Whilst Team Peugeot Hansen look to defend their FIA World Rallycross Championship team title, there is a new official division of the team in action this weekend with the Peugeot Hansen Academy ready to compete in a majority of the races this season.
Lead by double World RX race winner Davy Jeanney, Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin is happy to have the Frenchman on board again: “Given Davy Jeanney’s outstanding run in 2015, it was important for us to capitalise on his experience and speed, and he will consequently continue to drive a 208 WRX with the Peugeot Hansen Academy.
“The arrival of big names like Sébastien Loeb and Ken Block is sure to expand the championship’s audience, so that’s good news. We just need to make sure that this growth doesn’t detract from the original spirit of rallycross which is a very open sport that is close to its fans. World RX has all the ingredients in place to keep growing.” he added.
Jeanney will contest all the European rounds of the 2016 World Rallycross Championship for the Peugeot Hansen Academy, with an option of two non-European appearances. The joint venture between Peugeot Sport and Hansen Motorsport will see Jeanney joined by RX Lites champion Kevin Hansen in thier Peugeot 208 WRX’s, with Jeanney taking on the role of driver coach to Hansen, who will be focusing on the European Rallycross Championship, plus selected WRX rounds.
“As usual, I will give it my very best shot.” said Jeanney. “I will notably focus on the 10 rounds of the world championship when I will try to do better than I did last season at the same events. I will also try to give Kevin some useful tips.
He added, “Whether I’m racing alongside Kevin or Timmy, it makes no difference to my approach. We will swap our impressions openly, right from the very first race in Portugal. Montalegre is a great setting and there is always a big, enthusiastic crowd. I was fifth there in 2013, then fourth in 2015, so I’m hoping for a top-three finish this time!”
Kevin Hansen made an immediate impact last season when he claimed his prize for winning the RX Lites title, a drive on of the OMSE Ford Fiesta Supercars. Hansen impressed from the word go and made it through to the final race in Argentina.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity for me to have joined the Peugeot Hansen Academy and to have Davy as coach.” said Hansen. “My aim is to focus on the European Rallycross Championship, the rounds of which all take place at the same time and at the same tracks as the world championship.
“To drive a Supercar is obviously very different to an RX Lites car, so I will try to familiarise myself as quickly as possible. After the event I did at the end of 2015 in Argentina, I hope it won’t be too long before I’m competitive. Last year, I was second in the RX Lites class at Montalegre and I can’t wait to race there again with a more competitive car.”
— Kevin Hansen (@kevinhansen71) April 13, 2016
Team Principal Kenneth Hansen added, “After two seasons working with Peugeot Sport, our association is really optimal and we feel confident going into 2016. We have improved our preparation thanks a programme of tests but there is still a lot of work to be done to be fully ready. We can hardly wait to get the 2016 season started.
“This year, we have two teams, although that was already the case with the Junior Team, so it’s not a major upheaval for us. I think our squad is perfectly capable of rising to the challenge. It certainly hasn’t changed our desire to win!”
The 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy gets under way in two days time as the series heads to Portugal, theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will be bringing you full coverage of the season with exclusive interviews and behind the scenes news.