Timmy Hansen triumphs in dramatic Nitro RX opener

Hansen family remains unbeaten in Nitro Rallycross as 2021 series begins


Timmy Hansen kept his family team’s unbeaten run at Nitro Rallycross going by surviving an action-packed six-lap finale at the Utah Motorsports Campus.

The 2018 event winner was beaten off the start by polesitter Travis Pastrana, but forced the Subaru driver wide on the exit of the first corner to take a lead he would not relinquish.

Behind Timmy Hansen, who opted for the supposedly faster but less spectacular tabletop route, Ford Fiesta runners Oliver Eriksson and Fraser McConnell launched from the gap jump and straight into lead contention.

That formula would continue of the the next couple of laps, with Eriksson closing the gap in the second half of the lap, but the asphalt of the start/finish straight allowing Timmy Hansen to pull out a gap at the start of each tour.

A collision between the Olsbergs Ford runners on lap four ended both of their hopes for the win, Eriksson eventually slowing to a crawl, while McConnell, who initially came off worse, recovered to finish at race pace.

Hansen entered the final lap with a lead of just under 10 seconds ahead of Steve Arpin, who kept his nose clean to rise into the podium positions. He finished second behind Hansen, with 2019 NRX winner Kevin Hansen rising from the back of the grid to complete the podium.

McConnell recovered from the bump with Eriksson to finish fourth, ahead of Scott Speed who had an uncharacteristically anonymous race after dropping back early on.

Oliver Eriksson was able to hobble home seventh, only just keeping on the lead lap. Tanner Foust retired with a left-front failure, much like his team-mate Cabot Bigham suffered in the Last Chance Qualifier, while Andreas Bakkerud compounded a forgettable final for Subaru by pulling off on the first lap.

Final results

Timmy Hansen, Peugeot 6:00.387
Steve Arpin, Hyundai +5.984
Kevin Hansen, Peugeot +11.211
Fraser McConnell, Ford +21.902
Travis Pastrana, Subaru + 23.750
Scott Speed, Subaru +25.269
Oliver Eriksson, Ford +1:01.058
Tanner Foust, Audi + 2 Laps
Andreas Bakkerud, Subaru DNF
Cabot Bigham, Audi DNS


Ahead of the final, the three-lap LCQ proved to be hugely attritional as well, as a field of six battled over the last two final spots.

Eventual winner Kevin Hansen made a good start at first but his hard work was undone by a red flag when Liam Doran smashed into the wall on the start/finish straight after a spectacular high-speed puncture. Moments later, Doran’s RX Cartel team-mate Robin Larsson rolled entering the ‘Talladega’ banked turn, but was able to retake the start following the red flag period to recover Doran’s stricken Audi.

Upon that restart, Oliver Bennett had the better of Kevin Hansen, but he was to retire with a mechanical failure while in place to advance to the final.

As if that wasn’t enough, Cabot Bigham nearly lost that transfer spot he inherited from Bennett with a huge suspension failure as he took the checkered flag. While he limped home second in that LCQ, enough to make the main event, the damage was too severe for him to continue.

Support classes

George Megennis claimed victory in the second NRX NEXT round of the weekend with a mature final drive to resist pressure from Martin Enlund, who finished second for the second-straight day.

Starting from pole, DirtFish-backed Megennis waited until the final lap to joker as he and Enlund gapped the field.

Casper Jansson, who jokered on the first lap, flirted with challenging for the win, but ultimately couldn’t make the most of that clear air he got into early on.

Lane Vacala was fourth after getting by the fast starting Sage Karam, with Eric Gordon the final finisher. Round one winner Simon Olofsson failed to finish after retiring with a mechanical issue on the opening lap.

Megennis’ win was the first rallycross win of his young career, coming in just his third-ever race – his first NRX NEXT weekend coming after an impressive cameo appearance in the RallyX Nordic season opener in August.


In Sierra Cars, the lower-level 50bhp 700rx runners swept the podium positions after a calamitous final for the 200bhp RX3 quintet.

John McInnes once again dominated the early stages as all the other RX3 drivers collided on the opening lap just after the step-up jump.

Gage Hughes and Preston Godfrey were able to keep going, but a lengthy stoppage meant that the lower-level runners were able to pass. Andrew Carlson, the third driver involved, meanwhile retired after losing a wheel.

The incident should have handed an easy win to McInnes, but a stall for him on the second lap derailed his quest for back-to-back wins, handing victory to Sierra Cars lead designer OP Andersen from Ethan Raap and Lia Block, daughter of Ken Block.