Travis Hanson's 2012 campaign opener ended with victory in the Super Production class, and third place outright on the treacherous Michigan roads. (The overall podium result is provisional until the points are finalized following a protest by Leonid Urlichich.)

Victory was all the more sweet for the Hanson duo of Travis and father Terry, having seen all their hard work in the lead-up to the season seemingly wiped out.

Engine troubles right before the start of the Sno*Drift event caused the Hansons to question whether they would be able to compete in the event which they staked their name in history in the 2011 running, by claiming outright victory in a Super Production class car, a Rally America first.

Despite the problems the Hanson's 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, not only started the rally, it also held together to deliver the Super Production class victory and an outright podium finish, the second year the SP class runner stood on the overall podium at this event.  

However, the win was not straight forward for the Hanson duo, who were forced to miss recce with the engine problems. This meant that notes could not be tailored to Hanson's desire, and in-turn led to a few mistakes and spins through the event.

Spins aside third place overall was secured in dominant fashion, with a gap of over 7-minutes over fourth place, and an SP class win with a gap of over 15-minutes to his nearest SP class rivals.

Speaking of the build-up to the event, Travis said "I was pretty upset with the condition of the car at the start of the race. I had put so much time into making the car perfect and then it all fell apart right before my eyes hours before the start. I really did not think it was going to survive."

"The car somehow survived the whole rally. We could not be happier. I think we surprised a lot of people, just by starting the rally and then by finishing on the overall podium," said Travis of the fantastic result.

T. Hanson Motorsports is a family oriented team, driven by desire and dedication to the sport. The team is proudly backed by Cherry Capitol Subaru, Exedy Clutches, The Atlanta Motel and Broken Motorsports.

Next up for the Hansons is the Salem based Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, which runs February 24th and 25th.

Photo: Scott Rains