THE PEUGEOT 208 WRX TO CONQUER NEW TERRITORY AT THE ‘HOME OF BRITISH MOTORSPORT’

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Thu, 24/05/2018 - 08:00
WRX Round #4 – Silverstone, 26-27.05
 
Fresh from a resounding victory in Belgium 10 days ago, the PEUGEOT 208 WRX heads to England and the legendary Silverstone circuit: also known as ‘the home of British motorsport’. This weekend, on a brand new venue, the Team PEUGEOT Total will have plenty to learn in a short space of time to continue on this upward tendency…


  • Team PEUGEOT Total goes from strength to strength in what is only its 1st full season as a factory squad in FIA World Rallycross Championship, with already 4 podiums in 3 races - Sébastien Loeb having sealed his 2nd career rallycross win in Belgium recently, with Timmy Hansen scoring a double podium the same weekend, in 3rd position. Now it’s time for a completely different challenge with a brand-new track at Silverstone, in England, which also hosts the British F1 Grand Prix.
     
  • The Silverstone circuit was previously used for the World RX pre-season test and media day in March, so the drivers already have some limited experience of it. 10 days prior to that, Sébastien Loeb also won the opening round of the British Rallycross Championship there, which he contested as a practice event, along with Timmy Hansen, who finished 2nd. The 0.972-kilometre track is very technical and consists of 40% asphalt and 60% gravel.
     
  • Beside the race, the organiser IMG will host - for the 1st time - a « SpeedMachine » festival all around the World RX paddock: live music shows, exhibits and demos of heritage vehicles, E-Sport gaming competition (Dirt 4), co-drives and drifting.
     
  • Thanks to some promising results over the first 3 events, Team PEUGEOT Total currently sits 2nd in the teams’ standings, just 15 points off the lead. Sébastien Loeb is also 2nd in the drivers’ standings, only 9 points behind the leader, while Timmy and Kevin Hansen are 5th and 12th respectively. So there’s everything to play for, in a very high level of competition, heading into one of the most intriguing and unpredictable rounds of the year!

Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport Director
“Our goal at Silverstone remains unchanged: we want to score as many points as possible in both the teams’ and drivers’ championships and make as much progress as we can up the classifications. The cars are also unchanged: we have the same specification as we did in Belgium, which worked well. Silverstone is of course very different: the track is slow. We have a small experience there but no real reference, so it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. The Silverstone round is being held as part of the Speedmachine Festival, with concerts and other entertainments planned, so we look forward to seeing how rallycross fits in with this interesting new concept organised by the promoter, and see if we can attract new people around motorsport competition.”

Sébastien Loeb, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver #9
“I’m feeling very positive after our win in Belgium and obviously the target is to continue on the same trajectory. I competed on the Silverstone track before, but the level of competition will be higher this weekend and also it was practically snowing back then, so I do not think you can really compare it! At any time of year, you can never predict the weather in England, so we have to be prepared for anything. The track itself is quite slow, which is a pity as I think there was space to make some faster sections as well, but we will take everything as it comes and just do our best as always, with the simple aim of improving our position in the championships. It’s the same for everybody.”
 
Timmy Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver #21
“While Silverstone is nothing like any of the other tracks we’ve raced on, we’ve been quick in Barcelona, Montalegre and Mettet – which are all very different to each other – so there’s no reason to think that we can’t be quick in Silverstone too and fight for the win. The key thing I think will be to find good traction out of all the slow corners. We’ll see what the circuit is like when we get there – hopefully in a bit better condition to when we were there before – but the main thing is that it should be a really cool weekend with the Festival as well, so I think everyone will have a good time. I’m looking forward to getting there.”
 
Kevin Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver #71
“I’ve only tested at the Silverstone circuit, but I can say that it’s certainly very different to anything else: it’s very technical with most of the corners taken in second gear. The start-finish straight is really the only place where you get to open the car up a bit: the rest is mainly 90-degree corners and hairpin bends. I really enjoy the challenge of mastering different circuits though and I feel that I’ve learned a lot this year – about myself as well – so I’ll be walking into Silverstone with a big smile on my face! I’ve come close but not quite had the results I wanted so far: I think Silverstone could mark a real turning point. With another new circuit coming up later this year, at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, Silverstone will be an interesting learning opportunity for all of us about how to tackle a new venue.”

DID YOU KNOW?
Britain can claim to be the country that invented rallycross, which was designed as a made-to-measure motorsport event in 1967 in Lydden Hill. The sport instantly took off, with its 1st heyday in the 1980s – when the competitors used former Group B rally cars: including the iconic PEUGEOT 205 T16, driven by stars such as Matti Alamaki and Guy Fréquelin. Silverstone host now the WRX and has a dedicated rallycross circuit on the infield of the grand prix circuit, opposite the pits.
 
WHAT IS RALLYCROSS? RACE & RULES
  • Get to better understand everything about World RX races and the championship: https://bit.ly/2rZlFxb  
  • 2nd episode of the PEUGEOT “Racing Test” web series with Sébastien Loeb explaining the specification of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX: https://bit.ly/2LkEGlN
 
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. 

MEDIA INFORMATION 

 
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