The two PEUGEOT 208 WRXs both hit the ground running when the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) kicked off at Montalegre, Portugal, this weekend. Timmy Hansen finished on the podium (3rd), chased in the order by team-mate Davy Jeanney (4th), while Team Peugeot-Hansen has emerged at the top of the provisional Teams’ standings!
Team Peugeot-Hansen took the persistent rain which flooded the circuit at Montalegre in its stride to produce a consistent performance over the World RX season’s inaugural weekend. Swede Timmy Hansen immediately revealed the speed of the latest PEUGEOT 208 WRX on Saturday’s first two heats, posting the afternoon’s fastest time before claiming Heat 3 on Sunday. His assertive run earned him a place in the semi-final where his opponents included new team-mate Davy Jeanney who had had a more troubled time up until then, due essentially to brake gremlins.
The team’s two drivers then went on to qualify for the final in which the Frenchman got away to a great start from sixth place. The shrewd strategy adopted by Timmy and Davy allowed them to go on and collect third and fourth places, which takes Team Peugeot-Hansen straight to the top of the Teams’ championship. Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team’s Kevin Hansen rounded off this brilliant start to the season by coming second in the RX Lites class.
After this whirlwind start to the 2015 campaign, the team will barely have time to catch its breath before it travels next Thursday to Hockenheim, Germany, for Round 2 of the championship as part of the circuit’s DTM meeting. It will be the first rallycross event at the famous venue and the fact that it will take place in parallel to such an immensely popular series will be a first class opportunity to bring the sport to a new audience!
Our aim here in Portugal was to do well and hopefully get both cars into the final, and that’s exactly what we achieved! We had also hoped to find ourselves at the top of the Teams’ standings after perhaps two or three rounds, and here we are in front already! For sure, it’s been a great weekend. Timmy was fast over both days and Davy upped his pace gradually. I am pleased with both of them. We now need to continue developing the car’s set-up and I can hardly wait for the next events.
It feels great to have been so competitive at the first round of the season. We’re leading the Teams’ championship and that’s so much better than our start to last year. My car worked very well, but there are still some fine-tuning adjustments to make to the set-up for it to be perfect. The weather made the weekend difficult as far as our strategy was concerned but the team did a first class job. The best has yet to come!
I started cautiously and made a few mistakes, along with some small problems at the beginning of the weekend, but we ended up pocketing third and fourth places. Given how the weekend started, I didn’t think I would get so far, so soon, and I’m very pleased. I got off to a great start in the final and even managed to catch Timmy towards the end. It’s fantastic, especially as I had quite a lot of mist on the windscreen and could hardly see a thing during the last four laps…
FIA World Rallycross Championship after Round 1 (Montalegre, Portugal)
1. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
2. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3)
3. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
4. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot-Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
5. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST)
6. Pier Gunnar Andersson (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), etc.
Drivers´ championship standings
1. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 27 pts
2. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 27 pts
3. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 25 pts
4. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 21 pts
5. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot-Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 16 pts
6. Pier Gunnar Andersson (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 15 pts
Teams’ championship standings
1. Team Peugeot-Hansen, 40 pts
2. Ford Olsbergs MSE, 29 pts
3. Marklund Motorsport, 29 pts
4. SDRX, 29 pts
5. Volkswagen Team Sweden, 28 pts
6. EKSRX, 15 pts