Connect with us


Dan’s ya man – 143 Daniel Hansford Interview

The 1600 Bangers season fully kicks off this Saturday with their first World Qualifying Round of the year at Ipswich in a fully booked fixture. One of the standout drivers of the past few seasons in the class is 143 Daniel Hansford, who was an Alcomers winner here last time the 1600 Bangers were in attendance. Bryson caught up with the Rude Boyz driver in the off-season.

Danny naturally got into racing through his family routes, however racing wasn’t the first thing on his mind having been about the ovals as a youngster as he reveals. ‘Growing up watching my stepdad race most weekends, I think it was inevitable that I was going to get hooked on racing, but I was always football over racing. After two back to back injuries, it put me off the pitch for probably 10 months and I never got back to the fitness level I was at before my injuries, so football came to a stop and then racing took over probably from the age of 13.’

It was humble beginnings for Dan early days in his racing career. ‘I can’t actually remember how my first meeting went to be honest. I remember having Joey sat passenger to me for the first few meetings and we argued a bit like father and son do, so in the end I had local legend and Ringwood Cheetahs superstar Shane Thompson sit passenger to me for a while.’ From there, racing really progressed for Dan as he recalls as he began to find his feet and develop his own race-craft. ‘I went on to win races at Cheetahs and Ringwood, as well as coming 2nd in the Junior World of Dirt at Smallfield, but then we fancied a change. I was torn between a Spedeworth Junior Rod or an ORCi Ministox. I was best mates with Mark Cooper who also left cheetahs and he went onto race Ministox, so I went with him to a few meetings and then asked for a Mini instead of a Nova Junior Rod. I got 2 Ministox’s just before my 15th birthday, so we only had one solid year at it. We travelled the country every weekend racing. I won the World Cup, Southern Championship, Long Track Championship and was winning both Spedeworth and Incarace Points until I hit 16 and couldn’t finish the season off.’

Daniel initially continued that momentum before life got in the way, with his main focus being his very busy DNH Logistics business, although one constant has been his desire to get back to the track. ‘I done a few banger meetings as soon as I turned 16 but after that it slowed down. I brought an ORCi Stock Rod to play with, but I couldn’t really grasp the non-contact side of things. I started my business when I turned 18 so sold the Stock Rod and ended up buying a Stoxkart just to play with as and when because it was cheap, and had a few mates in them and then sold that at the end of the year for the same money I brought it for so it kind of felt like I had a year of playing for nothing. I’ve always had a thing for Bangers, so in 2019 I brought an Astra ready to race and had a solid year at that. 2019 was a good year; I won plenty of races, was battling for the Spedeworth Points until I got banned for a month. Covid hit in 2020 and I got bored, got itchy feet and fancied a bit of a project I suppose so we brought a 1300 Stock Car from Daniel Wenn. Again, I done well in that won a few races,  and got 2nd in the points sitting at a red top. I brought a house with Courtney in 2021, and enjoyed spending time at home so I fell out of love with the 1300 and the yard if I’m honest so that got sold. 2023 came along and we ended up buying 2 Astra kits and here we go again.’

This year will look to see the same from Dan, although perhaps maybe a quieter season than last year. ‘It’ll be 1600’s again this year, how often I don’t know, but the meetings I do, I’ll do my bit to try to entertain – smash a few up, get smashed up and just enjoy it. Courtney’s new Brisca F1 will be ready soon, so she’ll take priority as always and I’ll just race as and when I can in between her race meetings.’

Dan mentions his partner Courtney on several occasions. For those unaware, he is married to Courtney Finnikin-Hansford, BRISCA F1 #551 coming from a long line of Stock Car stars. With Dan being very much from a Banger background, I wondered whether there was a clash in dynamics given the varying upbringings around racing. ‘It doesn’t really make too much of a difference to us,’ he admits. ‘We both just love racing, all forms of it! Obviously we have different views on certain things. Courtney’s never really understood the time and money that goes into banger racing to potentially do one lap, whereas I’ve been brought up around that so it’s kind of the norm to me. I feel with the Brisca following, the professional look and the general cost difference must bring some stress and maybe pressure when racing a BRISCA F1, whereas with my Banger it is what it is and you just take it as it comes.’

Racing alongside his wife last year in a Banger is one of Dan’s standout moments from his racing exploits to date, and I’d imagine is a bucket list thing for many racing couples, but he reveals some more of his key moments. ‘I had a few in my Ministox. I’d say winning a heat and final double at Eastbourne on my 3rd meeting and then again on my 4th at Northampton the following meeting against 40 drivers, it was a that point I thought sh*t, I can actually do this,’ he laughs. ‘Another in my ministox would be winning the Southern Championship that was my first championship win.’ (Some great names have added their name to that honour 😉) ‘There was an Ipswich/Yarmouth World qualifier weekender in 2019 which was a stand out weekend. I won the final on the Sunday night at Yarmouth, and we all went out Sunday night then went to Ipswich the following day and I won the final there too.’

Learning all we have about Dan and his racing career to date, I asked him who he would have alongside himself in his dream team. ‘Roona (262 Rob Bugler), PJ (208 PJ Collins), Lakey (114 Liam Lake), (617) Jack Overy and (717) Jack Tuffen.’ That would certainly be some team – one that can certainly cause damage both on a race and entertainment front!

Daniel would like to conclude the interview in typical manner with some thank you’s. ‘I’ve got a whole list so we’ll start off with the sponsors. J. Davidson Scrap, TTS Exports, CCR Race Preparation, S Metal Recycling, Tony Smith Kitchens, S Collins & Sons & Wynford Tyre Depot. I’m going do the typical banger post here by saying “it wouldn’t be possible without all the boys in the yard or at the track,” but it really wouldn’t because I am useless when it comes to fixing and mending cars so without the likes of Big Stu, Kris, Jamie, Paul, Barry, Graham, Ginge, PJ and especially Joey, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of the racing.’

We hope to see Daniel out on the track soon, and look forward to seeing what 2024 has in store for both him, and the 1600 Bangers.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Interviews