Frustrating weekend for Team Peugeot-Hansen
The hopes raised by Timmy Hansen’s win and the speed of his Peugeot 208 WRX in Saturday’s second qualifying heat failed to convert into a successful outcome during the final phase of Belgium’s round of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Team Peugeot Hansen experienced moments of elation at Mettet when the entire team was forced to play a part in making repairs to the car of Timmy Hansen after he couldn’t avoid a collision with a rival during the opening heat. His five mechanics surpassed themselves by replacing the front-right suspension of his PEUGEOT 208 WRX (N°21) in record time to enable him to line up for the start of Heat 2! Timmy rewarded their efforts in the best imaginable way by winning the second heat by a margin of two seconds which made him only the second driver after Petter Solberg to claim more than one heat this season.
The momentum continued on the Sunday when a big crowd was attracted by the cocktail of sunny weather and first class racing. Heat 3 saw Timmy clinch second place with victory by the margin of just four-thousandths of a second (the smallest ever recorded in WorldRX!) and, just as they did at the first two meetings of the 2015 championship, both PEUGEOT 208 WRXs qualified for the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, for the first time this year, neither Team Peugeot-Hansen driver made it to the final after Timmy Hansen was delayed by a puncture and Davy Jeanney was handicapped by what could have been a better getaway. The outcome was especially annoying inasmuch as Timmy posted the fastest lap of his semi-final.
After the frustrating events in Belgium, Team Peugeot-Hansen is currently fourth in the Teams’ standings, while Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney are respectively fifth and eighth in the Drivers’ points table.
The team’s intention now is to turn the car’s clear potential into a better result when competitors move on to Lydden Hill, England, next weekend. Team Peugeot-Hansen will run a third car at the season’s fifth round for the 2013 British Touring Car Champion and former successful British rallycross regular Andrew Jordan.
Timmy Hansen, #21 PEUGEOT 208 WRX
“It was a promising day but I lost out big time when I had an accident in Heat 1. Otherwise I think things could have turned out very differently. In my semi-final, I felt better in the car than I have done all season and it’s such a shame I punctured just after taking the lead. We clearly have a car that is becoming a possible title winner. We need to keep on working because it’s got even more potential.”
Davy Jeanney, #17 PEUGEOT 208 WRX
“I expected my semi-final to be difficult on Sunday. The conditions changed overnight and that didn’t simplify things. It was hard to find those tenths of a second that would have enabled me to lap at the front. I had some technical issues which were notably a handicap for the starts. In my semi-final, I managed to find a little extra speed. I saw a chance to pass and took it, but it didn’t work out.”
Kenneth Hansen, Team Principal
“The positive from the weekend is that we are more consistent in terms of our performance. We are fast. Not yet fast enough, but the speed Timmy showed during the first heat was worth pole position for his semi-final. Unfortunately, an early incident had a knock-on effect for the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile, Davy was slowed by technical problems. Both drivers are confident in the car’s potential. We just need to eke out that little extra bit of performance that will enable us to start the semi-finals from the front row.”
FIA World Rallycross Championship, 3rd round (Mettet - Belgium)
Drivers’ standings (after two rounds):
Teams’ standings (after two rounds):
2015 World Rallycross Championship calendar
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)