Team Peugeot-Hansen lost their FIA World Rallycross Victory in Holjes despite drivers Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney putting their Peugeot 208 WRX Supercars to the front over the weekend’s action.
Whilst Hansen kicked off the weekend at his home event well by being fastest in heat one, GermanyRX winner Jeanney suffered a puncture during his heat one race which dropped him down the order. Hansen went on to be quickest overnight after finishing fourth in heat two, whilst Jeanney underlined his speed by finishing heat two in third place.
Sunday proved that the speed of the Franco-Swedish cars was no fluke as as both drivers qualified inside the top twelve, putting all the work from their previous test at Holjes to good work. However a transmission issue for Jeanney meant only Hansen would qualify for the Final. Despite leading the race after overtaking Bakkerud and then beating Ekstrom after overtaking him at the final corner, a five second penalty was awarded for the manner in which Hansen overtook him, meaning the young Swede would be second in the race despite crossing the line first.
Team Principal Kenneth Hansen expressed his delight at the form shown in Holjes by his team and drivers.
“Both our drivers qualified for the semi-finals but Davy unfortunately suffered a transmission problem. Otherwise, we could have had two cars in the last race. Timmy found a good pace for the final. He got past Bakkerud but then found himself behind Mattias Ekström after his joker lap. He caught him into the final turn and, to my mind, pulled off a great pass to take the lead.
“Winning at this magical circuit in Holjes in front of 40, 000 spectators was a very special moment for us. Unfortunately, Race Control took a decision which we contested. We do not believe Timmy ran into Mattias. There was simply contact while they were side by side. The stewards judged it was a form of pushing and decided to swap the positions of Timmy and Mattias after the finish.
“I think Timmy was the winner even though first place was taken from us. Its still a great weekend.”
Timmy Hansen was happy with his weekend’s performance on home ground.
“I’ve seen the images and I think it was just part of rallycross. I have the feeling that my victory was taken from me. Mattias thought he had won the race and lifted, as he said at the press conference. I closed the gap and tried my luck. It was according to the rulebook but the stewards thought otherwise. I am very proud of our weekend in Holjes.”
Davy Jeanney considered what might have been.
“I fought back well today after being handicapped by a puncture on Saturday. I improved to seventh after Heats 3 and 4 which was enough to earn a ticket for the semi-finals. Timmy and I got away to great starts but my front-left drive-shaft failed and I ended up sixth. That was still worth a few points but not as many as I had been hoping for. It would have been fantastic to have got both 208 WRXs through to the final!”
The FIA World Rallycross Championship returns to action in four weeks’ time in Canada.