Monday 7 May 2018

Team Peugeot Total aim to tame the famous twists and turns of Mettet.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Team Peugeot Total has had a promising start to the 2018 FIA World RallyCross campaign, with 2 second places scored by Sébastien Loeb in Spain and Portugal, while team mates Timmy and Kevin Hansen [independent entry] showed plenty of speed. Timmy also collecting a useful points haul. As a result, the team are currently 3rd in the team standings, while Loeb is 4th in the driver rankings, 3 points ahead of Timmy Hansen. 

The circuit Jules Tacheny, located close to Charleroi in Belgium, is one of the most technical tracks that the championship visits all year. The venue is famous for its jump and low-speed, zig-zag corners that require the utmost precision. The lap is 1.149 kilometres long, 61% asphalt and 43% gravel, with the lap record standing at 38.074s from last year. Unlike the previous round in Montalegre, the joker comes at the very end of the lap, which could lead to some exciting race finishes. 

The weather in Belgium at this time of year can be uncertain: but after extreme conditions in both Spain (rain) and Portugal (snow), the Peugeot team and drivers are prepared for almost anything! After Montalegre, the cars returned to base in Versailles, to be re-prepared before heading to Belgium.

Sébastien Loeb
“Mettet is a track I like: it’s a nice place and actually not too far from my home town in Alsace, so usually I have a few friends coming to watch and there are plenty of fans from France coming too. The atmosphere is really friendly and it’s always a pleasure to be there: when I first came to Mettet I was on the podium, so happy memories for me. The circuit is quite a varied mix with some technical turns and also some complicated corners on gravel, as well as a sharp hairpin. The start here is never easy, so the first corner can be a bit of an adventure, but it’s always good fun for a driver.”

Timmy Hansen
“I hope we can continue the great pace we’ve had so far in Belgium; there’s no reason why not, as last year I could have won, but I had a puncture at the jump on the final lap. That jump, and the corner after it, is one of the most critical sections of the whole track: you have to jump and make sure that you land exactly on your braking point, which is really difficult to judge. But it’s all part of the job if you’re a rallycross driver. There’s also a super-fast chicane on the lap where you have to get so close to the tyre barrier: it’s one of the places where you have to be super-brave! So I would definitely describe Mettet as a ‘confidence track’ but luckily the PEUGEOT 208 WRX gives me the confidence that you need.”

Kevin Hansen [Independent Peugeot entry]
“From the very start of the year I’ve felt great with the car, but I just need to turn that good feeling into a final result.  Mettet is very different from the last round in Portugal: it’s actually a bit more similar to Barcelona in feel. Last year it was very bumpy, and the 208 WRX was really fast. I’ve been doing my homework and I feel well-prepared to take every opportunity that comes. Things haven’t always gone my way so far this year, but in motorsport everything always comes around, so I’m feeling happy and confident as we head to Belgium.”

Source: Peugeot Sport

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