Travis and Terry Hanson started the season in a history book and will end it in a family annual. On the way, the son and father duo won the 2011 Super Production title with a dominance yet seen in the Rally America National Championship.
Travis from Littleton, NH and his father/co-driver Terry from Williamsburg, MI stunned themselves and the the Rally America community with a win in the season opener at January’s Sno*Drift Rally in Michigan. It was a U.S. rally first putting the team on the top of the points standings for half the season, another U.S. rally first for a Super Production category team.
The Hansons continued to rack up top five overall finishes throughout the season to maintain third place in the championship even after Suburu Rally Team USA’s David Higgins started winning events in his faster Open category machine to take over the championship after the Oregon Trail Rally in May. The Hanson dominance in the Super Production category kept the team in the top three in overall points going into the final event of the season, the New England Forest Rally (NEFR) in Newry, Maine July 15 & 16. They’ll enter NEFR with the SP title in hand but still a brass ring to reach for.
“The SP class championship has been our main goal since the inception of the class,” said Travis Hanson, “It means the world to me to be able to win in a class that is so competitive and a true driver’s class. Having my dad as my co-driver makes this championship so special. Being able to do this with my dad makes this much more than just a championship, just a trophy, it’s a relationship that no one else has.”
Now, the Hansons can focus on defending their third place overall standing knowing that the SP Class is wrapped up. They can enjoy being the highest placing SP team since the class was introduced in 2009.
“At NEFR we have to keep doing what we have done for the whole season, be consistent, be fast and finish. If something happens to one of the top teams and we have a great race there is a chance that we could even score better than 3rd. Who knows? This is rally. Anything can happen,” says Travis Hanson.
Even with the SP championship decided there’ll still be drama in the category in New England. Second and third place in the SP Class promises to be a battle to watch in New England. Only one point separates Ramana Lagemann, Somerville, MA, in second from Lauchlin O’Sullivan, San Francisco, CA, his teammate in third place. Lagemann, in fact, is coming on strong in the second half of the season. He’s won the last two SP class events to move into second in the category.
Both Ramana and Lauchlin are experienced rally racers and very familiar with each other’s driving style and racing pedigree. They’ve faced each other as factory drivers (Ramana drove for the Subaru Rally Team USA and O’Sullivan drove for the Mitsubishi Rally Team) during the SCCA ProRally days nearly ten years ago. Now they’ll stare each other down heading into a difficult and predatory New England Forest Rally.
“Lauchlin and I are great friends,” Lagemann explained, “and after NEFR last year, we talked about how awesome it would be to compete together in the same class this season. Unfortunately that plan hasn’t really worked out. Either I’ve had car troubles or he has. But now we have a few weeks to prepare for NEFR, and we’re both looking forward to getting on those stages.”
Be sure to catch all the NEFR action on www.rally-america.com via live updates and RAM TV video reporting featuring rally action and driver interviews. You can check stage results on your mobile at m.rallyam.com or www.twitter.com/RallyCar_Series.
Travis and Terry Hanson’s Season Accomplishments:
Championship Super Production
Sno*Drift Rally 1st Overall 1st Place
100 Acre Wood Rally 4th Place 1st Place
Olympus Rally 5th Place 1st Place
Oregon Trail Rally 4th Place 2nd Place
STPR Rally 4th Place 2nd Place