Fri, 28/09/2018 - 09:00
WRX Round #10 – Austin, Texas 29.09-30.09
Team PEUGEOT Total makes its 2nd trip across the Atlantic Ocean this season (after Canada) for a new racing adventure at the 2nd brand-new venue of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship season (after Silverstone). Hosting the 10th round of the series is the famous Circuit of the Americas in Austin, known for being the venue of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix, which now has a specially-built RX circuit between turns 12 and 15: the only permanent rallycross track in the USA. After Timmy Hansen’s victory at the Nitro World Games in Utah, PEUGEOT intend to make its mark once again in Texas.

  • Timmy Hansen has already been enjoying a fortnight of full immersion in the United States, as he took part in the inaugural Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City last weekend: an extreme sports competition, similar to the X-Games and designed by Travis Pastrana. Timmy brilliantly drove the PEUGEOT 208 WRX over the fast and spectacular RX track built at the Utah Motorsports Campus, which included a massive 30-metre jump, to win a very demanding and action-packed finale contested by 8 cars over 6 laps. The Swede is full of confidence heading to the USA WRX race, with the aim of scoring his 1st victory in World RX this season.
  • Sebastien Loeb is also no stranger to success with the PEUGEOT 208 in the United States. In 2013, the Frenchman pulverised the record for the famous Pikes Peak hillclimb, driving the one-off PEUGEOT 208 T16 PP car. He has also taken part in RX in the USA at the 2012 X-Games in Los Angeles, where he picked up a gold medal. On board the PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo, he will target victory again at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend. So far, Loeb is the only driver to have deprived Johann Kristoffersson of a victory this season.
  • Kevin Hansen, the Team’s junior, will continue to drive the 2018-specification car as he climbs the steep learning curve of one of motorsport’s most specific and demanding disciplines.
  • At the last round in Latvia, Team PEUGEOT Total was the highest-scoring team. In the Teams’ rankings, PEUGEOT is currently 3rd, while Sebastien Loeb stands 4th in the Drivers’ standings, Timmy Hansen is 6th and Kevin Hansen is 8th.
  • The purpose-built RX track in Austin is short (0.9km), tight and technical, with a joker lap section at the 1st turn, 3 gravel sections in total and 1 jump before a sharp hairpin. As nobody has raced on it before in World RX, it’s going to be an entirely level playing field, where the start procedure will be key again, as the track offers only a few overtaking opportunities. The RX action will form part of a wider package of entertainment organised by IMG, including concerts and a bull riding competition (at another venue in the city), turning the weekend in Austin into a true family festival.

Kenneth Hansen, Team Peugeot Total manager
“The Circuit of the Americas is going to be completely new for everybody, which makes this round particularly exciting. It’s a very short circuit so we don’t have a lot of time to gamble: we are not allowed to take the joker on the 1st lap, for example, which is a special regulation for this event. We would expect to do quite well on this venue, as we’ve seen in the past that this kind of high grip base and surface tends to suit us. To prepare, we tried to collect as much information as possible in advance, by watching videos of the American rallycross races that have already taken place there for example; and from tomorrow we will be able to do track walks. The Nitro event was a lot of fun, but quite a different style to what we will experience in Austin, so we look forward to racing back in the ‘World RX way’ from tomorrow.”
Sébastien Loeb, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver – 208WRX Evo #9
“I don’t know so much about the Circuit of the Americas, but although it’s a new circuit for me, my hopes are exactly the same: we aim to be fighting at the front. So we’ll find out more about the track soon and hopefully it will be a good one for us. We still have some things to learn with our new PEUGEOT 208 WRX EVO and we need to keep working on the race starts in particular: we’ll see what the weekend in Austin brings, as the start will be key again. It’s always interesting to go to a new venue and this one has plenty of corners, so there’s going to be a lot to remember, I guess. I expect to have a lot of fun driving here.”
Timmy Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver – 208WRX Evo #21
“The best way to prepare for any race is by spending lots of time driving, and the best way to prepare for any country is by being there, so of course I’m really happy to be coming from the Nitro Games in Utah straight to this World RX event in Texas! I enjoyed driving on the incredible circuit designed by Travis Pastrana in Salt Lake City: it was a dreamy RX track, like I’ve never seen before! Of course, to become the 1st winner of this race in front of so many fans and talented drivers feels great. I had a lot of fun, so life is pretty good at the moment, with 3 rallycross race weekends in a row, which started back in Latvia. Austin seems to quite a tricky track, very technical, but I feel super-confident in the 208 WRX, and I just want to win again now!”
Kevin Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver – 208WRX #71
“This is the 1st time for the FIA World Rallycross Championship in the United States, and only my 2nd-ever race in the country – the 1st time was in RX2 in Los Angeles in 2014 - so it’s going to be amazing! I arrived early so I got used to the time zone and the conditions. I think it’s going to be very hot, so physical fitness will be important. It’s also going to be one of the shortest laps of the year: I think only about 35 seconds per lap, so there will undoubtedly be a few special things to learn. Austin is part of the new generation of rallycross tracks, with a lot of grip everywhere and hopefully not too many tyre barriers. After getting into the final again in Latvia, I’m hungry for more now!”

The PEUGEOT brand has not been represented in the USA since 1991, with the PEUGEOT 405 being the last new model on sale. However, while the PSA Group is yet not selling any more cars Stateside, it already made its comeback to the USA via its ‘’Free2Move’’ mobility solutions: a ride-sharing service launched by the Group in Seattle last year. The PEUGEOT 405 was of course an icon in the United States, having captured the country’s imagination with 2 Pikes Peak victories in the 1980s including: 1 courtesy of Ari Vatanen in 1988, memorably recorded in the Climb Dance movie, and 1 courtesy of American driver Robby Unser in 1989.

  • Get to understand everything better about the format of World RX racing and the main rules of the championship:
  • Watch the episodes of the PEUGEOT “WRX Racing Test” web series:

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, SVT in Sweden and RDS in Canada, …

Peugeot Sport Communication Manager: 
Aurélie Lehe +33 6 14 84 28 99   
Team Peugeot Total Press Officers:
Vera DUSSAUSAYE + 33 6 48 60 07 94
Anthony PEACOCK +44 7765 89 69 30