Team Peugeot-Hansen will become a full factory team for the 2018 FIA World Rallycross season, becoming Team Peugeot Total.
After ending their successful Dakar Rally programme, Peugeot has made the commitment to fully focus their resources and attention to rallycross, making the 2018 208 WRX challenger the first car that they developed fully in-house.
Although no longer ‘Team Peugeot-Hansen’, the Hansen family still plays an integral part in the operation, with fourteen time European Rallycross Champion, Kenneth Hansen, taking on the role as team manager, and both Timmy and Kevin Hansen driving for the 2018 season, alongside nine-time World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb.
Peugeot’s Sport Director, Bruno Famin is looking forward to the new season with the increased support for the team, but also knows they must be realistic in terms of their expectations.
“This marks the start of an exciting year for us,” he said. “The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be Peugeot’s key motorsport engagement in a factory capacity, with new rivals and a new environment.
“However, even though we have some past knowledge of the sport through the Peugeot-Hansen team, we have to be realistic, as our competitors are very experienced while we will have to train our team for this new discipline from scratch!
“Despite this big challenge, we are aiming for some wins this season, then something more in the seasons beyond.”
Loeb thinks that Peugeot’s vastly increased involvement in rallycross will allow the team to take a step towards the top of the podium more regularly, and has high expectations of what this season can bring.
“My expectations are high for this year. Peugeot coming in as a factory team was exactly what was needed to take things up a level and enable us to fight for the championship.
In the past we were close, but we were just missing a little extra. Now Peugeot’s official engagement can bring us that.”
Timmy Hansen has never driven with a factory team at such a high level in the past, and wants to keep his feet on the ground going into the 2018 season.
“I’ve never competed at such a high level before with a factory team, so it’s an honour to be chosen to represent Peugeot at such an important time,” he said.
“We’re expecting the car to be better than ever with all the evolutions implemented by the Peugeot Sport engineers, so this certainly increases our opportunity to do well, but we’ve got to remember that there are some very strong rivals in this championship. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.
“My aim is simply to do as well as I can on every round so that we can build on our progress step by step.
“I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel at the first round in Barcelona; then we will see where we are compared to the others.”