After a build-up of five months, everyone at Team Peugeot-Hansen is looking forward to the return of the unique excitement experienced at each round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX). What promises to be an outstanding 2015 season is about to kick off with the technically challenging circuit in Montalegre, Portugal, on April 25-26. In the hands of Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney, the two powerful PEUGEOT 208 WRXs will face stiff opposition.
At last, FIA World Rallycross Championship action is due to resume in Montalegre, Portugal, around 150km from Porto and close to the Spanish border. And there is every chance that the grandstands will once again be packed with avid fans (30,000 spectators in 2014) because there is always plenty of entertainment to keep them on their toes at the 1.520km track! The two 550-horsepower PEUGEOT 208 WRXs are ready to roar, but Team Peugeot-Hansen remains on its guards as it prepares to take on a line-up of seven other permanent World RX teams, including volume brands Ford, Audi, Mini and Volkswagen. That said, the Franco-Swedish outfit has spent the winter break honing its game thanks to an intensive preparation programme. The opening clash of the year will therefore provide it with its first opportunity to see how it compares with its chief rivals.
The meeting will also be Davy Jeanney’s debut appearance for Team Peugeot-Hansen. After a number of test sessions during the off-season, the 2013 European Rallycross vice-champion will at last get the opportunity to sample the adrenalin of racing the French car for real. Meanwhile, the more battle-hardened Timmy Hansen will be out to benchmark the work that has gone into the PEUGEOT 208 WRX since the end of last season. The race in Montalegre will be broadcast live in more than 120 countries worldwide. On Sunday, April 26, the semi-finals and final will be aired live in France by L’Equipe 21, in Sweden by TV10 and in Portugal by Sport TV.
Montalegre is a classic track which features soft dirt. It necessitates a particularly aggressive driving style for much of the lap, although you need to be quite precise and brake late during the first portion. It calls for two different styles, in fact, and that’s what makes it such a big challenge! The long straight will be an opportunity to evaluate the performance of everybody’s engines and I can’t wait to get the season started and see where we stand after all the work everyone has put in over the winter.
I can hardly wait for my first full World RX programme to get started. As a rookie in a major factory team, I obviously feel under a certain amount of pressure, but that’s all very positive. I am more accustomed with racing for my own team, so Team Peugeot-Hansen’s approach is very different. I will do my best to settle in as quickly as possible in order to be competitive as soon as I can. I am already starting to feel comfortable with the car and team, and I’m pretty confident as we go into the first race.
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)