Team Peugeot-Hansen driver Timmy Hansen leads the overnight standings in his Peugeot 208 WRX at Loheac in France for round nine of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
The Swedish pilot went fastest in his heat one race and then continued to follow that up with the fastest time in heat two to continue his run of being fastest at the end of Day One for four events in a row. However Hansen feels theres more to come.
“The car is amazing and is doing exactly everything I want it to – it’s been a fantastic day,” explained the 22-year-old. “At this stage, I also have to think about other things such as tyre strategy so I’m not pushing to the maximum. I think there’s some room to go up a gear and go even faster. I’ve always loved Loheac – it’s a fantastic track and it’s great to see the support for our team – especially for Davy (Jeanney) who is really popular with the home fans. It’s a really special event for us.”
SDRX driver Petter Solberg lies in second place in his Citroen DS3 despite suffering a gearbox issue with his car. EKS driver Mattias Ekstrom has shown more excellent pace in his Audi S1 and lies in third place overnight. After clocking two top four heat times, Volkswagen Team Sweden‘s Johan Kristoffersson lies in fourth place overnight ahead of Ford OMSE‘s Andreas Bakkerud with Hansen’s team-mate Davy Jeanney completing the top six.
JRM Mini driver Guy Wilks has had no running today after an engine issue in free practice sidelined him for both heats. However the Englishman is hopeful of taking part on Sunday.
“Practice didn’t go as planned – we were the first car out, the track was very slippery and we had a problem. We had to come back in and lost about an hour of running. When you’re trying to dial in a car to a rallycross circuit, that’s critical time. We got back on the circuit for the end of practice but the problem reoccurred so we couldn’t start the heats.”
Albatec duo Jerome Grosset-Janin and Yvan Muller had a positive heat one but a less positive heat two which has left Grosset-Janin in 17th place after a puncture in heat two and Muller in 22nd place after contact in heat two with Marklund Motorsport‘s Topi Heikkinen. However, the Frenchman is still enjoying his WorldRX debut.
“It’s been a tough day,” admitted Muller. “It started well and I had a good feeling in the car but I lost a lot of time in the second heat which dropped me far down the standings. I didn’t see exactly what happened with Topi – it’s hard to see with so much going on – but the problem with RX is that every heat counts and this will likely affect my chances of getting into the semis. I will come back tomorrow and fight, it’s not over yet.”