Team Peugeot-Hansen missed out on the Supercar Final for the first time in the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Mettet in Belgium.
Timmy Hansen had a difficult start to the weekend after contact in his heat one race left him with a broken front suspension which left him last. Due to be in the first race of heat two, the team rallied round to have the Peugeot 208 WRX fixed and Hansen rewarded them by finishing fastest in heat two. He finished second in heat three but fell to tenth in heat four. His overall position of seventh after heat four was enough to progress to Semi-Final one, but a front puncture robbed him of any chance to qualify for the Final.
Hansen is well aware of the challenge of unlocking winning potential from the car.
“It was a promising day but I lost out big time when I had an accident in Heat 1,” said Timmy Hansen. “Otherwise I think things could have turned out very differently. In my semi-final, I felt better in the car than I have done all season and it’s such a shame I punctured just after taking the lead. We clearly have a car that is becoming a possible title winner. We need to keep on working because it’s got even more potential.”
Team-mate Davy Jeanney had a quieter weekend in Mettet, but he managed to keep himself inside the top twelve over the four qualifying heat stages. Jeanney has adapted quickly to the team and the Peugeot this season and the Frenchman managed to secure himself eighth position overall after the heats, right behind his team-mate Hansen. However he had a difficult start in the second Semi Final and ended up finishing outside of the top three, ending his days progress.
Jeanney was aware of the difficult challenge ahead of him for his Semi-Final appearance.
“I expected my semi-final to be difficult on Sunday,” said Jeanney. “The conditions changed overnight and that didn’t simplify things. It was hard to find those tenths of a second that would have enabled me to lap at the front. I had some technical issues which were notably a handicap for the starts. In my semi-final, I managed to find a little extra speed. I saw a chance to pass and took it, but it didn’t work out.”
Team Principal Kenneth Hansen was encouraged by the performance of both drivers and the speed of the Peugeot 208 WRX.
“The positive from the weekend is that we are more consistent in terms of our performance,” insisted Kenneth Hansen. “We are fast. Not yet fast enough, but the speed Timmy showed during the first heat was worth pole position for his semi-final. Unfortunately, an early incident had a knock-on effect for the rest of the weekend.
“Meanwhile, Davy was slowed by technical problems. Both drivers are confident in the car’s potential. We just need to eke out that little extra bit of performance that will enable us to start the semi-finals from the front row.”
The team now looks ahead with renewed confidence to this weekends fourth round of WorldRX at Lydden Hill in Kent where they will run a third car for 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan. A fourth Peugeot will be run separately by Hansen Development for Super1600 Championship leader Janis Baumanis.