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Hansen partners with Williams to launch Esports team

Hansen partners with Williams to launch Esports team


Reigning FIA World Rallycross champions Hansen Motorsport will compete in the 2020 iRacing Rallycross World Championship, launching a new esports venture in collaboration with Formula 1 team Williams.

Reigning FIA World Rallycross champions Hansen Motorsport will compete in the 2020 iRacing Rallycross World Championship, launching a new esports venture in collaboration with Formula 1 team Williams.

Hansen Williams Esports brings together the sim-racing expertise of Williams Esports and the rallycross experience of Hansen Motorsport, expanding the team's push to identify and develop the next generation of world-class rallycross drivers.

Henrik Krogstad makes up one half of the Hansen Williams Esports line-up in 2020, continuing his successful partnership with Hansen Motorsport. Krogstad raced for the #YellowSquad team in RX2 and RallyX Nordic Supercar Lites this year, in a joint effort between Hansen Motorsport and Team Färén.

After winning both of those real-world championships with #YellowSquad in 2020, his next target is success in the iRacing Rallycross World Championship.

Krogstad will be joined in the Hansen Williams Esports line-up by Josh Fox. The American sim-racing pro also has real-world racing experience, competing in Sprint Car oval racing. Fox starts the iRX season as a top contender for the world championship title, having finished 3rd overall in 2018 and scoring 401 wins in 659 ranked iRacing Rallycross events to date.

Both drivers will compete in a nine-round calendar of events, starting on Saturday 26 September and finishing on Saturday 5 December.

The first round takes place on very familiar territory for Hansen Motorsport, Hell Lankebanen, which hosts Norway's World RX round. Reigning world champion Timmy Hansen won said event in 2015 and Team Hansen has scored four other real-world podiums at the same venue.

Rounds at Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, Lucas Oil Raceway and Phoenix Raceway complete the iRX calendar.

Henrik Krogstad, # 11 Hansen Williams Esports driver

“Entering the iRacing Rallycross World Championship will be as big a challenge for me as competing in RX2 and RallyX Nordic was this year. Maybe it's an even bigger challenge because I do not have so much experience in the virtual racing world. I only downloaded iRacing for the first time in February and I did not enter the qualifying series, but my speed in the ranked races I did compete in was enough to get me one of the wildcard places.

“I believe in myself of course, and Hansen working with Williams Esports in this championship gives me a lot of confidence. That is very important for me because I'm not sure I'd have accepted my invitation to compete in the championship without having the operational support of an experienced esports team around me. ”

Josh Fox, # 12 Hansen Williams Esports driver

“This will be my third season competing in the iRacing Rallycross World Championship and it's shaping up to be the best season yet. I was so excited to hear that Hansen Motorsport would be joining the field in partnership with Williams Esports; it feels a bit like we're creating a superteam. I feel proud to represent Hansen Williams Esports and I'm looking forward to a strong season for the team. ”

Kevin Hansen, Esports Team Principal, Hansen Motorsport

“This is the beginning of a new era of Hansen Motorsport, entering professional esports with Williams. It is an amazing opportunity for us, being able to enter the esports industry through a partnership with another brand which for decades was also a family-run team winning world championships.

"Williams' commitment to esports, including the in-house capability and infrastructure they've developed, and the opportunities this gives Hansen Motorsport is very exciting.

“Having Henrik as one of the drivers in our inaugural iRacing Rallycross World Championship is a perfect way to mark what this program will all be about in the long term. He has developed his skills with us in the real world, winning the RX2 and RallyX Nordic Lites championships with #YellowSquad, so it made a lot of sense for him to be part of our virtual line up.

“It's great to have Josh with us as well, a very experienced sim racer with great results, and his guidance and input will be extremely valuable in making sure we are competitive straight away.”

Steven English, Head of Esports, Williams F1

“Hansen Motorsport and Williams Esports joining forces in the virtual rallycross space is another fantastic endorsement of the long-term value in our esports programme.

“Our shared values meant a partnership was a natural fit and mixing our esports expertise with their decades of rallycross experience provides so much potential, not only for the 2020 iRacing Rallycross World Championship but in the longer term as well.

Josh is one of the top iRX drivers in the world and will be a great asset to Hansen in this championship, but we're also keen to see how Henrik adapts to his first-ever professional esports championship

“Sami-Matti Trogen, one of our other Williams Esports athletes, showed what real-world drivers can achieve in the virtual world by winning this championship last year, so we'll work with Henrik to try and replicate that same success in 2020. ”