5th and 6th places for Timmy Hansen and Sebastien Loeb respectively in the final at Loheac wasn’t the result that Team PEUGEOT Total wanted on home territory in front of 80,000 enthusiastic fans, but nonetheless all 3 drivers showed considerable fighting spirit and pace through the weekend. Only a series of circumstances and racing incidents compromised their chance to do better – but this is all part of the frenetic and closely-matched sport of rallycross, where just the smallest misadventure can have big consequences. The team’s Junior, Kevin Hansen, also showed plenty of speed, going as far as the semi-final. Next up is Latvia in 2 weeks, where the whole team will be concentrated on ensuring a better result.
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Bruno Famin, PEUGEOT SPORT Director
“This round showed us all the joy and frustration of motorsport in general and rallycross in particular. It’s clear that the net result is below our expectations, but we also witnessed some very good things too. We saw the potential of the 208 WRX, with some great lap times, and Sebastien’s semi-final race was also exemplary, as he went from 6th to 2nd entirely on his own merits, without anything unusual happening. But it was clear that the stars weren’t quite aligned for us to do well: we started the weekend off with a draw that didn’t really work in our favour and then there were some racing incidents that didn’t help us either, such as the contact between Loeb and Chicherit that broke the power steering and resulted in Seb setting just the 18th time, which dropped him down to 12th in the overall classification. In rallycross, everything has to work well from start to the finish of the weekend. And while the reliability and performance of our car can’t be questioned here, we need to keep working hard to make it less susceptible to these things that can always happen during a race weekend, and so get closer to victory.”
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo #21 – 5th in Loheac
“It’s been amazing to race in France, in this incredible atmosphere in front of everyone who is supporting us at PEUGEOT, with full grandstands wherever you look! So I hoped to get a better result for everyone than 5th: it’s not bad but we were definitely aiming higher. I think we did everything we could in the final, but 5th was the most we could achieve. We have to be happy because we did our job the best we could under the circumstances, but we also have to go back and do our homework to improve for the future. We have all the pieces: it just needs to come together. The start procedure, chassis and engine of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX are already great.”
Sebastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo #9 – 6th in Loheac
“In the end it was a nice final, very intense. I did a good semi-final too and enjoyed racing the 208 WRX throughout the weekend. With the position that I had on the start line in each race this weekend, it was always going to be difficult and that proved to be the case. We ended up with 6th in the end, which is actually not too bad all things considered because at one point we were 12th after qualifying. It’s not the result we wanted but we have to accept it for what it is and move on. The thing that I am convinced about is that we have a good package. We just need to put everything together. I’m looking forward to a brighter weekend for the whole team in Latvia.”
Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71
“It was a strong weekend: we struggled a little bit during practice, but we came back really well. We had some great races and showed really good pace, but I couldn’t quite keep it all the way to the end. I think to be just outside the final though, with all the factory cars there, was the maximum we could do. So I was happy with my performance for that reason but of course we still wanted to be in the final! I know I’m still young and we still have plenty to learn. Loheac is always special and it was very cool to see the fans supporting me. It’s definitely been a memorable and educational few days in France.”
RESULTS OF FINAL RACE IN LOHEAC
DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #8/12
TEAMS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #6/12
The next round of the World Rallycross Championship is just two weeks away in Latvia. The fast but technical Bikernieki circuit is located only 15 minutes from the centre of the Latvian capital Riga. It measures 1.294 kilometres in length, with 60% asphalt and 40% gravel. Sebastien Loeb won the first World RX of Latvia in 2016 and will be looking for another strong result together with his Team PEUGEOT Total team-mates.