Heading into his second season in the FIA European Rallycross Championship, Eric Faren says that he feels much more comfortable and confident in his Super1600 Citroen C2.
This time last year Faren had taken over the C2 from older brother Johan Larsson and embarked on his maiden European season as a driver. It was, he now recognises, a voyage into the unknown. “I’d been around the European Rallycross Championship with my brother and with Hansen Motorsport, so I knew about the events but that does not really prepare you for driving,” said Faren who says that he spent last year learning. “Last year the third heat was always best for me. The whole first day was just learning the track, so I was always behind. By the final I was very close to the leading pace – but by then it’s too late!”
With the experience of a year in the championship, and having had a successful test at the recent RallycrossRX test and launch event at Lydden Hill, Faren is now eager for racing to begin. “It feels completely different this year. I’m comfortable in the car and have more confidence about my driving. Knowing the tracks is going to be the biggest difference, I expect to be able to do good lap times from the start. That also brings a bit of pressure, because the team is expecting me to go fast from the start. There are no excuses, no place to hide. I want the racing to begin right now,” he says. The Lydden test was the chance for Faren to try the C2 on new suspension. “The suspension was something that we knew could be better all through last year and Lydden was the first chance to get the new Ohlins suspension on the car. I think suspension is the key thing in making the car really competitive and it felt good at Lydden, so I think that is going to be the difference.”
Like so many other drivers, Faren has worked hard through the winter to be in a place to go racing this year. “I have a normal job and all my time outside that is spent on the car or working to get sponsors. I have my own workshop and own team and we look after the car, but without the relationship with Hansen Motorsport I would not be able to do this. The help I get from them and sharing transport, that is a big thing in making the European championship possible for me,” he says. With the car tested and ready to go, and confidence boosted by his 2012 experience, Faren is aiming high this year, but knows his task is not easy. “My aim is to win, but I know that will be quite difficult. Set Promotion is always going to be very difficult to beat, there are good drivers and a lot of experience in the team, but if this was easy I would not be doing it!”
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