06-07 september 2014
Team Peugeot-Hansen scored an emphatic podium finish at the French round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Loheac today. Fastest through the heat stages with three wins, Timmy Hansen was top at the Intermediate Classification and finished second in semi-final one to line up on the second row of the grid for the final, just ahead of team mate Timur Timerzyanov. Hansen finished third, while Timerzyanov retired on the first lap. The podium finish in Loheac comes as a result of the team's best performance of the season so far.
In the ultra-competitive finale, lap times between the top drivers were just fractions of a second apart. Hansen drove a strong race to score the team’s third podium in a row at the event located in the Bretagne region, in front of a crowd of over 70,000 enthusiastic French fans.
Timmy Hansen: “A podium for Peugeot in France is just amazing, it’s fantastic to be part of.”
Swedish driver Timmy Hansen finished on the podium at round sixth of the championship in Belgium back in July, and repeated the result today at Lohéac after being the fastest driver all weekend. A pair of poor starts in the semi-final and final the only blot on Hansen’s copybook, the former single seater racer really coming of age as a rallycross competitor in the heat stages.
“In the fourth heat I took it easy after a fantastic first three heats where I had been fastest. We had saved good tyres for the semi-final and final. Unfortunately I gambled a bit too much at the start of the semi-final and I dropped back to last place after being on pole. I got pushed by Anton Marklund slightly in turn two, then the rest of the race was incredible. It was probably the best rallycross race I have ever done to get up to second. We were in third for the final, I said to myself on the start line that I was going to push really hard for the win but again I made a small mistake and set the RPMs too low. I didn’t have the greatest start and again had to fight back. When I was in third position in the final I was pushing harder than I ever have this weekend. I’m disappointed not to win, but a podium for Peugeot in France is just amazing and it’s fantastic to be part of.”
Timur Timerzyanov: “Unfortunately a touch changed my direction, I hit the metal wall and it broke my steering.”
Reigning FIA European Rallycross Champion Timur Timerzyanov finished fifth in the Intermediate Classification at Loheac, and a good drive in semi-final one put the Russian star into the final.
“I’ve had quite a hard weekend here, my car has been giving good response to the changes we have made, but the driver has not been giving similar results. You can see that the car is very good because Timmy is half a second faster per lap than I am. I don’t know what to do with my style of driving, perhaps for this type of track I need to work on my circuit racing style. In the final I made a good start, Timmy was on the inside of me having a battle with Pontus Tidemand and we touched. Unfortunately it changed my direction, I hit the metal work and it broke my steering. The next track in Germany is very different to here, this car suits me well so hopefully we can have a good result there.”
Kenneth Hansen: “We are happy. We were able to win here if things had gone our way.”
Team Peugeot-Hansen principle Kenneth Hansen thinks that work done by the team, including a pre-event test at Essay in France this week has brought the performance of the car to the front of the field.
“We have worked hard since Canada to try to get to the next level of performance , we made some big improvements this week where we were testing with the new third car. After the practice and after the heats we proved that we had really taken a big step forward. In the semi-final and final it didn’t go our way completely, but we are happy because we were able to win here if things had gone our way. The next event in Germany is quite the opposite to here, we will try to test before then.”
Bruno Famin: “We have clearly made a step forward in performance.”
Head of Peugeot Sport, Bruno Famin, attended the Peugeot’s home event of World RX at Loheac, and was impressed by the performance for the 208 WRX cars over the course of the weekend.
“It’s very good to have a third podium in a row in the World Rallycross Championship, but more than that I am very happy with the level of performance shown all over the weekend. We have clearly made a step forward. We were all hoping for a bit more than a podium for today, but we shall keep working to try and get a win before the end of the season. To have both car in the final was evidence of the competitive level of the team, the cars and the drivers.”
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Buxtehude, Germany (20th - 21st September).
FIA World Rallycross Championship round eight, France: Final result
1 Petter Solberg (PSRX, Citroen DS3)
2 Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta)
3 Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen, Peugeot 208)
4 Ken Block (Hooniagn Racing Division, Ford Fiesta)
5 Pontus Tidemand (EKSRX, Audi S1)
6 Timur Timerzyanov (Team Peugeot-Hansen, Peugeot 208)
FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers standings (after round 8 / 12):
1 Petter Solberg (PSRX, Citroen DS3) 185
2 Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta) 157
3 Toomas Heikkinen (Marklund Motorsport, VW Polo) 146
4 Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergsMSE, Ford Fiesta) 126
5 Anton Marklund (Marklund Motorsport, VW Polo) 123
7 Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot-Hansen, Peugeot 208) 118
6 Timur Timerzyanov (Team Peugeot-Hansen, Peugeot 208) 111
FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams standings (after round 8 / 12):
1 OlsbergsMSE/Ford 283
2 Marklund Motorsport/Volkswagen 271
3 Team Peugeot-Hansen 229
4 PSRX 117
5 Monster Energy World RX Team 79
6 Albatec Racing 32