Team Peugeot Hansen followed up its recent strong performances at Estering and in Höljes with another winning display at Canada’s round of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Victory was earned by French driver Davy Jeanney in the N°17 car.
One of the chief challenges in rallycross is to have all the ingredients necessary for a strong performance – a competitive set up, on-form drivers, being quick off the line and trouble-free races – in place for the opening heat of every meeting. Since the beginning of the summer, it seems that all this has clicked into place for Team Peugeot Hansen which has begun to turn the potential revealed at the beginning of the year into a formidably efficient operation.
Further evidence of its form was provided at the Grand Prix Trois-Rivières, seventh round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship and a major fixture on the Canadian motor sport calendar. The Quebec track features the longest straight of the season and the powerful PEUGEOT 208 WRXs revealed their form in the weekend’s very first heat which was won by Timmy Hansen, just ahead of team-mate Davy Jeanney. The Swede was eager for revenge after his disappointment in Höljes and lost no time emerging as the man to beat. He followed up that victory with two more assertive wins in Heats 3 and 4 and was also second in Heat 2 after a splendid passing move.
Unfortunately, his impressive domination was stemmed in his semi-final which he failed to finish after being hit on the opening lap by world champion Petter Solberg. It was a bitter disappointment for the Swedish youngster who had been on unbeatable form since the beginning of the meeting.
Happily, the second semi-final saw Davy Jeanney pick up the baton from his team-mate to win in his PEUGEOT 208 WRX despite having been hampered by persistent niggling problems. After dominating his semi-final from start to finish, the Frenchman found himself on pole position for the final. A perfectly-paced run in that allowed him to secure his second victory of the season after his maiden success at Estering, Germany.
The result has promoted Team Peugeot Hansen to within just two points of the championship lead with six rounds remaining. The next meeting will tale teams to Hell, Norway, on August 22-23.
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal
“The PEUGEOT 208 was in a class of its own this weekend. We were helped by the qualities inherent in the car, while Davy and Timmy didn’t put a foot wrong. We are very proud to have scored another victory with our French driver. We are obviously very disappointed for Timmy who was forced out of his semi-final after producing a superb job to win three of the four heats. I take this opportunity to say that it would be nice if the sporting authorities applied the rules uniformly.”
Davy Jeanney, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #17, 1st
“After my victory in Estering [Germany], I told myself that I had to do it again – I just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. Even though I won, it was a really difficult weekend for me: I couldn’t find a good rhythm during the heats and I wasn’t happy with my starts off the line. In the semi-final, I improved my times each lap and my confidence grew. I feel sorry for Timmy; he was the top qualifier after the heats and did a brilliant job. Hopefully he can come back fighting stronger and take a win in Norway.”
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21, DNF
“I feel especially disappointment because of how competitive I was this weekend. I won three heats from four and was sure I could keep it going all the way through to the final. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed on the very first lap of my semi-final. Petter Solberg ran into me going into the opening corner and the impact sent me into the wall. After that, he span in front of me. It was impossible to continue because of a damaged wheel. It was very frustrating.”
Final positions – Round 7 (Grand Prix 3 Rivières, Canada) – August 7-8, 2015
1. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
2. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo)
3. Tanner Foust (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo)
4. Tommy Rustad (Münnich Motorsport, Audi S3)
5. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST)
6. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1),
7. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
8. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST)
9. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo)
10. Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergMSE AB Ford Fiest ST)
11. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3)
FIA World Rallycross Championship standings after seven rounds
1. Drivers Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 176 pts
2. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 130 pts
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 124 pts
4. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 122 pts
5. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 115 pts
6. Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergMSE AB Ford Fiest ST), 109 pts
7. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 107 pts
8. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 95 pts
1. Ford Olsbergs MSE, 239 pts
2. Team Peugeot-Hansen, 237 pts
3. SDRX, 201 pts