Monday 16 April 2018

Team Peugeot Total claim a podium finish on debut

Team Peugeot Total's Timmy Hansen catches some air at the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona
Image Copyright: Peugeot Sport
Team Peugeot Total certainly didn’t have it easy during the season opener in Catalunya-Barcelona, after incidents involving Timmy Hansen hitting the wall on Saturday, electrical issues while leading the qualifying heat (on Sunday) and Sébastien Loeb spinning on a completely swamped Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in tricky conditions on Saturday but conditions improved on Sunday, when Sébastien Loeb made it through to the final and claimed second place.

Sébastien Loeb finished second overall (after the disqualification of Mattias Ekström following a first-lap incident in the final). Loeb achieved the podium finish due to some solid team work, with Kevin Hansen (not eligible to score team points) giving up a grid slot in the semi-final to the Loeb. Sébastien Loeb finished second in the semi-finals, booking him a place in the final, where the Frenchman showed his characteristic flair to seal a podium.

“We’ve seen this weekend all the different emotions you can go through in rallycross in one weekend!," said Loeb. "I was a bit low at the beginning, and I didn’t expect to go through to the semi-final as we were off with broken rear suspension twice in the heats. Then the decision came that I was going to go through to the semi-final anyway and from that point everything actually went well. I had a bit of luck with me, but this sort of emotional rollercoaster isn’t an easy one to live through! The pace of the car with Timmy is very encouraging as we can see that the car is competitive and that we’ve made a step forward over the winter. We’re in the fight and I hope we can continue in this way.”

Timmy Hansen showed amazing speed all weekend but didn’t get the chance to convert that into a result as his car stopped in the semi-final, while he was leading and pulling out a gap. “The only negative to this weekend is that there were so many positives we weren’t able to capitalise on!," he commented. "I felt very comfortable in the car all weekend: I was pulling out a gap in the semi-final and yet it was feeling so easy, almost with no real effort. Then the car stopped and that was it, which is obviously hard to take. But in the end, our car was really fast, really good, and we put together a fantastic weekend from the very start. It’s a car that I’m able to fight with. I’m eager to get some revenge now on the next round in Portugal. I just want to get back into the car and try again.”

Kevin Hansen was not eligible to score points for the team was 12th after the heats but withdrew in order to hand his place in the semi-finals to Loeb. "I think it was a good first race. I know this squad very well, for me everything feels very normal. I have my same crew as last year, so I felt very comfortable, and I had a very good first day as well," said Kevin Hansen. "We dropped a lot in the overall standings and went back to 12th. As Seb was 13th, we decided to swap for the team. I already knew it could be like this last year, so I’m aware of the thought, it’s not like it’s something new. And the next round is only in two weeks."

Team Peugeot Total head to Portugal for the World RX of Portugal in third place in the Team Championship standings, while its drivers: Timmy Hansen, Sébastien Loeb and Kevin Hansen are 6th, 7th and 12th in the Drivers' Championship Standings.

Source: Peugeot Sport
Image Copyright: Peugeot Sport
Written By: Junaid Samodien

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