FIA WORLD RX - PORTRAIT: SUSANN HANSEN, TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL'S DRIVING FORCE
Sat, 09/06/2018 - 09:00
Watch the video portrait of Susann Hansen: https://youtu.be/nG2obFTa6gA
Behind the men of the Team PEUGEOT Total, there is a powerful woman: Susann Hansen. She occupies an essential role, not only for the drivers but for all other members of the squad, as the Team Coordinator.
For 2 of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers, Timmy Hansen and Kevin Hansen, the relationship with the Team Co-ordinator is a particularly special one, as she also happens to be their mother. So as well as keeping an eye on her boys, what does a Susann Hansen do?
Essentially, the Team Coordinator is the conductor of a very large orchestra – about 40 passionate people in the Team Peugeot Total squad, ensuring that everyone is on the same page, keeping time, and doing what they are meant to be doing. Susann produces all the race schedules for Team Peugeot Total, checks that everyone is in the right time at the right place, and makes sure that every single person has all the information that they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, while staying firmly within the rules and timings. This means constantly exchanging information before, during and after each event, as well as being the 1st point of contact for anyone with a query. This can range from a question about where servicing is allowed on the track, to where the nearest dentist is in the case of a sudden toothache…
It’s a multi-faceted role that demands impeccable organisation, a brilliant memory, a calm and flexible temperament, but perhaps most importantly of all, years of experience. And in Susann’s case that experience has not just been accumulated behind the scenes, but also in the front line.
In 1994, Susann – who is of course married to 14-time European champion Kenneth Hansen, PEUGEOT’s Team Manager – became the 1st woman to win a European Rallycross title, when she claimed the 1400 category in front of all her male rivals. This achievement, which still hasn't been equalled today, gives her a valuable perspective on her job role, as she is able to see everything from the point of view of the drivers as well as the team: vital when it comes to getting them to do what she wants!
“The 1994 season was a big year for me and Kenneth because we both won the Swedish championship and the European championship in different categories,” says Susann. “That was an amazing year: Timmy was two years old travelling with the family as a little team. I remember the day I took the European title in Germany. It was as if I was flying, it was a dream. I am so grateful I could achieve that, and I must say, Kenneth has always been my number one supporter. Whenever I doubted myself and my talent or what I could do, he was always there pushing me, saying ‘of course you can do it’.”
Of course, Susann believes passionately in women’s rights and would like to see a world in which more women from every walk of life are given more equal opportunities. “There are still not so many women in motorsport and especially not driving, which is really sad,” she adds. “Actually there were more women driving in rallycross before than there are now – it has gone backwards. I’m really proud to show that it doesn’t matter, as long as you believe in yourself. And with the support of your family and friends, nothing is impossible. Rallycross has been my life for more than 25 years. But to be able to share your life’s passion with your children is a real blessing.”
It’s because of her undiminished passion for the sport, as well as her ability to anticipate almost every contingency, that Susann is so widely respected. In many ways, she’s not only a mother to Timmy and Kevin – but also to everyone in the entire Team Peugeot Total squad.
- Watch the final of the Hell RX on TV on Channel 4 on Sunday10th of June, 2018
- PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2018 technical data sheet: http://www.peugeot-media.com/
- Latest imagery of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2018 (static & action + video newscut):
©Photo : PEUGEOT Sport / MCH Photography
©Vidéo : PEUGEOT Sport / La Clé Production
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