After the PEUGEOT 208 WRX’s victory in Istanbul, Team Peugeot Hansen’s two cars head for Italy, host of Round 12 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship which could settle the 2015 Teams’ title chase. The Franco-Swedish outfit tops the standings ahead of the trip to Franciacorta (October 17-18) where its sights will be set on the supreme prize.
For Team Peugeot Hansen, Franciacorta brings back fond memories of its maiden WRX victory, in 2014. Since that landmark win, the team has added five more successes and 12 world class podium finishes to its score. Even so, it knows full well that the trip to Italy will be no Dolce Vita weekend once competitive action begins. The last two clashes indicate that its rivals have upped their game and the PEUGEOT 208 WRX’s first place in Turkey only came after an extremely close fight.
Franciacorta, which is situated between Milan and Venice, has been modified since last year. For Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney, therefore, it will be something of unknown territory but they are as determined as ever to take advantage of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX’s 550 horsepower to help Team Peugeot Hansen consolidate its position at the top of the Teams world championship standings.
Timmy Hansen, who won the 2014 race here, has also won three of the last four rounds of this year’s championship and is particularly fired up after closing the gap to Petter Solberg in the Drivers’ title chase to just 19 points. The Swedish youngster is consequently still in contention for the 2015 crown and intends to do everything in his power to keep his chances alive ahead of the year’s finale at Rosario, Argentina. Meanwhile, Davy Jeanney will be out for revenge at the Italian track where he was down on luck 12 months ago.
There will consequently be plenty to play for at Franciacorta, not to mention the fact that it will also be the last round of this season’s RX Lites series which is provisionally led by Kevin Hansen. The Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team driver has a cushion of 11 points. Unsurprisingly, his sole objective in Italy will be to clinch the title!
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal
“Franciacorta is a venue where we have already won in the past but the recent round in Istanbul showed that the competition is fiercer than ever. Our aim will be to adapt the set-up of our 2015-spec car to the new version of the track as quickly as possible. That’s where our main focus will be. We are obviously aware that the Teams’ title could be settled in our favour in Italy but we will try not to think about it. We just want to get on with trying to be as competitive as possible on the day.”
The action at Franciacorta will be broadcast on TV in more than 120 countries worldwide. The semi-finals and final will be shown live in France (on L’Equipe 21) and Sweden (TV10).
Saturday, October 17
9:00am: Free Practice
12:00 noon: Heats 1 & 2
Sunday, October 18
10:00am: Heat 3
11:15am: Heat 4
3:00pm: Semi Finals & Final
• Length: 1,390km
• Asphalt: 59.7%
• Gravel: 40.3%
FIA World Rallycross Championship standings after 11 rounds
1. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 256 pts
2. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 237 pts
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 201 pts
4. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 188 pts
5. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 180 pts
6. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 179 pts
7. Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergMSE AB Ford Fiesta ST), 150 pts
8. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 124 pts
1. Team Peugeot-Hansen, 417 pts
2. Ford Olsbergs MSE, 338 pts
3. SDRX, 281 pts