Archives de catégorie : WRX

INCREDIBLE TURNAROUND GIVES TIMMY HANSEN WORLD RX LEAD IN LATVIA

Riga, 15 September 2019 – Timmy Hansen has taken the lead of the FIA World Rallycross drivers’ championship heading to the final round of the season, scoring victory in an incredible reversal of fortunes.

After Qualifying 2 on Saturday afternoon Timmy was P15 and out of the Semi Final qualification places, after being pushed into a tyre barrier that broke his car’s right-rear wheel.

But an incredible run of results on Sunday ensured he turned around a potentially disastrous weekend into a race win, starting with topping both Q3 and Q4 to qualify second.

Kevin Hansen’s route to the Semi Finals was a model of consistency. A fantastic launch off the line in Q1 led to heat victory from fifth on the grid, and he continued that consistency across Saturday and Sunday to qualify fourth.

Those results led to Timmy and Kevin sharing the front row of Semi Final 2, with the pair finishing where they started and setting up a thrilling Final battle with title rival Andreas Bakkerud, who had taken the Top Qualifier spot.

Another fantastic start from second on the grid propelled Timmy to the lead by turn one, a position he held until the chequered flag. Kevin was a little less fortunate, trapped in the midfield squeeze that dropped him down to last at turn one. A valiant recovery ensured he finished in fourth place at the flag.

Timmy now has a one-point lead in the drivers’ championship over Bakkerud, while Kevin remains a strong contender in third, only eight points behind his older brother.

Thanks to both drivers’ incredible consistency throughout the year, Team HANSEN MJP needs only eight points at the season finale in South Africa to win the teams’ championship, having further extended its advantage over nearest rival GRX in Latvia.

WORLD RX OF LATVIA RESULTS :

1st – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  7th
Qualifying 2   –  DNF
Qualifying 3   –  1st
Qualifying 4   –  1st
Semi-Final 2 –  1st
Final – 1st

4rd – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –3th
Qualifying 2   –  7th
Qualifying 3   –  10th
Qualifying 4   –  5th
Semi-Final 2 –  2rd
Final – 4rd

TALKING POINTS

You can’t keep a good man down. Timmy won every single session in which he raced on Sunday after being down in P15 the day before.

Timmy is guaranteed to finish the 2019 World RX season as the only back-to-back round winner, following his France win with victory in Latvia. He remains the only multiple winner this year too.

Kevin « lost » the grid draw lottery and ended up choosing his grid slot last for the second consecutive weekend. Nonetheless, he still ran in the top five during qualifying all weekend.

This is the first time in World RX history that three drivers have gone to the final round still able to win the championship. The last time that the World RX title race went to the final round was 2015, when one of the two title protagonists was Timmy Hansen.

The big number

13

The number of positions Timmy gained in qualifying, following his Q2 retirement with a broken wheel.

TIMMY HANSEN

“It was tough yesterday. First of all we were very disappointed, but then you can either decide to be angry or to be happy. We came together, we had nice evening and this morning we played some nice music. Everybody was pumped, everyone kept believing that if we made the perfect day today, anything can happen, nothing is certain.

“All four of my launches today were really good. To focus exactly on what you need to do and just drive your best in all these circumstances we’re facing with the championship, in the wet as well, after being in such a low position, is a massive win for the team. This really came from the heart, in wanting it and believing in it. To sit here after where I sat yesterday feels amazing. I’m so proud of these guys, of my big family, that they were with me and that we’ve achieved this together.

“I hope that all three of us have a good weekend in South Africa and a fair battle. Let the best man win!”

KEVIN HANSEN

“I have always struggled a bit in Riga but I felt a lot better this year, which was nice. The one time I had a free run was Q1, where I think I made the launch of the weekend! I got a bit stuck the rest of the time but still had very good speed – I just wasn’t able to get any free air.

“We definitely made some big steps on the launches this weekend. That was the key to staying in front and being fourth at the end of qualifying, then second in the Semi Final. We knew that we were too weak in that area and we knew that if we want to win the championship, we would have to improve there.

“A lot can change in six weeks, so we will make sure to stay on top of our game, drive some TitansRX and prepare ourselves for the final showdown. It’s really important to keep the racing up: when everyone goes to Cape Town for Q1, they will not be as fresh and racing-minded as we will be. In total, with 12 qualifying starts – and hopefully four semi-finals and four finals – between now and Cape Town, we will be keeping our race game really strong. ”

THE BOSS – SUSANN HANSEN

“Everybody stepped up their game this weekend. Our crew always take responsibility but with Kenneth busy filming a TV show in Greece, we felt the absence of one member of a very small team not being here. Their extra effort made a big difference.

“When we came back this morning it had started to rain, so it felt like it was a new race, a new beginning after Timmy’s crash yesterday. It felt like a fresh start.

“What we’ve learned from these difficult moments is that when we turn our focus inwards, rather than looking outside, we begin to focus on every detail: what the spotter needs to say, that the mechanics double and triple check every detail on the cars, and the drivers having one more try at finding the best launch setting.

“This result means the world to us. Timmy and Kevin showed so much strength today and knew exactly what to do during such a rollercoaster weekend. I’m so happy for them and for the whole team.”

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF SOUTH AFRICA

Killarney Raceway, located on the northern fringes of Cape Town in South Africa, hosts the World RX season finale on 16/17 November.

Like Biķernieki, it’s a purpose-built circuit racing facility that’s been adapted for rallycross, featuring high-grip asphalt. But unlike the Latvian track, it’s a fast, open, and wide circuit that pushes World RX machines to their highest speeds.

There’s an eight-week wait before the World RX titles are decided – so we’re itching to get back on track in Killarney!

HANSEN BROTHERS TAKE STUNNING COMEBACK WIN AND PODIUM IN FRANCE

Lohéac, 01 September 2019 – Timmy and Kevin Hansen showed incredible fighting spirit during World RX of France at Lohéac, scoring victory and third place respectively after starting third and sixth in the Final.

Both had some difficult runs in qualifying, with faster starting cars able to jump ahead and take qualifying points away from both drivers.

But a sensational turnaround began in Q4 on Sunday afternoon, with Timmy leading the way thanks to the fastest race time and fastest single lap of the weekend on his way to being Top Qualifier. He was beaten to the first corner in his semi-final on older tyres, so lined up third for the final.

Kevin’s starting position on the outside of the grid in the first three qualifiers set him back and although he managed fourth in Q3, he qualified only 10th. But it was the beginning of a rousing comeback: he went from fifth to third in his semi-final, passing Timur Timerzyanov for fourth on lap one and then leaping past Timo Scheider for a place in the Final on the last lap, coming out just ahead when the German driver took his joker.

WORLD RX OF FRANCE RESULTS :

1st – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  2nd
Qualifying 2   –  8th
Qualifying 3   –  6th
Qualifying 4   –  1st
Semi-Final 2 –  2nd
Final – 1st

3rd – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –10th
Qualifying 2   –  12th
Qualifying 3   –  4th
Qualifying 4   –  10th
Semi-Final 2 –  3rd
Final – 3rd

TALKING POINTS

Who says you can’t overtake at Lohéac? Kevin passed five cars in two races to turn a 10th place in qualifying into a third place finish in the Final. Incredible!

Timmy remains the only driver to win multiple World RX rounds in 2019. France was his third victory of the season.

It’s the second time this year that Team HANSEN MJP has had both cars on the podium: one of only two teams to achieve the feat to date this season.

It’s been close in the drivers’ championship all year, but this is the first time ever that Timmy and Kevin have been tied on points in the world championship.

The big number

35.843

The new World RX of France lap record in seconds, set by Timmy Hansen in Qualifying 1. He took the record only 10 minutes after younger brother Kevin had set a new benchmark in his earlier Q1 heat!

TIMMY HANSEN

“This weekend has been amazing. Coming here, we have so much support from the French fans. We’re getting so much love from them, they’re supporting us, I can feel it going out on track.

“I also love to drive here. We can feel that the Peugeot is comfortable around these corners and I was also feeling very comfortable this weekend. I needed a perfect Q4 to be in the race and we got it just when we needed it, and got the pole, so that was very important for the weekend.

“I was all in for the final: I was going to push very hard and then Bakkerud and Grönholm opened the door for me, so I sneaked by. Those were six brilliant laps. On the last lap, I remembered that back in 2015, my dad told me to enjoy this lap, and I saw I had a big gap, so again, I took in the atmosphere, looked up at the grandstands, and I felt the feeling of leading the last lap in Lohéac. To cross the finish line first is such an amazing feeling.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“I have no idea how I got into the final and semi-final! I pushed really, really hard. I was so unlucky with the draw. I don’t know if I’m lucky or it’s random but we are here. For the semi-final, I was sure on the last lap I was not going to make it. Then I saw Baciuška overtake Scheider, and Scheider lost a lot of time, and I saw that I could make it.

“We started last in the final but had a really good launch, then it was all kinds of mess in turn one. I saw Bakkerud got pushed out wide and I just knew: that’s the guy that I have to beat. When I took the joker it was mega-close against Baciuška: I selected a higher gear at turn five than I had used all weekend, kept the throttle lit up, almost lost it, Baciuška helped me save it, and that secured the podium.

“I am a rallycrosser and I am not a perfect man in all conditions, but I get through it like a machine! I never give up. This is why we are in the fight.”

THE BOSS – KENNETH HANSEN

“It’s such an amazing feeling, the pride of winning in Lohéac. It’s the best event to win! We struggled, we had to fight for it and give it all and we were in a bad position on the grid. For Timmy to come out and do it like this is absolutely marvellous.

“We were in difficult positions this weekend and arrived here after a bad race in Canada, so to come back and achieve a result like this was fantastic. Kevin was also in a bad position after qualifying but came back from 10th and got on the podium. Having both of them finish on the podium is wonderful.”

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF LATVIA

Biķernieki, located on the outskirts of Latvia’s capital city Riga, is still a recent addition to the rallycross calendar, yet has already cemented its status as a classic track.

It’s another high-grip track, featuring more asphalt than gravel thanks to Biķernieki’s decades-long history as a racing circuit.

These days World RX is the headline act, and it’s a track Team HANSEN MJP has won on in the past, with Sébastien Loeb winning the track’s inaugural event in 2016.

TOP SPEED BUT NO TOP RESULT FOR TEAM HANSEN MJP AT WORLD RX OF CANADA

Trois-Rivières, 04 August 2019 – Team HANSEN MJP faced its most challenging FIA World Rallycross Championship round of 2019 in Canada, wich features the fastest top speed of the calendar, as its lead in both championships were reduced and one of its two cars made the Finals.

Kevin Hansen continues to lead the World RX drivers’ championship but no longer has his older brother as his closest rival, with Timmy falling to third as two strong qualifying runs were outweighed by issues in the other two.

Starting from the outside lane twice on Saturday, Kevin struggled for track position at first, though a Q4 heat win put him ninth in qualifying on aggregate.

A brilliant semi-final performance by Kevin promoted him from fifth to third, making a great start and then pulling off an early joker strategy to leapfrog Niclas Grönholm.

He made a similarly bright start to the final, passing the GCK cars of Anton Marklund and Guerlain Chicherit at turn one. But a clash with Marklund damaged his car and forced him to pull up a lap from the end while running fifth, ending his chances of a stunning podium finish. He was later excluded from the final by stewards due to contact with Marklund’s GCK machine.

Timmy’s weekend was also stalled by contact, losing precious time on his Q2 run after hitting the tyre barrier at the exit of turn two, then being hit by other cars four times in Q4 that forced him to limp to the finish line in 15th.

Despite the tumultuous weekend Team HANSEN MJP still has a 17 point lead in the FIA World RX teams’ championship, while Kevin holds a five point lead in the drivers’ championship, Third-placed Timmy is now 14 points behind Kevin.

WORLD RX OF CANADA RESULTS 

13th – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  5th
Qualifying 2   –  14th
Qualifying 3   –  4th
Qualifying 4   –  15th
Semi-Final 
Final  

6th – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –10th
Qualifying 2   –  11th
Qualifying 3   –  7th
Qualifying 4   –  5th
Semi-Final 2  –  3rd
Final – DQ

TALKING POINTS

The lead gap in both championships narrowed at Trois-Rivières: not great news for us, but good news for the fans seeking an exciting end to the season!

Turn one at Trois-Rivières lived up to its reputation as a flashpoint for trouble, with Timmy held up there on his Q4 run and Kevin pulling off a sublime full-lock drift after being tapped into a spin at the start of Q2.

This is only the second time in 2019 that a Team HANSEN MJP driver has not finished on the podium. The other instance was round three at Spa-Francorchamps, where Timmy finished fourth in the final.

The big number

6

Timmy’s qualifying position heading into Q4, demonstrating how close the FIA World RX championship has been this year.

TIMMY HANSEN

“There were two key moments: my own mistake in Q2 and being in the wrong place at the wrong time twice in Q4, which wasn’t down to me. I had a great run off the start but was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s racing, I just have to accept it. It feels a lot like Abu Dhabi. There I was taken out for reasons beyond my control and it felt like the same thing here again, with cars spinning out in front of me. Grönholm was definitely fast but we were going really fast as well and things were going well, and it was all taken away quite suddenly. It felt like a big surprise. So having to watch Bakkerud go past me in the championship, without being on the track to defend my position, was tough.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“The first day was tricky. The speed was there but we had to start from the outside, which is really tricky in Hell. For the second day we adopted some of Timmy’s set-up, made some changes, and that seemed to make a difference.

“Looking at what happened when the rain came, starting from the second row for the Semi Final was a lot better than the first, so I was very happy to start there! We pulled off some amazing launches in the wet.

“I had to drive carefully in the Final as there was wiper fluid spraying everywhere inside the car! That also meant I couldn’t clear mud from the windscreen too. But we managed to cope with that well. Gronholm behind me pushed so hard but we kept our cool, did our thing and kept the grip all the way. With a good joker lap we managed to finish P2 but then got a penalty and were P3 instead. It’s not nice when you get a penalty but in the end I think it was a fair decision.”

THE BOSS – KENNETH HANSEN

“It was a bit of a mixed weekend for us. Saturday wasn’t ideal with a few mistakes from us as a team and some problems for the drivers out on the track. Sunday went much better but in the end, it wasn’t the result we wanted.

“Looking at the positives, we did learn a lot. We expected to have a little more speed here but we’ve learned a lot and there are some things we’ll do differently for the future, especially the next round at Höljes, our home event.”

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF FRANCE

There’s only three rounds to go in this year’s FIA World RX season, and the next stop is something of a second home race for Team HANSEN MJP: France.

Thanks to running the Peugeot 208 WRX since the world championship’s inception in 2014, the team gets plenty of support from local fans.

Timmy Hansen scored his second career win at Lohéac in 2015, so hopes are high of a return to form in France.

KEVIN HANSEN SCORES HOME WORLD RX PODIUM IN SWEDEN

Höljes, 07 July 2019 – Team HANSEN MJP strengthened its lead in both the FIA World Rallycross Championship drivers’ and teams’ classifications, with Kevin Hansen scoring a second place and both cars making the Final.

A challenging start to the weekend on Saturday left Kevin and Timmy Hansen P9 and P16 after Qualifying 2 respectively: Timmy had picked up a puncture in Q1 that left him P21, while Kevin faced the worst track conditions of all five heats in Q2 and lost time.

But a brilliant comeback in Q3 and Q4 put them both back into the fight, lining up second and third for Semi Final 1 on Sunday. Timmy went for the lap one joker strategy, while Kevin then took the lead a couple of laps in, ending up in a door-to-door duel as Kevin exited from his joker lap.

There were no orders from team boss and 14-time European RX champion Kenneth, with both free to race for position. A great fight ensued, with Kevin keeping the inside line for the Velodrome to take the lead back after losing it momentarily, leading his brother home in second.

The final was a mix of joy and sadness, as a potential double podium disappeared. A great overtaking move into the joker on lap one put Timmy third, which became second when Kevin took his joker. But a puncture on lap three ended his hopes, finishing sixth.

A determined Kevin locked his sights on compatriot Sebastian Eriksson after his joker, closing in during the final laps. A last corner move nearly worked, deftly trying to squeeze down the inside, though not quite enough to take the win.

Kevin has now retaken the lead of the FIA World RX drivers’ championship, six points ahead of his brother Timmy. Team HANSEN MJP’s lead in the teams’ championship is now up to 43 points, with four championship rounds remaining.

WORLD RX OF SWEDEN: RESULTS

Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1 20th
Qualifying 2 4th
Qualifying 3 2nd
Qualifying 4 6th
Semi-Final 2 2nd
Final 6th

Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1 4th
Qualifying 2 17th
Qualifying 3 3rd
Qualifying 4 3rd
Semi-Final 2 1st
Final 2nd

TALKING POINTS


There was no home victory for Team HANSEN MJP but it was still a great weekend all around, with points gained on key rivals in both championships.

Höljes lived up to its reputation as one of the best rallycross tracks in the world, providing breathtaking action for the fans from start to finish.

Timmy and Kevin, who are still 1-2 in the title race, were competing head-to-head for position more than once this weekend. Both showed their class, racing hard but fair in their semi-final battle.

THE BIG NUMBER

48,300

The number of spectators that came to Höljes for the ‘Magic Weekend’ of World RX action, a new record.

21 – TIMMY HANSEN

“It was a good day today, recovering to fifth position from 16th in qualifying. We saved a lot of points with a good result.

“The Finals were completely dry, which is how I prefer Höljes. The Semi Final was brilliant – it was a very interesting race and battle all the way through with Kevin. We came out side by side after the joker; the racing was very fair and we were still fighting very hard on the track, but in the right way. I did everything I could to overtake him but still gave him space. That’s how we race and this time he won the battle and the Semi Final, which was great for Kevin.

“The final was a good race. I made a nice pass on Grönholm into the joker on the opening lap, which put me in a good position to chase Eriksson for the lead. I was close but I tried too hard, pushed too much and went over the limit and got a puncture. I wanted to win too much, but that’s me, I need to try! If I’m in a position to win I will always try and give it everything. This time it didn’t pay off but it will another time.”

71 – KEVIN HANSEN

“It was really a tough afternoon. The whole weekend has been completely crazy! Having such different weather during the weekend makes it hard, but we managed to stay in the front, and that was really important for the Semi Final. When I came out of the joker, I saw someone on the inside. I almost spun and didn’t notice it was Timmy until I came back the right way! It was a big shock but we managed it well.

“In the final, when I took my joker and saw Timmy ahead, I thought we would work together to catch the leader but unfortunately he had a puncture, so I had to get past him quickly. It worked and I managed to catch Eriksson, thinking that he had a puncture. So I though he’d run wide at the final corner and I’d stick my nose up on the inside, but he didn’t have a puncture after all! So I had to back out.

“Second place at home feels amazing and in the end and we scored a lot of points for the championship, both for me and the team. It was a really cool event and a good weekend.”

THE BOSS KENNETH HANSEN

“I’m the spotter for Timmy, with Graham Rodemark as Kevin’s spotter, so we get the best out of both of them and try to beat each other. That’s how we have done things and will continue that way. It looked hard, and of course we can have trouble sometimes like getting a puncture, but we don’t want to give up racing and have them queuing up; we want to fight and that’s our spirit.

“We want to push Timmy and Kevin, so during the final I tried to push Timmy to catch Eriksson and we were on the way there. Then unfortunately he was a little tight in one place and broke the wheel rim and got a puncture. We could have played the cards safe and just stayed in position to secure second place but that’s not how we are. We want to fight to the end, we want to give the maximum and sometimes you lose but it’s worth it; I said that to Timmy. We gave it our all. Kevin did the same and in the end he was catching Eriksson and was right on his bumper. That was a thrilling fight and it also shows that both drivers gave everything to try to win.”

NEXT ROUND: WORLD RX OF CANADA

Round seven of the FIA World RX tour takes place in Canada, at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. It’s a unique challenge as the only street circuit on the 2019 calendar, which also features the longest straight of the season. The track’s long history is as a circuit racing venue but when rallycross comes to town, it becomes 40% gravel, where the wide start/finish straight narrows down and features a few twists, plus the joker. Team HANSEN MJP won this event in 2015 and 2016, so hopes are high for a repeat in 2019!

KEVIN HANSEN STORMS FROM THE BACK TO GRAB PODIUM FINISH IN HELL

Hell, 16 June 2019 – Kevin Hansen went from the back row of the World RX of Norway Final to score a thrilling podium finish in Hell, going toe-to-toe with his championship rivals.

Team HANSEN MJP leaves Hell still leading both championships, with Timmy Hansen a single point ahead of Kevin in the drivers’ championship, while both drivers contribute to an 18 point advantage in the teams’ championship.

A tricky start on Saturday, where both Timmy and Kevin were repeatedly stuck in traffic, was turned around on Sunday morning with a 1-2 finish in Qualifying 3. Another strong run from both in Qualifying 4 put them on the first and second row of the grid respectively for Semi Final 2.

But there was a plot twist: a sudden downpour turned what had been a dry and sunny weekend into a wet weather Semi Final. With low grip on the front row, Timmy bogged down and dropped to last, mounting a heroic comeback and almost grabbing third place.

Timmy was beaten to that position by Kevin, whose late joker lap paid off and put him just in front of his older brother. A brilliant start from the back row in the Final put Kevin up to second place at the start, which briefly became first by passing Kevin Abbring for the lead.

Kevin dropped only one place when taking his joker lap and secured a very hard-fought second place, after a defensive masterclass over eventual winner Niclas Grönholm. He fell behind only due to a one second penalty for Kevin’s pass on Grönholm during the first lap in an otherwise faultless performance.

WORLD RX OF NORWAY RESULTS 

 

6th – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  4th
Qualifying 2   –  6th
Qualifying 3   –  1st
Qualifying 4   –  2nd
Semi-Final –  4th
Final  

7th – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –10th
Qualifying 2   –  7th
Qualifying 3   –  2nd
Qualifying 4   –  4th
Semi-Final   –  3rd
Final – 2nd

TALKING POINTS

Both drivers’ pace was great in the dry after an improvement in set-up late on Saturday. But that effort went out the window in the Semi Finals when it started raining heavily!

Hell lived up to its reputation. After the rain came down, the middle and back rows of the grid provided the best launch, while the front row was almost the worst place to start.

After picking up a position in Abu Dhabi due to another driver’s penalty, Kevin would be demoted a place in a similar manner. It’s all square now!

The big number

3

The number of qualifying sessions this weekend where Timmy Hansen set the fastest lap, including the outright fastest lap of the weekend.

TIMMY HANSEN

“Though the Semi Final didn’t go our way, we scored some good points this weekend. We had a strong qualifying and that built a good foundation in terms of points. We kept ourselves in a good position before the rain came.

“The rain before the Finals was a big shock and turned everything upside down. We went through the entire season without wet conditions and suddenly it was fully wet. That meant we had to guess a few things and so we didn’t choose the right settings for the launch. I had a poor start and tried everything I could to get past, but couldn’t find a gap.

“Having Niclas back for this weekend was good to see, even if he beat us this time! It was nice to have a really good challenge through the weekend. If it had stayed dry we could have had a real battle on our hands. It was just not my turn today. I did my best, but today was not my day.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“The first day was tricky. The speed was there but we had to start from the outside, which is really tricky in Hell. For the second day we adopted some of Timmy’s set-up, made some changes, and that seemed to make a difference.

“Looking at what happened when the rain came, starting from the second row for the Semi Final was a lot better than the first, so I was very happy to start there! We pulled off some amazing launches in the wet.

“I had to drive carefully in the Final as there was wiper fluid spraying everywhere inside the car! That also meant I couldn’t clear mud from the windscreen too. But we managed to cope with that well. Gronholm behind me pushed so hard but we kept our cool, did our thing and kept the grip all the way. With a good joker lap we managed to finish P2 but then got a penalty and were P3 instead. It’s not nice when you get a penalty but in the end I think it was a fair decision.”

THE BOSS – KENNETH HANSEN

“It was a bit of a mixed weekend for us. Saturday wasn’t ideal with a few mistakes from us as a team and some problems for the drivers out on the track. Sunday went much better but in the end, it wasn’t the result we wanted.

“Looking at the positives, we did learn a lot. We expected to have a little more speed here but we’ve learned a lot and there are some things we’ll do differently for the future, especially the next round at Höljes, our home event.”

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF NORWAY

It’s an exciting time of year for Team HANSEN MJP, as the team heads to its home round of the championship at Höljes. Team principal Kenneth Hansen is the most successful driver of all time here, taking five Division 1 European RX wins behind the wheel. Kevin also scored a Euro RX win here in 2016, but the team is still seeking an elusive first win in World RX after the nearest of misses in 2015. Hopefully 2019 will be our year!

TIMMY HANSEN SCORES WORLD RX OF GREAT BRITAIN WIN IN THRILLING FASHION

Silverstone, 26 May 2019 – Timmy Hansen took a thrilling World RX of Great Britain victory at Silverstone, defeating Andreas Bakkerud thanks to a great strategy with a perfectly timed joker lap. Team HANSEN MJP team-mate and younger brother Kevin showed great speed all weekend but a small mistake cost him a chance to make the Final.
Saturday began in the best possible way, with Timmy and Kevin going fastest and second fastest respectively in Qualifying 1. It was a close fight, with Kevin sticking a stunning move around the outside to take the lead, only for Timmy to claw back time and resume the lead after joker laps had been taken. There was another formation finish in Qualifying 2, where both Timmy and Kevin were in the same heat once again, the former scoring Q2 victory and the latter going third fastest in the aggregate Q2 times.
Rain had fallen on Silverstone overnight, which meant both drivers being in the first heat would be a disadvantage. Timmy and Kevin were still 1-2 in their heat for a third consecutive time but ultimately would only place second and fourth in the session. Their positions then switched in Q4, which put both on the front row for Semi Final 1.
All appeared well in the Semi Final, with both Hansens running 1-2 yet again. Timmy and Kevin pulled away out front and both took their jokers on the last lap but a small mistake from Kevin when entering the hairpin, turning in slightly too early, put him nose-first into the tyre barrier and cost him 10 seconds. A second place had become sixth at the penultimate corner of the race.
Despite the setback, Team HANSEN MJP turned its focus straight to the final, in which Timmy was starting on the front row. His race was nearly over at the first turn when Timmy’s Peugeot 208 WRX was squeezed into the inside tyre barrier by Andreas Bakkerud, which inflicted minor damage to his car and dropped him to second place.
But a focused, determined Timmy regrouped and, with the help of a clever strategy from the team, jokered early and set the fastest lap of the weekend, taking the lead with one lap to go and delivering a stunning comeback victory.
A great weekend for Timmy put him straight into the lead of the World RX drivers’ championship, with Team HANSEN MJP still first and second, Kevin only four points behind Timmy in the standings. It was also a strong weekend in the teams’ championship, extending the lead to 25 points over GRX Taneco. After the disappointment of Sweden losing to Finland on Thursday in the IIHF World Championship ice hockey tournament, it was a nice bonus for the Swedish World RX team to beat the Finns three days later!

WORLD RX OF GREAT BRITAIN RESULTS 

 

1th – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  1st
Qualifying 2   –  1st
Qualifying 3   –  2nd
Qualifying 4   –  4th
Semi-Final –  1st
Final  –  1st

7th – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –2nd
Qualifying 2   –  3rd
Qualifying 3   –  4th
Qualifying 4   –  2nd
Semi-Final   –  6th
Final 

TALKING POINTS

Timmy Hansen becomes the first driver in 2019 to take two World RX Final victories, following on from Team HANSEN MJP’s 1-2 finish at Barcelona.

Despite winning several World RX events during his career, this is the first time that Timmy has led the world championship.

Team HANSEN MJP has been on tour so far this year but the next two rounds are much closer to home: Hell awaits the Hansens in Norway, followed by Höljes in the team’s native Sweden.

The big number

0.472

The crucial time in milliseconds Timmy gained on Andreas Bakkerud between their respective joker laps in the Final, which put Timmy into first place to start the final lap.

TIMMY HANSEN

“It was definitely hard today; Bakkerud found some good pace and won Q3 and Q4, as well as his Semi Final, so for sure it was tough to line up next to him. He squeezed me into the tyres at the first corner, so I was happy to be able to continue. I came out second and when I took my joker I did a great lap, so once he took his I emerged in the lead. I definitely had to work hard to get it, but it tastes even sweeter when that happens. Of course there were mixed emotions, especially after the Semi Final. We’re in this together. Kevin’s going to come back stronger, mistakes happen sometimes and I would have enjoyed to be up on the podium with Kevin this weekend but I hope we get to do that in Norway.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“Saturday was really good, I think I had really good pace. The starts were amazing, I really felt at home and that I have upped my level quite a lot on Saturdays. Then on Sunday I was having good pace in qualifying but was struggling a bit with the reverse grid, it didn’t feel in our favour as in the end I was P3. The Semi Final was going really well and I had good speed behind Timmy, he was on fresh rubber and I wasn’t. I think it was a good Semi but just a small mistake in the end cost me a lot. It’s been a long time since I led a championship so it was nice to have it for four races, but now I want to take it back! Now I have led once, I know how it works so let’s take that lead back and keep it.”

THE BOSS – KENNETH HANSEN

« Saturday was really good, we had a strong performance, were 1-2 in Q1 and finished the day 1-2 which was perfect. Bakkerud came back quite strongly today and won Q3 and Q4 but we also had a very good day. The only bad thing was the small mistake from Kevin in the Semi-Final that cost him second place and he finished sixth.

“We had a big fight in the Final with a big push to try to overtake Bakkerud with a joker gamble, which we managed to do. This time the joker decision was very late. Timmy normally can feel when he wants to take the joker but won’t know what it looks like behind him. It’s my decision as I am the spotter for Timmy and I didn’t have time to see the time gap, but suddenly there was a big gap. In turn seven, before the split with the joker, I just had a feeling that we needed to call it and Timmy took the joker. We knew that Bakkerud had some hot tyres and was losing performance and it went very well for us.”

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF NORWAY

Team HANSEN MJP’s next stop on the World RX tour is closer to home in Hell, Norway. Unlike the first four rounds of the championship, it’s more of a traditional rallycross circuit, with plenty of history behind it. Those years were spent developing the circuit with good kerbs and no tyre stacks. In the words of Kenneth Hansen, it’s “proper racing” there and there’s a little evolution in the circuit. More than anything, though, it’s a track that drivers almost universally love, with plenty of undulation. We’ll see you in Hell on June 15-16.

SOLID POINTS HAUL PUTS HANSEN 1-2 IN WORLD RX DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Spa-Francorchamps, 12 May 2019 – A challenging first visit to Spa-Francorchamps for the World RX of Belgium gave mixed emotions for Team Hansen MJP. While Kevin Hansen missed out on a berth in the Final by less than a tenth of a second – colliding with Liam Doran mid-air while crossing the finish line – Timmy turned in a brillaint recovery drive in his Semi Final to make the Final and finish fourth overall.

A repeat of Barcelona, where a Hansen car topped every session on the way to a one-two finish in the Final, was always unlikely to be reproduced, though Timmy and Kevin’s pace was still very much on show. Timmy won his heat in Q1 but ultimately was only sixth quickest, while Kevin bogged down off the line and finished 10th. It was then 8th and 10th for Kevin and Timmy respectively in Q2, as trademark Ardennes rainfall made conditions very tricky.

Both Kevin and Timmy ended up in the same heat for Q3, with Kevin showing some great speed after a slow launch to go second fastest, even passing Timmy at the end of the second lap. Meanwhile, Timmy had spent the early part of Q3 in an intense battle with eventual Final winner Timur Timerzyanov, falling to fifth place after taking his Joker and going 10th fastest.

A brillaint Q4 performance from Timmy helped him rebound, going fastest to jump to fourth in the combined qualifying standings, while Kevin earned a second row slot for the first Semi Final by placing seventh in the aggregate qualifying standings.

Kevin started fourth in his Semi Final and was immediately battling Liam Doran, who took an early joker lap. Kevin’s strategy was the opposite, pulling off on the very last lap and coming out of the joker side-by-side with the Audi. With the two on different lines they collided in mid-air, Doran beating Kevin to third place by the narrowest of margins and pitching Kevin into the wall.

Timmy had started his Semi Final from second but was pushed wide into the wall at turn one by Janis Baumanis, dropping to fifth and forcing Timmy to do what he does best: mount an epic comeback. He passed Anton Marklund and Cyril Raymond when they took their jokers on consecutive laps, followed later by Baumanis, then turned in the fastest lap of the race to ensure he came out ahead of the Renaults and book a place in the Final.

Fourth place was Timmy’s reward in the Final, passing Doran after he crashed at the Raidillon hairpin and then taking Baumanis for fourth down the inside of the long final left hander on the penultimate lap. Though not able to finish on the podium, Timmy jumped from third to second in the World RX drivers’ championship, nine points behind Kevin who still leads. And while Team Hansen MJP was outscored by its main rival, it still leads the teams’ championship by one point, keeping them atop both championships after three rounds.

SPA WORLD RX OF BELGIUM RESULTS

4th – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  6st
Qualifying 2   –  10st
Qualifying 3   –  10th
Qualifying 4   –  1st
Semi-Final –  3rd
Final  –  4th

7th – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   – 10th
Qualifying 2   –  8th
Qualifying 3   –  2nd
Qualifying 4   –  8th
Semi-Final   –  4th
Final 

TALKING POINTS

Team Hansen MJP might not have got the result it wanted at Spa-Francorchamps but the brand new RX track has become an instant favourite for drivers and fans alike.

Though a podium in the Final eluded both Kevin and Timmy, they’re now one-two in the drivers’ championship after Spa-Francorchamps!

While the team’s closest rival scored a 1-3 finish in Belgium, thanks to strong performances in Abu Dhabi and Barcelona Team Hansen MJP is still atop the teams’ standings.

The big number

2.039

The margin of victory for Timmy Hansen in his dominant Qualifying 4 performance, with his 2m14.772s also the fastest qualifying time of the entire weekend.

TIMMY HANSEN

“It was a tough race in Belgium, but I think we’ve caught up now after my accident on the first round of the season, as we’re up to second in the drivers’ championship. Our potential was really good all weekend – as we saw in Q4, which was the only opportunity I had to drive in clear air – but we didn’t completely maximise on it. But that can happen in rallycross sometimes; after the high of Spain, where we had a perfect weekend, it’s back to the real world now! The overall feeling is still great: we know that we’ve got the pace and a really quick car so we just need to make sure we take every opportunity. Finally, I’d like to congratulate Timur for his first win: it’s really deserved and I’m very happy for him.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“The highlight of my weekend was definitely Q3, which was our strongest session. We had two really fast laps at the end, which I’m going to take away as a fantastic experience. Apart from that it wasn’t an especially good round for us: we didn’t quite have the performance and we made some small mistakes as well, especially with the tyre choice on Saturday. There were times perhaps where we should have been a bit braver, but it’s very easy to be wise after the event. In the end, I’ve kept the lead of the drivers’ championship so it was a good damage limitation exercise. We just need to learn from this now and try to make sure that we don’t create more situations where we are running in the pack and a bit vulnerable. Like they say, you make your own luck!”

THE BOSS – KENNETH HANSEN

« On a weekend that wasn’t especially strong for us, we still took away some good points and that’s the most positive thing about this weekend. We made some wrong decisions with tyre choice on Saturday, which meant that we had a lot of catching up to do on Sunday, and we also had a couple of bits of bad luck. But if you think that we were 10th and 11th on Saturday night, to end up where we did is quite good. And of course Kevin and Timmy are first and second in the drivers’ championship now, which is great. The track was a proper rallycross course: very challenging, and the organisers have a really positive attitude; there are already some things that they are learning for next year. I think that Spa is here to stay!”

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF GREAT BRITAIN

The fourth stop on the FIA World Rallycross Championship tour is Great Britain, which takes centre stage at Silverstone’s SpeedMachine festival on May 25-26.

Making its debut on the calendar last year as a replacement for Lydden Hill, it’s an almost entirely flat circuit, bar a large jump early in the lap acting as the track’s centrepiece. That’s no surprise when you consider Silverstone was an airfield before being repurposed as a race track!

But it’s a good track for Team Hansen MJP, as Timmy holds the lap record and Sébastien Loeb scored a podium here last year.

HISTORIC ONE-TWO FOR HANSEN BROTHERS IN BARCELONA

Barcelona, 28 April 2019 – Team Hansen MJP recorded a sensational FIA World Rallycross Championship result, with Timmy Hansen winning every single qualifying session, his semi-final and the final, while championship leader Kevin Hansen made it a Hansen family 1-2 in the final for a unprecedented result in FIA World Rallycross history.

Timmy Hansen claimed his first 2019 WRX victory – the sixth of his career – with younger brother and Abu Dhabi winner Kevin Hansen finishing second. The Hansen name topped every session from the start of qualifying as they dominated in Barcelona. The incredible performances from Timmy and Kevin are reflected in the championship standings, with Team Hansen MJP leading the 2019 WRX Team Standings by 18 points, while Kevin remains on top of the 2019 WRX Driver Standings and Timmy climbs to third with his victory.

After a devastating first round in Abu Dhabi for Timmy, which required a complete rebuild of his Peugeot 208 WRX after a collision with Andreas Bakkerud, he proved himself as the driver to beat from the start of Q1 in Barcelona. Timmy won the opening qualifying session and every one after that, seizing a maximum allocation of qualifying points, while Kevin emerged second after the qualifying heats with impressive and consistent speed.

Their qualifying performances meant that the brothers were seeded separately for the semi-finals, as Timmy and Kevin lined up for semi-final 1 and semi-final 2 respectively. Both drivers took dominant victories in their semi-finals, with healthy leads of 2.148s and 2.525s for Timmy and Kevin respectively.

Timmy produced a faultless performance in the final to claim an untroubled victory, taking his mandatory joker visit on the last lap. Rounding off the Hansen one-two finish, Kevin put on a brilliant display of driving while employing some fine race craft to hold off his rivals. Kevin took his joker while running second on the fifth lap, passing Niclas Gronholm afterwards to take third with one lap remaining. On the final lap, Andreas Bakkerud took his joker, handing Kevin the opportunity to close in and pounce, claiming second in the closing stages of a nail-biting final.

WORLD RX OF CATALUNYA-BARCELONA RESULTS

1st -Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  1nd
Qualifying 2   –  1th
Qualifying 3   –  1st
Qualifying 4   –  1st
Semi-Final   –  1st
Final   –  1st

2st – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  2nd
Qualifying 2   –  2th
Qualifying 3   –  5st
Qualifying 4   –  4st
Semi-Final   –  1st
Final   –  2st

TALKING POINTS

Timmy bounced back from a disappointing Abu Dhabi to deliver a dominant and unbeatable weekend in Barcelona, becoming the third driver in WRX history to deliver a clean sweep.

The Hansen name will go down in history as the first siblings to claim a one-two finish on an FIA World Rallycross Championship event.

Timmy and Kevin also ensured that the Hansen name joins an elite club of families to have scored a sibling one-two in an FIA World Championship event: the other two are Michael and Ralf Schumacher in Formula 1, as well as Colin and Alister McRae in the European Rally Championship.

An enormous effort to simply be on the WRX grid at all this year has blossomed into incredible success, with Hansen leading both the drivers’ and teams’ championships after Barcelona.

The big number

100

The percentage of points available from a single FIA World Rallycross Championship event that Team Hansen MJP scored at Barcelona this weekend.

TIMMY HANSEN

“I think this has been the best weekend of my career so far. We got off to the best possible start on Saturday, winning the qualifying heats, and then we won the semi-final too. For the final I lined up against Kevin, and we played a good team game as we agreed that we would give each other plenty of room. The final was perfect as well, and when I saw in my mirror that Kevin was behind me to finish second, that was a really special moment as well. I was actually feeling very emotional: this was the perfect revenge after everything that happened in Abu Dhabi. Now I’m just going to enjoy the moment and head to Spa with even more confidence.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“We had a really good Q1 and Q2; then I had to get my elbows out a bit more in Q3 and Q4, but I really enjoyed it. I got the fastest lap of the weekend too, which made me really happy, as the ultimate pace compared to Timmy is perhaps the area where I’ve been lacking before, but now we’re getting there. Timmy did an amazing job this weekend; he really deserved to win. I wouldn’t say that he was completely uncatchable as there were times that I was close to him, but we drive each other on, which is perfect as it’s all about the team. Now I’ve extended my championship lead but this is not something that I’ve been thinking about much: we’re only on round two out of 10 so there’s a really long way to go.”

KENNETH HANSEN

« I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of success in my career as a driver, winning many races and championships, but actually I think this feeling right now is even better. I can’t actually believe that it’s happened, so it’s going to take a while to sink in. There’s no way that we could have done better – so the expectation is even higher now, as the very best we could do from now on is equal what we have achieved now. And I think that will be very difficult to do, but of course we will try.

« I feel so happy and most of all so proud, both of what we have created with the Hansen MJP team but also as a dad. It’s hard to describe what it’s like seeing your boys finishing first and second, fighting so hard but so fairly. They think of the team first and they’re great friends. I think Timmy had something extra this weekend, while Kevin had to fight a bit harder, but they learn from each other all the time and that’s the biggest strength of our family team. »

NEXT ROUND: WORLD RX OF BELGIUM

Round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held at the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which makes its WRX debut in 2019. Belgium has a long history in rallycross, with Spa replacing the Mettet round. Already a host to some of the greatest races in the world, Spa will be a new experience for all teams and drivers arriving at the atmospheric Belgian venue. Eau Rouge, perhaps the most famous corner in the world, is set to have a starring role in the Spa World RX of Benelux: will anybody dare to take it flat?

KEVIN HANSEN TAKES UNFORGETTABLE MAIDEN WORLD RX WIN IN ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi, 06 April 2019 – Team Hansen MJP experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in Abu Dhabi during an emotional opening round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Kevin Hansen scored his first ever WRX victory in spectacular style, with victory in qualifying and his semi-final in addition to his final win, while Timmy Hansen’s weekend was cruelly curtailed early on by an enormous shunt which destroyed his car’s rollcage.

Both Timmy and Kevin had started the World RX of Abu Dhabi in brilliant fashion, finishing 1-2 in Q1. Timmy took the top spot once again in Q2 but his weekend ended shortly afterwards, being on the receiving end of a heavy shunt with Andreas Bakkerud. Crossing the start/finish line to begin the final lap, Timmy had just rejoined the track from taking his joker lap and was hit side-on by Bakkerud, who was disqualified for his part in the collision. A heroic effort from Timmy meant he nursed the car to seventh place in Q3 but rollcage damage to his Peugeot 208 WRX was too extensive to compete in Q4 or the semi-finals.

The whole team was understandably shaken by Timmy’s huge accident but regrouped around Kevin, who showed incredible resilience to press on and win both Q3 and Q4. With Timmy looking on from the spotters’ position in the Abu Dhabi grandstands, Kevin then scored a semi-final victory put him on pole for the final.

Kevin led most of the final, until being spun out at the hairpin by Niclas Grönholm in the latter half of the fourth lap. Grönholm was then given a three second penalty post-race for pushing and overtaking, restoring the lead which Kevin had held for much of the final to seal his first ever WRX win, and provide Team Hansen MJP a happy ending for a rollercoaster first weekend as a privateer team.

WORLD RX OF ABU DHABI RESULTS

DNF – Timmy Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  1st
Qualifying 2   –  1st
Qualifying 3   –  7th
Qualifying 4
Semi-Final
Final

1st – Kevin Hansen

Qualifying 1   –  2nd
Qualifying 2   –  6th
Qualifying 3   –  1st
Qualifying 4   –  1st
Semi-Final   –  1st
Final   –  1st

TALKING POINTS

Having come into the opening round with so many question marks as to the relative pace, Team Hansen now knows that it can run in the front, having won all the sessions it participated in: a promising start to the season!

The brand-new Abu Dhabi track proved to be an excellent rallycross venue, with plenty of exhilarating drama captivating the fans.

The competitive order around Team Hansen has shifted somewhat: GRX Taneco was Hansen’s closest rival in Abu Dhabi, scoring one point more for the teams’ championship in part due to Timmy’s absence from Q4 and the subsequent finals.

The big number

30

The number of points Kevin Hansen scored at Abu Dhabi by winning the Final, his Semi Final and also being Top Qualifier, the maximum possible from a single FIA World RX round.

TIMMY HANSEN

“I’d describe today as an extremely abrupt end to what had been a perfect weekend. I was fastest in Q1, fastest in Q2 and for what it’s worth I think I would have been fastest in Q3. But then everyone saw what happened: Bakkerud thought it was the last lap, so he went flat out after the joker and basically drove into my driver’s door. It was a massive impact and the roll cage was pushed in towards my left leg, but I am OK, just a bit of bruising. It makes you realise how tough these cars are. Then, once I was out, Kevin saved my day. I was supporting him from the spotters’ tower: cheering him on and helping as much as I could. I’m incredibly proud of him, so a day of very mixed emotions. Mostly, I’m just really happy for him.”

KEVIN HANSEN

“I think this was the craziest weekend of my career…so many emotions! Straight away we could see that we had good pace and that we were in the fight; then we had Timmy’s crash, which was a big low, then I had to focus on the semi-final and final, where we finished second. I was leading with a good margin over Niclas until the corner where he passed me: I felt a hit at the rear and I nearly spun. Straight away I thought it should be a penalty, but when it is with the stewards you never know how it will work out…and then after about an hour, I found out I had won; my first win! Of course you never want to win in the stewards’ room but in the end it wasn’t about that: it was all about the pace that we had right from the start of the weekend, which is a great sign for the future. Now we come away with 30 points, which is the best way to start the season.”

THE BOSS – KENNETH HANSEN

To come here and achieve what we did, as a private team again with so many question marks before the start of the season, is an amazing achievement and I’m so proud of everyone in the team. Now we know that we’re on the pace, which we could see from the very first session. But then I think nobody could have predicted what happened next, with the big crash for Timmy and then such a dramatic final for Kevin. In the end, he completely deserves this victory and I’m so happy for him. The damage to Timmy’s car was very bad, but now that we’ve had a chance to look at it, it’s definitely fixable, so we should see him out in the same car for Barcelona. Abu Dhabi certainly provided us with a start to the season that we’ll always remember!

NEXT ROUND: 
WORLD RX OF CATALUNYA

Round Two of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which had previously been the season opener for the past two years. It’s a circuit that Kevin Hansen knows particularly well, securing the FIA European Rallycross Championship title here in 2016 with a round victory. Elder brother Timmy is definitely no slouch around here either, with two podium finishes in WRX to his name. Can he make it three this year? We’ll find out in three weeks time, as the WRX world tour rolls on to Barcelona in just three weeks time, kicking off on April 27.

Rodéo Texan pour le Team Peugeot Total

Sur le Circuit des Amériques à Austin, Texas, qui accueillait pour la 1ere fois une manche du Championnat du Monde de Rallycross, le week-end de course a offert un véritable rodéo d’actions et d’émotions !

La PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo a fait preuve d’un potentiel de performance évident, avec une bonne vitesse et des progrès réalisés dans la stratégie de départ. Mais le résultat final ne traduit pas les ambitions de la Marque au lion : en finale, Sébastien Loeb termine à la 4eme place et son coéquipier Timmy Hansen 6eme – après avoir écopé d’une pénalité de 5 secondes suite à un contact avec Mattias Ekström.

Le Team PEUGEOT Total a relevé de nombreux défis : conditions météo aléatoires, changement de moteur sur la voiture #21 dimanche matin entre les manches qualificatives 3 et 4, réalisé en moins d’une heure. Également sanctionné par une pénalité de 5 secondes en Q2, Sébastien Loeb a vécu un week-end de course frustrant, souvent englué dans le trafic sur un circuit n’offrant presque aucune opportunité de dépassement. Le junior du team, Kevin Hansen, s’est une nouvelle fois montré très déterminé au volant de sa PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2018 ; il termine 7eme. Avec encore 2 manches à disputer, les mécaniciens et les ingénieurs de PEUGEOT Sport continuent de travailler d’arrache-pied afin d’atteindre leur objectif : gagner.

ILS ONT DIT…

Bruno Famin, Directeur de PEUGEOT SPORT

“Le rallycross est une discipline extrêmement exigeante où il convient d’être parfait du début à la fin du meeting. Ce week-end, à Austin, ce ne fut pas le cas pour le Team PEUGEOT Total, soumis à des aléas sportifs et techniques.  Mais faut aussi noter des points positifs importants comme l’amélioration de nos départs et une très bonne vitesse globale de la voiture. Nous sommes conscients qu’il va encore falloir travailler dur pour atteindre notre objectif, qui est de gagner des courses. Pour y arriver, l’écart qui reste à combler avec la concurrence est infime, mais avec autant de voitures et de pilotes à un top niveau, et des courses aussi disputées, de très petits détails font une grande différence. Nous tirons un maximum d’enseignements de chaque course, et nous sommes convaincus que chaque course nous rapproche de notre objectif.’’

Sébastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo #9 – 4ème à Austin

« C’était encore une fois un week-end compliqué… On avait une bonne vitesse mais la pénalité en Q2 était très chère payée et a affecté toute la suite des évènements. Mon classement à l’issue des qualifs et donc ma position sur la grille de départ de la demi-finale s’en sont ressentis. La demi-finale s’est néanmoins relativement bien passée pour moi. Quand tu pars derrière, c’est difficile, et ça l’est encore plus particulièrement sur cette piste. J’ai fini 2eme de la demi-finale et 4eme de la finale. Le départ de la finale a été très rude : j’ai été violement poussé dans le 1er virage, dans le tour joker, du coup j’ai dévié vers l’extérieur et tout le monde en a profité pour passer à l’intérieur. Une fois que tu as joué ta carte du joker, tu n’as plus rien à sortir du chapeau… Au final, on a quand même marqué des points. On va continuer sur le même rythme et avec la même envie. Rendez-vous en Allemagne ! »

Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo #21 – 6ème à Austin

« C’était un week-end de course difficile, avec des hauts et des bas. On a dû se battre, j’ai fait de mon mieux mais honnêtement, c’était ennuyant, étant donné que cette piste n’offre aucune possibilité de dépasser. J’étais 5eme de la finale jusqu’à un contact avec Ekström pour lequel j’ai reçu une pénalité que je ne comprends pas mais que je suis obligé d’accepter. Je suis finalement classé 6eme. Ce résultat n’est pas la hauteur de mes espérances, mais je suis un compétiteur et je serai en Allemagne pour gagner »

Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71 – 7ème à Austin

« On n’a pas pu aller jusqu’au bout ce week-end… Je pense que j’avais la vitesse nécessaire, mais c’était une demi-finale très difficile, avec un gros niveau. Évidemment je suis déçu de ne pas avoir transformé l’essai. Je pense que j’avais les bons ingrédients avec moi ce week-end et que j’aurais pu sérieusement envisager le podium. C’est dommage mais en même temps, j’ai eu un très bon feeling avec la voiture. Sachant à quel point ça a été compliqué pour nous de trouver les bons réglages sur les précédentes courses, je suis content d’avoir retrouvé ce genre de sensations. En résumé : je me sens un peu frustré dans l’immédiat, mais je vais continuer à aller de l’avant ! Estering est l’une des pistes que je préfère dans le calendrier, j’ai déjà hâte d’y être. Je vais mettre les bons ingrédients de ce week-end aux États-Unis dans mes bagages et les ramener avec moi en Allemagne. »

RÉSULTAT DE LA FINALE À AUSTIN

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSON – 03:31.118
2. Petter SOLBERG – 03:31.718
3. Andreas BAKKERUD – 03:32.813
4. Sébastien LOEB – 03:33.441
5. Mattias EKSTRÖM – 03:39.187
6. Timmy HANSEN – 03:35.954 + 5s penalty

CLASSEMENT PROVISOIRE CHAMPIONNAT PILOTES APRÈS ÉTAPE #10/12

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON / Volkswagen Polo R – 281 pts
2. Mattias EKSTRÖM / Audi S1 – 204 pts
3. Petter SOLBERG / Volkswagen Polo R – 202 pts
4. Andreas BAKKERUD / Audi S1 – 200 pts
5. Sébastien LOEB / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 195 pts
6. Timmy HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 163 pts
7. Niclas GRÖNHOLM / Hyundai i20 – 124 pts
8. Kevin HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 113 pts
9. Janis BAUMANIS / Ford Fiesta – 79 pts
10. Timur TIMERZYANOV / Hyundai i20 – 77 pts
11. Guerlain CHICHERIT / Renault Mégane RS – 58 pts
12. Robin LARSSON / Ford Fiesta – 25 pts
14. Kevin ERIKSSON / Ford Fiesta – 25 pts
15. Anton MARKLUND / Renault Mégane RS – 13 pts
16. Grégoire DEMOUSTIER / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 11 pts

CLASSEMENT PROVISOIRE CHAMPIONNAT TEAM
APRÈS ÉTAPE #10/12

1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden – 483 pts
2. EKS Audi Sport – 404 pts
3. Team PEUGEOT Total – 358 pts
4. GRX Taneco – 201 pts
5. GC Kompetition – 130 pts
6. Olsbergs MSE – 50 pts

PROCHAINE COURSE (#11/12) – Allemagne – 13 & 14 octobre 2018

L’avant-dernière manche du Championnat du Monde FIA de Rallycross offrira un profil très différent de l’épreuve américaine : le circuit Estering en Allemagne est une piste de rallycross beaucoup plus traditionnelle, en pleine campagne, à environ 35 kilomètres de Hambourg. Le tracé, de moins de 1km de long, est rapide et fluide, avec un tour joker étroit. Si le circuit fait partie du Championnat du Monde de Rallycross depuis 2014, le site lui-même accueille des courses de rallycross depuis plus de 40 ans et attire chaque année une foule enthousiaste de fans de sport automobile.