HIGHWAY TO HELL FOR TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL ON ROUND 5 OF THE FIA WORLD RX!
WRX Round #5 – Hell, 09-10.06
Hell, in Norway, will be the 5th round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the most northerly appointment of the season, but also the start of a spectacular Scandinavian double-header for the Team PEUGEOT Total - as the following race will then take place in Sweden. The Swedish official drivers and brothers, Timmy and Kevin Hansen, will be eager to make the PEUGEOT colours shine bright, whilst their French team mate Sébastien Loeb will have to continue his momentum of finishing on the podium of each WRX race he tackle this year.
After scoring a podium at every event so far – including 1 win – Team PEUGEOT Total is currently 3rd in the provisional World RX Teams’ Championship, just 1 point behind 2nd, while Sébastien Loeb is chasing the leader in the provisional Drivers’ Standings. Timmy and Kevin Hansen drove their PEUGEOT 208 WRX to 6th and 8th overall provisional positions so far. With the championship rapidly approaching the halfway point, Norway provides a vital opportunity to make more progress.
Rallycross has a strong following in Norway, and the Hell venue has been part of the World Championship since the series was inaugurated in 2015. Located next to the picturesque city of Trondheim, Hell circuit is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, having opened in 1988 as the very 1st asphalt racing track in Norway. Average temperatures in June are in the region of 11°C, with a slight risk of rain. But as the circuit slogan says: “Hell is like heaven if you love rallycross!’’
The Hell track, cut dramatically into a hillside, is 1.019-kilometres long with 6 technical yet flowing corners. The lap is 63% asphalt and 37% gravel, with the joker lap located at the very 1st corner. The lap record currently stands at 38.246 seconds from last year. PEUGEOT already experienced strong sensations there, with a double 208 WRX podium in 2015 and the 3rd place of Sébastien Loeb in 2017.
Kenneth Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Manager
“Of course it’s nice for us that WRX comes back in Scandinavia now, and on traditional circuit that’s a lot of fun, with some proper kerbs as well. It’s a big challenge for the spotters too in Hell, because the joker is right at the beginning of the lap, so there’s not much time to decide what to do. Strategy is going to be important. Given our team’s recent run of good results, of course we have to aim for the top again this weekend. The cars are the same specification as were seen in Silverstone, but we’ve been doing some testing in France last week for the future, and more time in the 208 WRX for the drivers always has a positive benefit. The feeling in the team is very strong at the moment, so we just have to stay concentrated and continue working hard to reach our objectives.”
Sébastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9 (French, born 26/2/74)
“There’s a really nice atmosphere in Norway and I’ve got very good memories; both from rallying and then in rallycross. We’ve had a really consistent start to the season, so we need to continue this way; the tactic is to try and win but not at any cost because you have to keep on scoring points, or you can ruin your chances. Since Silverstone it’s been a very busy time: we’ve been testing, and I also drove the mythic PEUGEOT 306 Maxi at the Rallye du Chablais in Switzerland. It’s no problem for me to jump from one car into the other because they are so different, but it’s always nice to jump into the rallycross car again when you have been away from it for a while; the power and speed is really impressive.”
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21 (Swedish, born 21/5/92)
“I really enjoy Hell – I’ve won in the past – and I’ve always been quick there: I’m not quite sure why. It’s a challenging track in a beautiful location, and it’s very up and down. So grip levels are changing all the time, and the key to a good lap is to get proper traction out of all the corners. For that you need to get the set-up exactly right but that’s not easy: it’s definitely a circuit where you build up to speed and make small changes as you go along throughout the weekend, which help you to gain confidence and brake a little bit later every time. One interesting point is the joker lap on the first corner: it means that you need a firm plan at the beginning of the race, as there isn’t really time to react if you’re taking the joker straight away. It’s often quite a good idea to take the joker lap early there: you can make up a lot of time.”
Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71 (Sweden, born 28/5/98)
“This circuit is a lot of fun and I’m feeling confident. It’s a high-grip track with some long corners, so that should suit the characteristics of our car quite well. In the end though, a good car is a good car that works well everywhere, and I think that is what we have got this year. The main challenges in Norway are managing all the different elevation changes and keeping the rhythm. When you get it right, it’s really satisfying. We’re definitely on the right track, so my aim is to carry on like this now.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Norway is at the forefront of the electric car revolution, with more than half of all new cars sold being plug-in models: the largest market quota in the world. With the FIA World Rallycross Championship having committed to an all-electric future, this provides an obvious synergy between the sport and the road. Data from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) reveals that in 2017, electrified cars accounted for 52% of new car registrations: up 40% compared to 2016. PEUGEOT currently sells the iOn five-door city car and Partner Tepee Electric as pure electric models in Norway, while the next generation of PEUGEOT 208 will also feature an electric version.
WHAT IS RALLYCROSS? RACE & RULES
Get to better understand everything about World RX races and the championship: https://bit.ly/2rZlFxb
3rd episode of the PEUGEOT “Racing Test” web series with Kevin Hansen explaining the specification of a World RX track: https://bit.ly/2sBt1aD
WRX ON TV
Rallycross was watched more than 24 million people on TV last year (17 million of them in Europe) – and the numbers are growing steadily. Not only that, but more than 32 million minutes of rallycross footage was watched on YouTube, which combined with Instagram and Facebook adds up to a digital footprint in excess of 34 million views. The main TV broadcasters include L’Equipe in France, Sport TV in Portugal, CBS in the USA, RTBF in Belgium and SVT in Sweden.
- Watch the race on TV on NRK on Sunday June 10th, 2018, live from 3PM local time.
- PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2018 technical data sheet: http://www.peugeot-media.com/
- Latest WRX imagery (static photo-shoot and action + video newscut):
©Photo: PEUGEOT Sport / MCH Photography
©Vidéo: PEUGEOT Sport / La Clé Production
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