Kevin Hansen secured his first ever event win at the 2016 Euro RX of Belgium, with the young Swedish driver in his first ever season of FIA European Rallycross Championship action.
Whilst Jerome Grosset-Janin dominated qualifying by being fastest in all four sessions, Hansen showed his speed by making sure that he was inside the top three in the standings, apart from in Q1 where he suffered damage to his Peugeot-Hansen Academy 208 RX at the infamous turn one. However he went on to qualify for semi-final 2 and would win the race to guarantee himself a place on the front row of the Supercar final.
In the final, Hansen made a good start off the line and was beaten into turn one by Grosset-Janin in his Albatec Racing Peugeot. From this point on Hansen chased the French driver as the two similar machines were matched for pace whilst behind them Tord Linnerud was the closest of the challengers in his Volkswagen Polo. When as Hansen closed on Grosset-Janin in the final laps, the Swedish took his joker on lap four. As The French driver took his on lap five, Hansen pounced and took the lead of the race as well as going on to take the win ahead of Grosset-Janin and Linnerud. Lukacs Kornel guided his Ford Focus to fourth at the finish ahead of 2015 Champion Tommy Rustad in the second Albatec machine.
Hansen was overjoyed with his victory:
“I was thrilled to win the final on my European Rallycross Championship debut! My weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts when I had a big smash at the start of the first qualifying heat. After that, though, I showed good speed and felt confident. I just needed to get fresh air. I managed to do that in the final and that helped me to go on and win.”
Both Hansen and Grosset-Janin jointly lead the Drivers Championship on 27 points whilst Linnerud remains in third on 23 points as the series moves onto rounds two at Hell in Norway on 10-12 June.