Peugeot have announced that they will be ending their programme in the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the end of the 2018 season due to the recently announced delay in the electrification of the series.
The French manufacturer has been one of the leading forces in moving things forward with the switch to electric power.
While the Peugeot brand has been part of the championship since its inception in 2014, this year saw the manufacturer mount a full factory entry with rally star Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen as the main drivers. Kevin Hansen also provided support with a non-manufacturer entry.
Despite the added investment, the dominance of PSRX Volkswagen Sweden has seen Loeb as the only driver other than Johan Kristoffersson to win a race this year.
The statement from the manufacturer reads:
After presenting its new generation of Plug-In-Hybrid vehicles as part of its electrification strategy at the Paris Motor Show, Peugeot announces the development of a new range of electrified sports vehicles from 2020.
The Peugeot brand will concentrate its resources on developing these new vehicles & has therefore decided to withdraw from the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the end of the 2018 season, whose evolution towards electrification is uncertain.
With the announcement out in the public domain, both Hansen brothers have taken to social media to reveal their heartbreak.
Peugeot Sport withdraws from WRX at the end of the year 💔 Let's see what the future will bring. pic.twitter.com/6VTPgoReZE
— Timmy Hansen (@Timmy_Hansen) October 18, 2018
My world had been turned upside down this morning. It’s by far the toughest day of my life. I feel really sorry for all my friends at Peugeot Sport, I send all of you all the love I have. Future is now open, lets come back stronger!
Peugeot is out of World Rallycross. pic.twitter.com/GdvJhZkKTP
— Kevin Hansen (@kevinhansen71) October 18, 2018
As it currently stands, Volkswagen are the only manufacturer team that is expected to return for the 2019 season after Audi announced earlier this season they would also be withdrawing from the season.
While Peugeot is leaving the series as a manufacturer, we could see the return of the Hansen branding to the team, reverting to a private entry, this could also be a similar route followed by the EKS RX team.