The team's two PEUGEOT 208 WRXs shook off stiff opposition at Estering, Germany, to win three of the weekend's four heats thanks to Davy Jeanney. The Frenchman went on to win his semi-final, then the final to become the first driver from his country to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Timmy Hansen rounded off the team's strong weekend by collecting third place!
For Swedes, the summer solstice is a very special occasion. The longest day of the year proved to be a landmark moment for the team which stepped out of the shadow and applied the lessons of the test it carried out three weeks previously in Sweden. Thanks to this groundwork, it was competitive from start to finish in Germany.
Davy Jeanney found his PEUGEOT 208 WRX perfectly suited to the Estering's characteristics, and that helped him to emerge as the first driver this year to win three straight heats. Only a small 'off' in the last heat prevented him from achieving the ideal score. Despite this slight setback, he ended this phase of the weekend at the top of the order which meant he was able to start his semi-final from pole position. In the same race was team-mate Timmy Hansen who also made it through to the semis in spite of the need for an overnight engine change.
The two Peugeot drivers made maximum use of the 550hp delivered by their respective 208 WRXs to qualify for the final, even though Timmy started from fifth place (only the top three go through). They both got away to excellent starts and benefited from judicious strategies to qualify for the fiercely contested final which Davy dominated from flag to flag to beat the 2014 champion Petter Solberg. In doing so, Jeanney became the first Frenchman to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Timmy recovered from his earlier frustrations to clinch third spot!
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal
"Davy was strong and consistent from the very start of the weekend. You could see it in his driving. He had the confidence to get very close to the guardrails and I'm delighted he took the weekend's win. He fully deserved it. As for Timmy, he suffered from technical problems on Saturday and had to adapt to damp conditions this morning. Even so, he managed to qualify for the final. It was very impressive to see him clinch a podium finish in circumstances like that. It is clear that we were very fast and that has put us back in the championship chase. That's obviously very important."
Davy Jeanney, Peugeot 208 WRX #17, Winner
"This is a fantastic win because it's my first season at international level in five years. It's amazing to have won the fifth event of what is my first full season in the world championship. I'm so happy. All the sacrifices and all the hard work we have done is starting to pay. Winning the first three heats ensured a good starting position for the final phase. I took fewer risks during my semi-final than I did in the heats and I still won. I then pushed really hard in the final, though, to round off the weekend in style. It was the perfect ending. I also learnt a great deal this weekend."
Timmy Hansen, Peugeot 208 WRX #21, 3rd
"What a weekend! Once again, we had to fight back after a tough Saturday and I honestly didn't think I would qualify for the semi-finals. I spent the weekend trying to match Davy's times. We didn't touch the car at all and Davy was quick and consistent throughout. I realised that I needed to be even faster and I found what was lacking between the semi-final and the final. Things then clicked into place for the final. It was very close over the line but I made it onto the podium. That was a sensational feeling."
Estering standings - Round 5th (Germany) - 20 & 21 june 2015
1. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
2. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3)
3. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX)
4. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
5. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST)
2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship standings (after five rounds):
1. Petter Solberg (SDRX, Citroën DS3), 138 pts
2. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Team Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 103 pts
3. Andreas Bakkerud (OlsbergMSE AB, Ford Fiesta ST), 88 pts
4. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 79 pts
5. Davy Jeanney (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 77 pts
6. Reinis Nitiss (OlsbergMSE AB Ford Fiest ST), 76 pts
7. Toomas Heikkinen, (Marklund Motorsport, Volkswagen Polo), 63 pts
8. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 61 pts
1. Ford Olsbergs MSE, 164 pts
2. SDRX, 158 pts
3. Team Peugeot-Hansen, 156 pts