After an exhilarating inaugural year, enjoyed by a total crowd of 250,000 spectators, Team Peugeot-Hansen has set its sights higher still for its second world rallycross campaign. Timmy Hansen has been joined by new recruit Davy Jeanney to drive the team’s latest-spec PEUGEOT 208 WRXs! With competitive action due to kick off very soon, the 550 horsepower produced by the wilder-than-ever PEUGEOT 208 WRXs are about to be unleashed as the World Rallycross Championship reconvenes for a second season! Since the five podium finishes it notched up towards the end of 2014, and its assertive victory at Franciacorta, Italy, the car has been made even more potent as it prepares to engage with its carefully-honed rivals. The list of improvements that have been made to the PEUGEOT 208 WRX, which extend from the chassis to the engine, is sufficiently extensive for the 2015-spec version to be considered as a fresh challenger.
As in 2014, the cars will be run by the outfit of Swedish rallycross legend Kenneth Hansen. One of the two PEUGEOT 208 WRXs will be in the hands of Timmy Hansen, 22, who remains with the team for a second term. For 2015, the battle-hardened Swede will have a new team-mate in the person of Davy Jeanney, 28, the 2013 European vice-champion. Paired with Timmy, who has already tasted WRX victory and who has title-winning potential, the Frenchman could well spring some surprises and is targeting valuable championship points. Team Peugeot Hansen’s two spearheads are equally determined to take full advantage of the latest-spec PEUGEOT 208 WRX’s power to defend the colours of the programme’s partners Red Bull and Total. The 2015 series will provide the team with 13 opportunities to take on the rest of the sport’s elite as it seeks to claim both world titles! Buoyed by the success of the discipline’s inaugural world championship, Peugeot and Red Bull have decided to form the Peugeot Red Bull Hansen Junior Team with a view to speeding up the grooming of talented young drivers in readiness for the rallycross’s premier supercar class. As one of the team’s drivers, 16-year old Kevin Hansen will take part in all the rounds that count towards this season’s RX Lites series.
Last year’s car was derived directly from the 208 T16. This time, we used the winter break to take it a little closer to the limits authorised by the regulations and we believe the result is a significant step forward in terms of performance. The aim is to win individual races and also be in contention for the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles. Other teams no doubt have the same objective and we are delighted that other manufacturers are stepping up their involvement in this fast-growing championship. The addition of new events like Barcelona and Hockenheim, places near big cities where motorsport has real ties and which boast great infrastructure, is a very promising move.
I feel we are more prepared than we were at this time last year. In 2014, everything came together quite late and it was a feat in itself that we were up and running for the opening round. Even so, we succeeded in becoming a competitive threat during the second half of the series. This time round, we have the benefit of that experience and we are very much looking forward to the first race! We will need to make the very most of the 208 WRX’s potential and also run sound strategies in order to obtain top finishes with both cars at every round. Winning races and titles calls for careful attention to detail and it’s important to be able to count on a balanced driver line-up that is capable of fighting for victory at all 13 rounds.
I am very excited. I think we have a car that has the potential to win out of the box. On a personal level, I have worked even harder to prepare for the coming season. I feel much sharper and this is surely the best car I have ever had in my career. I am happy to have a new team-mate. I have known Davy since my rallycross debut. He is fast and very consistent. He knows when to push and when to lift, so he will be tough to beat.
This is my first contract with a factory team, so it’s a significant turning point in my career. It’s a new challenge and I couldn’t be more committed to the programme. The cards are stacked up nicely and it will be up to me to make the most of them. I was really surprised when I sat behind the wheel of the 208 WRX for the very first time. Its engine feels really powerful and my aim is to up my pace as the season progresses and hopefully end up fighting for some podium finishes and even victory.
Calendar - 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship
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)