TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL RIDES A WILD RODEO IN TEXAS!

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Mon, 01/10/2018 - 02:15
World RX #10/12 – Austin, Texas, USA 29-30.09.2018
 
The FIA World Rallycross Championship came to Texas for the very 1st time in its young history, with the brand-new event at the Circuit of the Americas offering a wild rodeo ride for Team PEUGEOT Total! Sebastien Loeb finishes 4th and his team mate Timmy Hansen is 6th (after receiving a 5-second penalty for contact with Ekström). They were both driving the latest PEUGEOT 208 WRX EVO and both showed good progress with their starting strategy over the weekend. The team had to cope with the challenge of variable weather, and also an engine change in only an hour on the car #21 on Sunday morning (between Q3 & Q4). In addition to a 5-second penalty (Q2), Loeb was the victim of unfortunate racing incidents all throughout the weekend, that often found him caught in traffic on a narrow circuit where were no overtaking opportunities. The team’s Junior, Kevin Hansen, showed plenty of promise in his 2018-specification PEUGEOT 208 WRX, getting as far as the rough semi-final he was involved in – he finished just 7th overall. PEUGEOT Sport engineers and mechanics will continue to push hard with the development of its cars and process over the final 2 rounds of the series.


QUOTE/UNQUOTE
 
Bruno FAMIN, PEUGEOT SPORT Director
“Rallycross is one of the most exacting disciplines in all of motorsport and once again, we saw this for ourselves in Austin. On the positive side, we saw that the speed in the car is there, with two cars in the final once again and battling for the top positions throughout the weekend. On the other hand, our ambitions are not just limited to this, so it’s clear that if we want to be consistently winning, we need to keep working hard. There are many complex elements that make up a successful weekend in rallycross, and at the moment we are still missing a few of them. There’s not a big gap to make up but with the cars and drivers so closely matched, even the smallest element makes a big difference. What’s certain is that we are extracting the maximum possible learning experience out of every round in what is still only our first season as a factory team, against very experienced and talented rivals. We’re going to use this information to work even harder to achieve our goals, which we know now are attainable if we continue to work in the right way. Congratulations to Johan Kristoffersson for a well-deserved title: this year he has illustrated just how high the bar has been set in this sport.’’
 
Sébastien LOEB, PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo #9 – 4th in Austin
 “It was again a complicated weekend. We had a good speed but I had a penalty in Q2 & I paid quite a high price for it. In Q4, I was stuck in the traffic. The semi-final was a good heat for me but when you start from behind, it’s difficult to overtake, especially on this track. So I finished 2nd of the semi & 4th in the final... which was rough once more! I’ve been pushed in the 1st corner in the joker lap & went completely wide. All the cars that were in there at this moment took the opportunity to pass inside, in front of me. Then my joker lap strategy was already done so I had nothing to play with anymore. But OK, in the end we still scored some points & we’ll keep going.”
 
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo #21 – 6th in Austin
"It was a difficult race weekend: we had to fight from the low & climb up step by step in the standings. I think it was already a good achievement to come to the final alongside all 6 factory cars. I've been fighting my best but it was quite a boring final since there were no overtaking opportunities on this track. I ended up 5th - still one place up on the grid. I think we should be happy with the weekend after all we went through - for being in the final & finishing 5th.”
 
Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71 – 7th in Austin
 “It did not quite go all the way this weekend. I think I had a very good speed but it was just a too tough semi-final for me in the end. I am a bit bumped that I could not use the speed I had this weekend to properly challenge for the podium. It’s a bit a shame but still I was feeling good in the car, knowing that we struggled a bit with the set-up the previous weekends, so now we are back to very good feelings. To summarise: not super happy but I would like to continue moving forward. Estering is one my favorite tracks so I can’t wait to go there. This weekend we had a good pace & I had a good feeling, so I will take this in my luggage & bring it to Germany.”

RESULTS OF FINAL RACE IN 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
 
DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #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
 
TEAMS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #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

NEXT ROUND (#11/12): Germany – October 13-14
The penultimate round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presents a stark contrast to America and Austin. Estering in Germany is a very traditional rallycross circuit located in the middle of the countryside, around 35 kilometres from Hamburg. It’s less than a kilometre long but fast and flowing with a tight joker section, having formed part of the FIA World Rallycross Championship since 2014. However, rallycross has been taking place there for more than 40 years: one of the reasons why it always attracts a large and enthusiastic crowd.

MEDIA INFORMATION 
 
MEDIA CONTACT 
Peugeot Sport Communication Manager: 
Aurélie Lehe +33 6 14 84 28 99 aurelie.lehe@ext.mpsa.com  
Team Peugeot Total Press Officers:
Vera DUSSAUSAYE + 33 6 48 60 07 94 vera@19com.ch
Anthony PEACOCK +44 7765 89 69 30 anthony@mediaticaworld.com
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