Fred Hanssen, the 2011 Federation Internationale de I’ Automobile (FIA) European Top Methanol champion, is moving closer to realizing a dream of competing stateside in the NHRA. Hanssen opted out of the 2012 FIA season to focus on expanding his fishing business, Hanssen Fishing, and plan the details for racing in the states in 2013. Hanssen and his team have already shipped their entire stable of racing equipment from Afjord, Norway to Deer Park, Texas which is the home town of Hanssen’s crew chief, Will Hanna.
“It was very tough to not defend our championship,” said Hanssen. “I have been building this new fishing ship for a few years. Until I got everything working right on it, it is hard to send it out with other people running it. This has been hard work. I am close to having things to where I can take the time off to race again. That is why we made the decision to send the car to the US. Racing in the US against the best has always been my dream.
“I wanted to send the car over a couple of years ago,” Hanssen continued. “But Will told me we must win a European Championship first. Winning the Championship was not an easy thing to do, but we had a good season last year. I will go from being the big guy in Europe to the little guy in the US.”
Those familiar with Hanssen know that racing in the US has always been his goal. At the same time, his other passion—his fishing business—has been becoming more successful and requiring more of his time and attention. With a solid plan in place, Hannsen is now close to having things to where he can take the time off to race again.
Initially Hanssen and Hanna were planning to run a handful of NHRA races in the fall of 2012, but good news pushed their debut to 2013. Will Hanna and his wife are expecting their first child in October. Despite all of the excitement of a new child and the move to Texas, it still hasn’t been easy for the team to sit on the sideline. While tending to the business and making plans for an NHRA tour, Hannsen did not defend his FIA title in 2012 and the season has seen the Top Methanol records broken numerous times. While Hanssen is a spectator in 2012 he has a large challenge ahead of him in 2013.