It was something of an emotional rollercoaster weekend for Peugeot in Barcelona, home of round nine of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship. After contending for the win all the way, Timmy Hansen pocketed second place in Spain, while his young brother Kevin sewed up this year’s European title!
• After winning the first heat, Timmy Hansen topped the order throughout qualifying to emerge as the man to beat in Spain. Unfortunately, he failed to keep the same momentum going for the remainder of the competition, although he came second not only in his semi-final but also in the final to collect the PEUGEOT 208 WRX’s eighth podium finish of the year, a score none of the team’s rivals can match.
• Kevin Hansen – winner of the first three rounds of the 2016 European Rallycross Championship organised prior to the Barcelona clash – produced another perfect performance. He concluded qualifying in a dominant position before taking assertive victories in his semi-final and the final. His most threatening opponent in the title chase came third today, a result which hands the 2016 ERX crown to the Swede. He is European Rallycross’s youngest ever champion, an honour which fully justifies the Peugeot Hansen Academy’s faith in the son of dad Kenneth who chalked up no fewer than 14 European titles!
• Once again, Peugeot succeeded in qualifying its three 208 WRXs for the semi-final stage. However, neither Sébastien Loeb (whose run ended on the last lap due to impact damage) nor Davy Jeanney managed to join their team-mate in the final.
(*) Subject to confirmation of the official classification by the sport’s governing body.
Kenneth Hansen (Team Principal)
“It was another good weekend for us. To begin with, Kevin sewed up the European title thanks to another of his impeccable performances! As far as the world championship went, I am pleased to say we have found our speed again and we were in the fight for the victory. That’s very promising and I think we could have won outright today. Both Sébastien and Timmy had the pace but we didn’t succeed. That was due more to circumstances than to our performance potential.”
Timmy Hansen (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21, Team Peugeot Hansen)
“I think it was my best weekend of the season so far. A win during qualifying allowed me to start from pole position and we clearly had the necessary speed to challenge for the victory. We all worked very hard to achieve that and the 208 WRX was extremely competitive here. I am very proud of the progress we have made. I found myself down in fourth place at one moment in the final but I succeeded in fighting back on the last lap. Second place was by no means a foregone conclusion. Congratulations, of course, to Kevin. He has been exceptional all year. I am so proud of him!”
Sébastien Loeb (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9, Team Peugeot Hansen)
“This weekend’s positive is that our car was competitive. Let’s hope it stays that way for the rest of the championship. Overall, it was quite frustrating for me because the potential was there to do better but we failed to make the most of the opportunity. I stalled at the start of my semi-final which caused me to lose several places. After that, I found myself blocked and, in the end, I didn’t reach the finish. It’s a shame because the potential was there.”
Kevin Hansen (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71, Peugeot Hansen Academy)
“It’s incredible to have won the title! I grew up in the paddocks of the European Rallycross Championship and it’s something I’ve dreamt of ever since I was a kid. There couldn’t have been a better way to make that dream come true than by winning every one of the four rounds to date! Being the youngest ever champion is the icing on the cake. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it won’t stop me from trying to add a fifth victory at the final round. I will be under less pressure there and you can be sure that I will give it my very best shot!”
Davy Jeanney (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #17, Peugeot Hansen Academy)
“Overall, it was a pretty good weekend for me, even though it was a little complex because my car didn’t have the performance to fight at the sharp end. That was quite frustrating. I made a few errors but I succeeded in qualifying for the semi-final stage. I think I found a decent pace but it wasn’t sufficient to make it through to the final.”
FINAL POSITIONS – BARCELONA, SPAIN:
1. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1)
2. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
4. Timur Timerzyanov (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta)
5. Janis Baumanis (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta)
6. Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1)
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER NINE ROUNDS
FIA World Rallycross Championship – Drivers:
1. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 204 pts
2. Petter Solberg (Peter Solberg World RX Team, Citroën DS3), 194 pts
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 182 pts
4. Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS), 173 points
5. Sebastien Loeb (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 154 pts
6. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 143 pts
7. Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1), 113 pts
8. Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1), 84 pts
9. Timur Timerzyanov (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 83 pts
10. Janis Baumanis (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 74 pts
11. Davy Jeanney (Peugeot-Hansen Academy, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 67 pts