Team Peugeot-Hansen showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with this weekend as Timmy Hansen took a second consecutive podium finish at the World RX of Norway.
The Franco-Swedish outfit are still looking for that elusive first win in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, however they are already on the pace as Hansen and team-mate Sebastien Loeb proved at the Norwegian event. Loeb has adapted well to the series and showed his further improved pace as he went seventh in Q1 before improving to third in Q2, second fastest in Q3 behind Andreas Bakkerud and eventually going fourth fastest in Q4 to qualify for the Semi-Finals. Loeb was in the same Semi-Final race as team-mate Hansen and both drivers qualified behind Bakkerud for the Final itself.
Hansen himself made sure that he was fast enough to stay in the top five in each of the first three Qualifying races, whilst being tenth fastest in Q4 was enough for the Semi-Final alongside Loeb. Hansen and Loeb would finish second and third in SF1 to go into the Final. Hansen chased Bakkerud hard in the Final to finish second behind Bakkerud whilst Loeb came home in fifth place behind Petter Solberg.
Peugeot-Hansen Academy driver Davy Jeanney enjoyed a positive outing where he qualified for the Semi-Finals in his Peugeot 208 WRX, however he would miss out on the Final by eighth tenths of a second whilst team-mate Kevin Hansen dominated the Euro RX of Norway and took the win in the Supercar Final.
Timmy Hansen was very happy with his podium finish:
“It was great to come second here. We’re starting to narrow the gap that separates us from some of our rivals. In Heat 2, I was running behind Andreas Bakkerud and there was nothing I could do to stay with him. After a bit of head-scratching, though, it looks like we found something because I was able to sit on his tail after that,” explained Hansen. “It’s obvious that we’re on a positive spiral. I was third at Lydden Hill and second here, so who knows what might happen at our home race in Sweden in three weeks’ time?”
Sebastien Loeb took the positives from a difficult weekend:
“It was a weekend of ups and downs. I had a pretty good rhythm for the heats and I didn’t go badly in my semi-final but third place meant I had a poor starting position for the final. I started from the back row behind the top drivers and couldn’t expect much better than fifth,” said Loeb. “We know we’re down a bit in terms of overall performance but the positive is that I am now third in the championship…”