Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb has kept up his impeccable record of finishing somewhere on the podium at every final in the World Rallycross Championship this year, underlining his consistency as well as his speed at the wheel of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX. His 3rd place on the Silverstone podium helped the Team PEUGEOT Total driver to consolidate his runner-up spot in the championship.
Sébastien Loeb, the winner last time out in Belgium, had a consistent run throughout the weekend and highlighted his pace with a podium finish. With 2 second places in qualifying and a win in the semi-final, he put in another fighting performance in the 6-lap final after falling behind at the start, adding another hard-earned trophy to his collection: 4 podiums in 4 FIA World RX competitions so far this season.
Kevin Hansen was classified 6th in the final after an adventurous day: nonetheless it was an event where the Swedish youngster really turned a corner by making it into the final for the 1st time this year. Unfortunately, he picked up a puncture over the massive jump of Silverstone that deprived him of any result – but the team’s ‘junior’ showed plenty of speed and potential from start to finish.
Timmy Hansen had all the speed but none of the luck at Silverstone. A frontrunner from the very beginning of the weekend, showing his talent consistently throughout qualifying and even winning a heat on Saturday, the Swede was stopped in the semi-final by a puncture that meant he was able to go no further. Timmy is the only driver to have won a heat in each of the 2018 World RX rounds so far.
Team PEUGEOT Total has now been on the podium with at least one car on every round of the championship. The PEUGEOT squad currently stands 3rd in the Team Championship – just 1 point behind 2nd while Sébastien Loeb secured his 2nd place on the Driver’s Championship.
Bruno Famin, PEUGEOT SPORT Director
“It’s good that we’re here with another podium and the speed is clearly there. The drivers and cars have been performing well, but obviously we had a tricky final day, along with some other competitors. Finishing third is good but finishing third when you had the chance to win is not that good! We need to look carefully into the cause of the punctures that affected both Timmy and Kevin today, which even deprived Timmy of a place in the final. It’s a shame as Timmy has won at least one race in every round so far, which shows his consistency everywhere. Kevin has also demonstrated his potential once more, as he did in Belgium, while Seb has delivered us another strong result. It’s very close between the top three teams but we’re right in the middle of that fight. So in the end we’re happy, after a nice weekend at the SpeedMachine Festival. We now go back to the factory, and we will have just one week to analyse and set up the car again for the next round.”
Sébastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9
“It was a great battle in the final. I had a bad start as there was a lot of grip and I nearly stalled the engine; so then I was sixth after the start and I needed to find a way to pass! Luckily, I took the joker lap at just the right time and then that helped me to make up some places. So I think I had a really good final run, despite the really bad start! In six laps, there are not many opportunities to make up places if you have a problem. But I’m really happy, it’s our fourth podium in a row and it couldn’t be much better. The result, I think, could be a bit better for us here, but I’ve had a lot of fun all year: we have enjoyed fierce battles but really fair battles, and there are three manufacturers fighting so closely.”
Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21
“I prefer to look at the positives from this weekend rather than dwell on the negative from today: we were really fast from start to finish and I know that we had the potential to win. I think we have more or less everything in place now apart from a bit of luck! In the semi-final the wheel just came down on its own, so nothing we could do. But I still enjoyed the weekend and the highlight for me was my win in qualifying, which shows exactly what we are capable of. Whenever you have a bad result as a driver it’s normal to feel depressed for a little bit, but it’s not going to last for very long. I know we have a great car and I’m going to come back fighting hard on the next round in Norway.”
Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71
“This weekend has been one that really turned a corner for me. We tried lots of different things in terms of set-up and I discovered some things that I know are going to be really useful in the future. The result was that I was in the final for the first time this year – the fifth time of my career that I have gone to the final. Of course, the road to get there today was a bit strange: in the semi-final there was a big accident and I had a big hit that meant the steering kicked back and I felt that my shoulder dislocated a bit. That didn’t distract me though: when you’re driving you don’t think about these things, and anyway, it sort of popped back in again on its own! It was a pity that the wheel broke over the jump in the final, but that doesn’t take anything away from a great weekend for me.”
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #4/12
1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON / Volkswagen Polo R – 105 pts
2. Sébastien LOEB / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 91 pts
3. Andreas BAKKERUD / Audi S1 – 83 pts
4. Petter SOLBERG / Volkswagen Polo R – 80 pts
5. Mattias EKSTRÖM / Audi S1 – 80 pts
6. Timmy HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 71 pts
7. Niclas GRÖNHOLM / Hyundai i20 – 52 pts
8. Kevin HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 41 pts
9. Janis BAUMANIS / Ford Fiesta – 35 pts
10. Timur TIMERZYANOV / Hyundai i20 – 34 pts
11. Robin LARSSON / Ford Fiesta – 30 pts
12. Guerlain CHICHERIT / Renault Mégane RS – 29 pts
13. Kevin ERIKSSON / Ford Fiesta – 25 pts
14. Jérome GROSSET-JANIN / Renault Mégane RS – 25 pts
15. Tommy RUSTAD / Volkswagen Polo – 9 pts
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #4/12
1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden – 185 pts
2. EKS Audi Sport – 163 pts
3. Team PEUGEOT Total – 162 pts
4. GRX Taneco – 86 pts
5. Olsbergs MSE – 55 pts
6. GC Kompetition – 54 pts
Next up, the FIA World Rallycross Championship is going to Hell! The famed Norwegian venue hosts the next round of the series from June 9-10, close to Trondheim on the west coast. The 1.019-kilometre Lankebanen circuit, made up of 63% asphalt and 37% gravel, always attracts huge crowds thanks to its high speeds and spectacular turns, while Sebastien Loeb was a podium finisher last year. The entry for the race, the most northerly stop on the calendar, is always impressive – so it’s another great chance for PEUGEOT’s driving stars to shine.