A dramatic weekend of FIA World Rallycross Championship action at the Estering, Germany, concludes with Timmy Hansen back on the podium trail.
Timmy Hansen – for whom the Estering has rarely been happy hunting ground in the past – viewed the trip to Germany for the campaign’s 11th round as a key personal challenge. He hit the ground running, however, to claim the Q2 win which helped him to finish third at the end of the weekend’s qualifying process. He went on to collect second spot in the final and secure his first podium finish since Round 4 (Mettet, Belgium). He also earned the PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2017’s ninth top-three result of the season.
Kevin Hansen had also set his sights high for the weekend and had the firm intention of qualifying his 2016-specification PEUGEOT 208 WRX for Sunday’s final. Not only did he achieve that objective but he also appeared as high as second overall at one point in the fiercely-fought finale before the failure of a suspension component brought his run to a premature halt.
Unlike his team-mates, it was a weekend to forget for Sébastien Loeb. The way the races unfolded prevented him from making maximum use of his car’s potential and he was unable to reach the final.
Kenneth Hansen (Team Principal):
“All three of our cars showed good speed over the weekend but things didn’t always pan out in our favour. We know that anything can happen at the Estering track because of the highly unpredictable first turn. Sébastien was pushed by another car in Q1 and it was hard for him to fight his way back up the field after that. Things went better for Timmy and Kevin, though, and we weren’t far off getting all three cars into the final. In the last race itself, Kevin and Timmy both figured in the top three at one stage. We had the potential to win and we will now do everything we can to make that happen at the final round in Cape Town [South Africa].”
Sébastien Loeb (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9)
“That was really one to forget for me. There wasn’t a single race when I got a clear run, so that was very frustrating. I found myself caught in the pack every time. The first turn is critical here but it is also often a lottery. It never worked out for me and I systematically found myself spending one or two laps behind a slower car. It was a complex weekend for me from start to finish, even though my car was on good form. In my semi-final, for example, I posted the second fastest lap but found myself blocked by Eriksson who had gone sideways in front of me. There was nothing I could do about that. We were even more competitive at this track than I thought we would be, though, so that’s encouraging. That said, it won’t be easy to figure in the medals at the end of the season.”
Timmy Hansen (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21)
“I had a good weekend which began well with a win and a strong lap time in Q2. It looks like all the work I have put in since Latvia has paid off. My approach was more relaxed and it was nice to join in the podium celebrations again. I think we just need to improve our starts a little to make up the gap that currently separates us from victory. At one stage, I thought both Kevin and I were going to make it onto the podium. That would have been extraordinary. I did what I could to catch Mathias Ekström but I am still thrilled to have finished second, especially here.”
Kevin Hansen (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71)
“I was delighted when I came second in my semi-final. I felt really fast and lining up for the final in a 2016-spec car was a good performance. I managed to exit the first turn in third place then pass Petter Solberg next time round. There was contact, though, and my suspension suffered damage. That’s such a shame because everything had been working like magic up until then! I didn’t realise at once that second place was on the cards. When I found out, I was a bit disappointed but I prefer to take away the positives. I showed that I can be competitive and I really feel I have stepped up to a new level in the past few rounds.”
FINAL POSITIONS - ESTERING (October 1)
PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER 11 ROUNDS