Team Peugeot-Hansen were looking to close the gap to rival EKSRX to try and keep hold of the FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship, however difficult conditions on the first day of running dented their hopes.
With a 17 point gap to close, the Franco-Swedish squad knew that they needed a perfect weekend with their rivals suffering during the event and this did not turn out to be the case. With wet conditions in Q1 meaning that both Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen posted times that left them on the back foot, the challenge was then to improve the pace of the Peugeot 208 WRX’s which led to mixed results.
With the rest of qualifying taking place on Sunday in drier conditions, Hansen struggled to improve and missed out on the Semi’s whilst Loeb finished inside the top four to qualify for Semi-Final two. However the Frenchman lost out in a race long duel with Anton Marklund and this result meant that Team Peugeot-Hansen would finish the season in second place in the standings.
Loeb reflected on a difficult final weekend in what has been his debut season in World RX, “It turned out to be something of a hectic weekend. It rained hard on the first day and that didn’t help us. Things went pretty well during the remainder of the qualifying phase, even though I lacked a little speed. I did what I could to recover third place but I didn’t succeed.”
“It’s been a mixed season. We were competitive at certain circuits but less so at others. We’ve got more work to do.”
Hansen was unhappy with his performance in the season finale, “This obviously wasn’t the best way to wrap up the season. We were slow in the rain during our Q1 race, so I tried different set-ups for Q2. Mine wasn’t so good. I therefore had a lot of catching up to do in Q3 and Q4 but the conditions kept changing and my times were soon bettered as the track got drier. I am naturally disappointed with the result.”
Team Principal Kenneth Hansen is aware of the hard work need during the winter break to come back fighting in 2017, “We felt quite confident after the draw but then it started to rain just before our Q1 race and there was nothing we could do to match the times posted in the other races. In Q2, we tried two very different set-ups on the cars. Sébastien’s set-up worked and he ended up fourth after two more good runs in Q3 and Q4. Unfortunately, he failed to make it through to the final.”
“That’s not how we wanted the season to end and we must now work hard over the winter to recover the title in 2017.”