UPDATED PEUGEOT 208 WRX FOR THE ‘MAGIC WEEKEND’ IN THE HOMELAND OF THE HANSEN FAMILY!
Round #6/12 - Holjes, Sweden: June 30 / July 1st
The Holjes round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is like the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula 1: one of the most spectacular and hotly-contested race of the season, which attracts massive and passionate crowds. This weekend in Sweden, on the Hansen family’s home soil, Team PEUGEOT Total will introduce the latest technical evolutions to the 2 official PEUGEOT 208 WRX cars, which have been designed and tested by PEUGEOT Sport’s engineers and technicians.
It's the final version of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX that will be racing at round 6 of the FIA World RX in Holjes. The changes brought to the car incorporate significant modifications in every area: chassis, engine, suspension and transmission. Team PEUGEOT Total is finally bringing together the latest technical features and upgrades to its weapon of choice, with one clear goal since its debut as a factory team earlier this year: taking another step forwards in performance. In its initial year as a factory squad, Team PEUGEOT Total has risen to the challenge of providing improvements that should lead to a significant increase in pace. Even though there is inevitably a degree of risk attached, the introduction of these innovations underlines the firm desire of Team PEUGEOT Total to make important progress throughout the 2018 season. Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen will benefit from this updated version of the car, whereas Kevin Hansen will switch to the basic 2018-specification car (as driven by Sebastien and Timmy up to now).
- Holjes circuit is based in the south-west of Sweden close to the Norwegian border. The World RX event there is known as the ‘Magic Weekend’ because of the sheer quantity of cars entered and entertainment on offer. The 1.21-kilometre track is fast and flowing, consisting of 60% asphalt and 40% gravel, as well as some of the biggest jumps of the year. With wide and open corners – some of them blind – there are overtaking opportunities everywhere. The lap record currently stands at 41.448 seconds, from 2017.
- Looking back at the Holjes record of achievement: Kevin Hansen was a former winner at Holjes back when he was competing in the European Championship in 2016, Sebastien Loeb was on the podium last year, and Timmy Hansen is a 3-time podium finisher (in 2013, 2015 and 2016). Team PEUGEOT Total currently sits joint 2nd in the provisional Teams’ Championship, 39 points off the lead. In the provisional drivers’ rankings Sebastien Loeb is the leading PEUGEOT driver in 2nd (31 points off the lead) while his team mates Timmy Hansen and Kevin Hansen are 6th and 8threspectively.
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
Kenneth Hansen, Team Peugeot Total Manager
“Perhaps the most incredible thing about Holjes is that every year it attracts about 40,000 people – to a place that’s in the middle of nowhere! So everyone camps out and it turns into a real festival of rallycross, with an unbelievable atmosphere. As well as being home for our family, it’s also where we will introduce the latest upgrades to our PEUGEOT 208 WRX car, so it’s certainly going to be a memorable weekend. Whenever you start with something new, it’s always hard to tell how it will go, and even if the testing went well it will be our first competitive outing with this car. We will have to quickly find the right set-up for the car on this very special track, which isn’t always easy with so many new evolutions. It’s only in competition that you can really see if you have been working in the right direction, so I know that the drivers can’t wait to get going at this amazing racing weekend.”
Sébastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208WRX #9 (French, born 26/2/74)
“I’m looking forward to Holjes for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s one of the tracks that is most enjoyable to drive of the entire year: with jumps, technical parts, fast parts…it’s really good fun! Secondly, we introduce an upgraded car, which has a few new things compared to the previous one, that makes it really different to drive. The engine and suspension have evolved, so while our tests were positive, and we felt comfortable with these new solutions, I’m impatient to find out where we really are now in competition. We’re going to have to adapt to a new starting strategy for instance, which is a really important part of rallycross. And it comes at a crucial point in the season.’’
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208WRX #21 (Swedish, born 21/5/92)
“We have some good improvements coming in. Congratulations to the whole PEUGEOT Sport team for bringing it to this point: to come up with all these evolutions in the middle of the season is very exciting and a great achievement. Having said that, now we go from a package that we knew backwards, inside and out, to something that is more or less unknown, especially in competition. So it’s going to be very important to stay concentrated throughout the weekend to make sure that we go exactly the right way in the set-up. I’ve finished 3rdand 2ndin Holjes before so clearly there’s only one way that I can improve! I’ve been looking for this win all year, and so far on every round we’ve shown that we’ve got the speed to do it. So we’ll be aiming to get the best out of the car as quickly as we can this weekend to enable us to challenge again.”
Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71 (Sweden, born 28/5/98)
“Holjes for me is the best track of the year. It’s frenetic and action-packed. When I won it in the European championship in 2016 it was one of the best moments of my career. There’s not a single part of the track where you can catch your breath; it’s just complete action from start to finish and this is what rallycross is all about. My goal is just to go into the weekend with an open mind, enjoy it, and aim to collect as many points as possible. So far everything has gone very well for me and I have had a really good feeling with the car, especially at the last round, so I see no reason why we can’t keep on fighting at the front.”
DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #5/12 (HELL, NORWAY)
1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON / Volkswagen Polo R – 135 pts
2. Sébastien LOEB / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 104 pts
3. Petter SOLBERG / Volkswagen Polo R – 102 pts
4. Andreas BAKKERUD / Audi S1 – 101 pts
5. Mattias EKSTRÖM / Audi S1 – 97 pts
6. Timmy HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX - 94 pts
7. Niclas GRÖNHOLM / Hyundai i20 – 66 pts
8. Kevin HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX - 61 pts
9. Janis BAUMANIS / Ford Fiesta - 41 pts
10. Robin LARSSON / Ford Fiesta - 40 pts
11. Kevin ERIKSSON / Ford Fiesta - 36 pts
12. Timur TIMERZYANOV / Hyundai i20 - 34 pts
13. Guerlain CHICHERIT / Renault Mégane RS - 31 pts
14. Jérome GROSSET-JANIN / Renault Mégane RS - 28 pts
15. Tommy RUSTAD / Volkswagen Polo R - 13 pts
TEAMS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #5/12 (HELL, NORWAY)
1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden - 237 pts
2. Team PEUGEOT Total - 198 pts
3. EKS Audi Sport - 198 pts
4. GRX Taneco - 100 pts
5. Olsbergs MSE - 76 pts
6. GC Kompetition - 59 pts
DID YOU KNOW?
Sweden is the only country to have hosted either a European Championship or a World Championship event since the European series originally started in 1973. More than 100 cars are regularly entered at Holjes in different categories, and it's also the place whose population probably grows the most as a result of a single event: going from 150 residents to 40,000 people on site during the course of the ‘Magic Weekend’!
WHAT IS RALLYCROSS? RACE & RULES
- Get to know more about World RX and the championship: https://bit.ly/2rZlFxb
- 3rd episode of the PEUGEOT “Racing Test” web series, with Kenneth Hansen explaining the start procedure in World RX: https://bit.ly/2KmDdud
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.
More technical insight & imagery of the upated PEUGEOT 208 WRX in tomorrow's feature – stay tuned!
- Watch the race on TV on SVT on Sunday July 1st, 2018, live from 2PM
- PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2018 technical data sheet: http://www.peugeot-media.com/
- Latest imagery of the new PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2018 (static photo-shoot and action + video newscut):
©Photo : PEUGEOT Sport / MCH Photography
©Vidéo : PEUGEOT Sport / La Clé Production
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