In front of a crowd won over to the cause of world class rallycross, a PEUGEOT 208 WRX driver finished on the podium for the tenth time in Barcelona today. After dominating the qualifying heats, Team Peugeot Hansen succeeded in extending its lead in the provisional 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship to go 77 points clear of its closest threat.
After a spell that has seen it collect four victories, including a sequence of three wins in a row, Team Peugeot Hansen arrived in Barcelona, Spain, hungry for more success with two famished drivers in the persons of Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney behind the wheel of its PEUGEOT 208 WRXs. The early part of the weekend followed a similar pattern to that of the championship’s recent rounds as Timmy Hansen dominated the opening day’s action for the fifth time this season.
Things went a little less well for him in the third heat, but the Swedish youngster bounced back in Heat 4 to claim first place with a lightning time of 3m14.366s which made sure that the driver of the N°21 PEUGEOT 208 WRX topped the order going into the semi-finals. Team-mate Davy Jeanney followed in fourth place to secure a valuable points harvest for the Teams’ championship!
Both PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers progressed from the semi-final phase to earn a ticket for the final. Unfortunately, in front of packed grandstands, Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney both failed to convert their momentum into victory against stiff opposition. Pole-starter Timmy Hansen was caught by surprise at the start by Petter Solberg as the latter leapt from row two. The Swede then made a small mistake and eventually crossed the line in third place, just in front of his team-mate.
The weekend’s big points pickings have strengthened Team Peugeot Hansen’s lead in the world championship’s Teams’ standings. The Franco-Swedish outfit is now 77 points clear of Team Ford Olsberg MSE with three rounds remaining.
In the Drivers’ standings, Timmy Hansen consolidated his second place by pocketing two more points than Petter Solberg, while Davy Jeanney has moved up to fourth spot.
It was a successful weekend in Barcelona for Kevin Hansen in the RX Lites contest, too, since the Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team youngster has increased his lead in the class’s standings, with only one round to come.
The next WRX encounter at the Formula 1 circuit near Istanbul, Turkey, on October 3-4 consequently promises to be particularly thrilling.
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal:
“The organisers of the championship’s first visit to Barcelona clearly worked very hard. The facilities at the F1 track were superb and we would love to come back here. Once again, we were very competitive, the proof being the fact that we got both our cars into the final. Unfortunately, we failed to benefit from our speed during every phase of the meeting, but that’s life. Sometimes the first corner can be very tricky and, when things don’t go perfectly for you, you have to try to make up for lost ground. The final didn’t go as well as we might have hoped but we still leave Spain with a big points haul which has given us a healthy lead in the Teams’ standings.”
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21, 3rd
“The weekend started really well for us and I managed to earn a pole-position start for my semi-final despite taking a penalty. I decided to try to take care of my tyres and I felt confident for the final which I also started from pole position. When the light went green, I was surprised to see Petter Solberg pass on the inside of Turn 1. Given that the track had been sprayed with water just before the start, I made a small mistake and made contact with the tyre wall. I managed to hold on to second, though, and I wasn’t far behind Petter. I did what I could to close the gap but I ended up making two or three small mistakes which actually made it bigger. I tried everything in the last laps but it wasn’t enough. Finishing on the podium still allowed me to score two more points than Petter.”
Davy Jeanney, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #17, 4th
“I scored more championship points for myself as well as for the team which is important as we get close to the end of the season. I’ve even moved up a place in the Drivers’ standings by passing Andreas Bakkerud, which is the big positive of the weekend. I perhaps lacked a little confidence at one point in my semi-final and that cost me some time. I still succeeded in qualifying for the final during which I think my driving was better.”
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 (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 163 pts
6. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 155 pts
7. Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergMSE 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