Mike Hanson Joins Ellstrom Racing
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation and Ellstrom Racing owner Erick Ellstrom announced today that veteran crew chief Mike Hanson has joined the crew of the 96 Spirit of Qatar.
In making the announcement, Ellstrom said, “Mike Hanson’s experience and skill set fill a definite need on our team. As we are dialing in a brand new Spirit of Qatar for the upcoming season, Mike’s expertise with everything from hulls to hardware and systems will be invaluable.”
Ellstrom continued, “We obviously know Mike very well, having raced against him for many years and working alongside him and his team in the pit area. The addition is very popular with our entire team, as Mike is one of the most respected, best liked people in the sport and we are happy to be able to give him the opportunity to work closer to his home in Seattle.”
Hanson joined the Unlimited ranks, first as a driver, in 1986. He won the 1993 San Diego race driving for the Miss Madison Race team. Subbing for an injured Chip Hanauer, he won the 1994 Dallas race in Miss Budweiser. Hanson turned Jones Racing’s U-9 into a front runner in 2001 and won the Gold Cup on the Detroit River [running as Tubby's Grilled Submarines] and San Diego Bayfair in 2002 [as Sun Harbor Mortgage]. He returned to the Madison team in 2004 as crew chief, where he teamed with driver Steve David to win 15 races and the Season High Point Championship four times from 2008 to 2012, giving him one of the best winning records of any crew chief in the history of the sport.
Hanson commented, “The decision to leave the Madison team was obviously a very difficult one. I have been fortunate to be associated with a bunch of the greatest people a guy could ask for, on the Madison team and in the Madison community. I hope they understand that the opportunity to spend more time closer to home in Seattle and work with a team the quality of Ellstrom Racing is a once in lifetime opportunity. We had great times and won a lot of races and championships together. I will always be very proud of everything we accomplished and wish the Madison team nothing but the best in the future.”
Mike and his wife Tonya live in Bonney Lake, Washington, Southeast of Seattle. They have a son Trevor and a daughter Aubree.
Ellstrom Racing is in the process of completing a new state-of-the-art Spirit of Qatar Unlimited which will debut at the season opener in Madison, Indiana July 5th – 7th with a new driver as yet to be named.