With their distinctive blue livery adorned by raging bulls, the two PEUGEOT 208 WRXs are revving up in a bid to show a clean pair of heels to their rivals in Barcelona next weekend during Round 10 of the fiercely-disputed FIA World Rallycross Championship. Leading the way in the Teams’ standings, Team Peugeot Hansen has a fifth victory and ninth podium finish of the 2015 campaign solidly in its sights on September 19-20.
After stopping off at Hockenheim back at the beginning of the season, the FIA World Rallycross Championship is preparing to visit another of Formula 1’s most iconic venues in the shape of Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. The rallycross track – which will run in an anti-clockwise direction – will only borrow the final few corners of the famous Grand Prix circuit, to which will be added a gravel section to complete a 1.137km lap. It has been designed so that spectators sat in the grandstands won’t miss a second of the action as they offer competitors a warm Spanish welcome at this eagerly-anticipated première.
The track will represent a new challenge for all of the drivers. However, as a former circuit racer, Timmy Hansen hopes to steal a march over his adversaries. After tallying back-to-back successes in the championship’s two most recent outings in Norway and France, his firm objective is to claim a third consecutive victory behind the wheel of his #21 PEUGEOT 208 WRX as he bids to reduce the 37-point gap that currently separates him from championship leader Petter Solberg.
Out of luck on home turf following triumphs earlier in the season in Germany and Canada, team-mate Davy Jeanney is determined to return to the sharp end of the field. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the entire team, his #17 PEUGEOT 208 WRX has been fully repaired and rebuilt in time for Barcelona after his accident at Lohéac last weekend – and the Frenchman is eager to repay his mechanics’ hard work in style.
Beyond the headlining Supercar class, Kevin Hansen will contest the sixth round of the RX Lites championship. Arriving in Spain at the top of the standings in a category that is overflowing with talented rallycross stars of tomorrow, the young Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team driver will be keen to extend his advantage over his closest pursuers.
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal
“This event will be new for everybody involved, although I do have some prior experience of the asphalt section of the circuit from Timmy’s single-seater days and I expect it to be quite demanding on the tyres. I can’t comment on the gravel section as I have yet to see it, but the overall track looks interesting and I am optimistic that it should play to our strengths. I hope we can have a successful weekend and consolidate our lead in the Teams’ classification. We’ve enjoyed a fantastic run recently with our PEUGEOT 208 WRXs but we are also well aware that winning and losing in this sport are sometimes separated by a very fine line.”
The action from Barcelona will be broadcast on TV in more than 120 countries all around the world. The semi-finals and final will be televised live in France on L’Equipe 21 and in Sweden on TV10.
Weekend timetable (local times)
Saturday, September 19
• 9:30 : Free Practice
• 12:30 : Heats 1 et 2
Sunday, September 20
• 8:30 : Warm Up
• 10:00 : Heat 3
• 11:15 : Heat 4
• 15:00 : Semi-final / Final
• Length: 1.137km
• Asphalt: 60.17%
• Gravel: 39.83%
FIA World Rallycross Championship standings after nine rounds
1. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 219 pts
2. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 182 pts
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 156 pts
4. Andreas Bakkerud (Olsbergs MSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 152 pts
5. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 146 pts
6. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 139 pts
7. Reinis Nitiss (Olsbergs MSE AB Ford Fiesta ST), 123 pts
8. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 109 pts
1. Team Peugeot-Hansen, 328 pts
2. Ford Olsbergs MSE, 275 pts
3. SDRX, 244 pts
2015 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR
1 • April 24-26: Portugal (Montalegre)
2 • May 1-3: Germany (Hockenheim)
3 • May 15-17: Belgium (Mettet)
4 • May 22-24: Great Britain (Lydden Hill)
5 • June 19-21: Germany (Estering)
6 • July 3-5: Sweden (Holjes)
7 • August 7-8: Canada (Trois-Rivières)
8 • August 21-23: Norway (Hell)
9 • September 4-6: France (Lohéac)
10 • September 18-20: Spain (Barcelona)
11 • October 2-4: Turkey (Istanbul)
12 • October 16-18: Italy (Franciacorta)
13 • November 27-29: Argentina (San Luis)