The next competitive outing for Team Peugeot Hansen and its powerful PEUGEOT 208 WRXs will be at Mettet, Belgium, on May 16-17. Its objective at Round 3 of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship will be to continue on the run of podium successes it has enjoyed since the beginning of the season.
Just two weeks after appearing in front of a brand new audience at the recent DTM clash at Hockenheim, Germany, the FIA World Rallycross Championship moves on to Round 3 in Belgium, only a short hop over the border from Peugeot’s home country. The facility at Mettet was visited by the world of rallycross for the first time in 2014 and, this time, fans will benefit from a longer track with a proportion of dirt that has been extended from 35% to 39%. Last year’s race saw Team Peugeot-Hansen notch up its first World RX podium finish in front of a crowd of 20,000 spectators who watched Timmy Hansen secure a promising second place in the PEUGEOT 208 WRX.
This weekend, the team’s two drivers are eager to repeat that performance at the Circuit Jules Tachery. Based on the potential they have shown at the first two rounds of the 2015 championship, Timmy Hansen (#21) and Davy Jeanney (#17) have every intention of making full use of their 550-horsepower steeds to fight at the very front of the field. At the same time, they are perfectly aware that they face even stiffer opposition than usual since the Supercar class has attracted an entry of no fewer than 39 cars! With Hyundai, Renault, Saab, Skoda and Volvo all in action at the Belgian venue, there are five additional car brands represented and some first class battling is in store for everyone! The race will be broadcast on TV in more than 120 countries worldwide, including live coverage of the semi-finals and final in France on L’Equipe 21, in Sweden on TV10, in Belgium on RTBF, etc.
We came second at Mettet in 2014, so it’s a track that suits the car. The layout has been revised slightly this time round because there was a section – including a jump – that was a little too hard on the mechanicals. I think the changes are an improvement. We will use last year’s good set-up as a base in order to try to finish on the podium and defend Peugeot’s position in the provisional Teams’ standings. We’re third at the moment but it’s very close: the top three teams are covered by less than 10 points. The level is extremely high this season…
Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 57 pts
Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 42 pts
Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 37pts
Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 37 pts
Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 34 pts
Toomas Heikinen (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 29 pts
SDRX, 74 pts
Ford Olsbergs MSE, 71 pts
Team Peugeot-Hansen, 65 pts
Track data (Mettet)
Fastest lap in 2014: 38.784s (Robin Larsson, final)
Handicap Joker lap: approximately
Top speeds: 175kph
Hardest braking: from 150kph to 55kph in just 120 metres (on dirt)