Hell podium “thoroughly deserved”, says Kenneth Hansen


Team Peugeot-Hansen again on the podium in Norway - Photo credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship

Despite its various ups and downs, this weekend’s round six of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Lankebanen in Hell, Norway, has gifted Team Peugeot-Hansen with both their lead drivers, Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen, achieving strong points-scoring finishes: the Frenchman was third overall, gaining the team’s fourth top-three result of the season, while Timmy had to settle for fifth; his younger brother, Kevin, got tangled in an eventful opening lap in his semi-final, preventing him from going any further.

Yet, older brother Timmy came very close to an abrupt end to the event in his Q3 run, when he crashed into a tyre wall as a result of contact with Petter Solberg‘s VW Polo: the Swede’s Peugeot looked like a write-off, but the team’s mechanics did their best to get it ready on time for the following heat.

As a result of this, Peugeot-Hansen are currently second in the Teams’ provisional standings, trailing PSRX Volkswagen Sweden but ahead of reigning champions EKS.

We thoroughly deserved today’s podium finish!, enthuses Peugeot-Hansen’s team principal, Kenneth Hansen.

We were quick out of the box this weekend and, despite suffering a few setbacks, we never gave up. After Timmy’s tangle with Solberg in Q3, I honestly didn’t know whether his car would be ready again in time for Q4 but the mechanics did yet another first class job to make repairs in just over an hour. That allowed Timmy to qualify for the semi-finals, and then for the final where he joined Sébastien who ended up on the podium.

Given the circumstances, there is good reason to be pleased with the overall outcome, even though our sights continue to be firmly set on victory. We’re not far off that and we will do our best to finish on the top step in Sweden in three weeks’ time.

The next challenge for Team Peugeot-Hansen, round seven of the series, will be held at the end of this month (30 June-2 July) on their home soil at Höljes. At the Swedish racetrack, back in 2015, Timmy Hansen made a controversial move on his rival Mattias Ekström, passing him on the inside at the final corner. Subsequently, the stewards found him guilty of cutting the track in order to gain an advantage, and so demoted him to second, handing victory to the Audi driver. Last year, Loeb finished second there, with Timmy third, while Kevin took his third EuroRX win in a row, on his way to the title.