Having already ruled the roost in the west during the summer with Davy Jeanney’s Canadian triumph, Team Peugeot Hansen is now heading to Istanbul, Turkey, for the easternmost contest on the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar. In preparation for the 11th round of this year’s campaign, the two PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers have been sharpening their claws as they set their sights on accomplishing their primary objective, which is to secure the Teams’ world crown.
As a gateway between two continents, Istanbul will see the FIA World Rallycross Championship contenders set foot inside Asia. The 11th round of the season will be held around part of the city’s erstwhile Formula 1 venue, situated on the eastern side of the Bosphorus strait that divides the Turkish metropolis – and it could settle the Teams’ title.
Using the final corners of the circuit that hosted the Turkish Grand Prix between 2005 and 2011, the track blends a very typical ‘asphalt’ section with an extremely slippery run across the gravel, demanding the kind of skill that is more usually reserved for driving on ice.
This type of challenge suits former circuit racer Timmy Hansen down to the ground! Having finished runner-up there last year, the young Swede is eager to return to Istanbul behind the wheel of his N°21 PEUGEOT 208 WRX, which he steered to back-to-back victories in Norway and France. He is ready to tame the lion once more to secure a third success of the season and, with it, more vital points towards both the Teams’ and Drivers’ championships. Sitting second in the latter, he is determined to further reduce the gap that separates him from the top of the table. Meanwhile, buoyed by his triumphs in Germany and Canada that have elevated him to fourth spot in the drivers’ classification – just 16 points short of the top three – team-mate Davy Jeanney is heading to Istanbul in similarly bullish mood, despite his lack of experience of the Turkish venue.
Taking on a distinctly high calibre of opposition, the two PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers are targeting an 11th rostrum finish this season and a fifth victory, well aware that another strong performance will be vital to consolidate Team Peugeot Hansen’s championship lead, with only two rounds of the season left to run.
In addition to the headlining Supercar class, Kevin Hansen will contest the sixth and penultimate round of the RX Lites Championship. The Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team driver will be bidding to retain his advantage at the top of the Drivers’ standings and extend his margin over his closest chasers.
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal
“Last year, we were very fast in Istanbul and finished second in the final. It is the kind of circuit that will very quickly catch out the unwary. It uses the final corners of the Formula 1 track, whilst the gravel section is fairly slippery, which makes establishing a good set-up a tricky task. That said, we found a solid baseline in 2014 and we will see if that works on this year’s car. If it does, I am confident that both Timmy and Davy will be firmly in contention. Whatever happens, be assured that we will give it our all to increase our lead in the Teams’ championship, which is our chief objective.”
The action from Istanbul will be broadcast on TV in more than 120 countries across the world. The semi-finals and final will be televised live in France on L’Equipe 21 and in Sweden on TV10.
Timetable (local times, GMT +1 hour)
Saturday, October 3
• 11:00 : Free Practice
• 14:00 : Heat 1
• 16:00 : Heat 2
Sunday, October 4
• 9:15 : Warm Up
• 10:30 : Heat 3
• 12:00 : Heat 4
• 15:00 : Semi-final / Final
• Length: 1.300km
• Asphalt: 60%
• Gravel: 40%
FIA World Rallycross Championship standings, after 10 rounds
1. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 243 pts
2. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 208 pts
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 182 pts
4. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 166 pts
5. Andreas Bakkerud (Olsbergs MSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 163 pts
6. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 155 pts
7. Reinis Nitiss (Olsbergs MSE AB Ford Fiesta ST), 134 pts
8. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 121 pts
1. Team Peugeot-Hansen, 374 pts
2. Ford Olsbergs MSE, 297 pts
3. SDRX, 268 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)