Kevin Hansen will once again race for JBXE in the next Extreme E event, the Arctic X-Prix, in place of team owner Jenson Button.
Reigning Nitro Rallycross winner Hansen substituted for Button in May’s Ocean X-Prix in Senegal, and after finishing third alongside Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky he was asked to be her team-mate again.
“It was a little while ago [it was decided], it was great that I got the call-up to continue,” Hansen told DirtFish.
“It was something I hoped for since Senegal. I think we did very well there, and we had a good connection, so I think somewhere everybody was hoping to continue, and fancied was maybe a good idea to do it and see what could be for another race.
“And I’m just really pleased that I got the trust again from Hansen and the team to jump in again in the seat and partner with Mikaela for Greenland.”
Despite not knowing if he would return to XE, Hansen got preparing for the next event in Greenland fairly promptly just in case.
“Me and Mikaela have known each other for a long time. So we know where we help each other, ” he said.
“And as soon as we got the go-ahead again that it’s 100% going to happen, then we intensified the work. But we for sure had some contact a bit between the races to continue to just be that little bit prepared for what’s going to come.
It’s difficult to do a lot of preparation, which is also good in a way that for everybody you can take a breakKevin Hansen
“But it’s not easy to prepare at all. We had good debriefs and so on after the first event, and then it doesn’t come out so much information on track layout and so on until just a bit before [the event].
“So it’s difficult to do a lot of preparation, which is also good in a way that for everybody you can take your break between and don’t have to spend so much energy on that.
“And now when information is starting to come, then you start to intensify your work and prepare to the fullest. I think that is a really great way to do it.”
Before heading to Greenland, the World Rallycross points leader has the second round of that season at Höljes on August 20-23 to focus on. He is then “for one night at home afterwards, which is going to be really nice to reset quickly” on Sunday before flying out for the Arctic X-Prix the next evening.
“It’s also nice because we have plenty of days there on-site to see what’s going on there on the location,” Hansen said.
“It’s very, let’s say, a hot topic at the moment, literally. Because the ice is melting, and to see that with your own eyes, I think it’s going to be a great way to show the world that the crisis is here and there’s nothing we can hide from anymore. So it’s great to get there in advance and spread the message properly.
“Also to see the track, and get the full time there to really settle in in the event and the team to prepare.”
Once he returns, he’s then headed straight to France (a trip he has packed in advance for) as World RX races at the Lohéac circuit on September 3-5. Then there’s a one-week break before a World RX double-header, the first two Nitro RX rounds and World RX’s return to Spa-Francorchamps occupying him until mid-October.
While Hansen knows the European tracks and the first Nitro RX venue, Greenland’s XE course is still a total unknown.
“The biggest thing that changes from track to track, or location to location [in XE], is what the surface type is,” he said.
“The first two events were sand, but completely different types of sand which create completely different types of racing. And that is key to understand what we need to do with the car, with the set-up, and also with the driving on the track.”
Drivers will get to explore the local area in Greenland by foot before racing, which will give them their first clues as to the challenges of the terrain and the challenges the terrain faces itself.
“It’s very important to see the ground, and also to see again what is going on around. After the first round I was in Senegal and truly I think that is the biggest thing I take from each event, each location: the situation in each country that we go to, for the events that we are having.
“It’s easy to say because that’s the main message of the championship, but it’s literally mind-blowing and really affecting me as a person seeing these locations.”