ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (February 13, 2002) - Former Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship Rookie of the Year James Hanson has announced he will drive a Prodrive-prepared Volvo S60 in this year's European Touring Car Championship. Rickard Rydell will...
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (February 13, 2002) - Former Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship Rookie of the Year James Hanson has announced he will drive a Prodrive-prepared Volvo S60 in this year's European Touring Car Championship. Rickard Rydell will partner Hanson at Prodrive.
Hanson drove an Edenbridge-prepared BMW 320 in last year's Super Production class, finishing tenth overall. His knowledge of the European circuits was one factor in Prodrive and Volvo's decision to put him alongside the experienced Rydell.
"Hanson is a young driver with a huge amount of potential," said Dave Benbow, Volvo team manager. "In his first year in touring cars, he managed to outperform his far more experienced team mate and achieve a third place in the last race at Jarama, beating the eventual champion, Peter Kox. Prior to this he had already proved he had the talent by winning the Rookie of the Year award in the Zetec Championship."
While both drivers will be given identical equipment, Benbow believes Hanson will learn a huge amount from his teammate, Rydell, a previous British Touring Car Champion, with more than seven years' experience.
Hanson, who drove Prodrive's prototype Volvo S60 back in December, will have his first full test in the car shortly at Vallelunga, as part of the Michelin ETCC tyre test.
"The Prodrive and Volvo combination has really raised the game," said Hanson. "I now have a fantastic opportunity to drive a full works car in a full works team with one of the most successful businesses in touring car racing. While I maybe the new kid on the block, I believe my experience in the ETCC and super production cars will help the team, particularly through the first few races."