres are so important as they give you the confidence you need to really push the car to the maximum.
“For those that don’t know the sport, rallycross races are six laps long and they’re held on very short circuits, which are a mix of asphalt and gravel. Races are always action-packed and very intense, which is no surprise when the cars top 550 bhp!
“The fact that it is a mixed surface event means that more demands are put on the tyres, but the Coopers are great. My father has tested rallycross tyres in development stages and he advised me that when tyres get hot, they sometimes pick up stones and gravel, which is not what you want. With the Cooper tyre, this is not a problem and it always delivers the best grip whatever the surface.
“As well as a great product, the support Cooper offers is very useful – at every round there is a Cooper truck with staff on-hand to offer advice on camber and tyre pressures, which is great.
“When I think about my season so far, I’d say that the biggest challenge has been learning the new circuits – we have very little testing time, so I arrive at most circuits with no previous knowledge. The experience and insight I gained as part of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy in 2011 has undoubtedly helped me get to grips with these as quickly as possible, which is vital when you’re up against the best in the world.