Team PEUGEOT Total certainly didn’t have it easy as the newly-formed team tackled the first round of the World Rallycross Championship, with torrential rain swamping the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit on Saturday. Conditions improved on Sunday, when nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb made it through to the hotly-contested final and claimed second place: a richly-deserved reward for the whole PEUGEOT Team after several months of frenetic work since this new chapter was opened – not to mention an eventful weekend…
- Sébastien Loeb took his PEUGEOT 208 RX into the final at the end of a tough two days of competition. He finished second overall (after the disqualification of Mattias Ekström following a first-lap incident in the final) as Team PEUGEOT Total’s best finisher, on the debut for the brand-new team. He achieved it thanks also to some solid team work, with Kevin Hansen (not eligible to score team points) giving up a grid slot in the semi-final to the nine-time world rally champion. Loeb finished second in the semis, buying him his place in the final, where the Frenchman showed his characteristic flair to seal a podium – despite his most recent competition experiences being in the sand dunes of South America and on the asphalt of Corsica!
- Timmy Hansen showed amazing speed all weekend but didn’t get the chance to convert that into a result as his car stopped in the semi-final, while he was leading and pulling out a gap. The Swede took two second places and a win from his qualifying heats, in appalling conditions, to comfortably go through to the semi-final as one of the best performers of the weekend. Despite the disappointment of not being able to complete it, he was delighted with the competitiveness of the car and the improvements made over the winter – and he’s determined to take revenge on the next round.
- Kevin Hansen, driving a third 208 WRX that isn’t eligible to score points for Team PEUGEOT Total was 12th after the heats but withdrew in order to hand his place in the semi-finals to Loeb. The youngest driver in the squad enjoyed two good heats on Saturday but was then affected by a technical issue that limited his ability to make a good start, so he fell behind. Nonetheless, Kevin proved his pace and also that of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX.