|PHOTO CREDIT: Peugeot Sport
The Loheac circuit is the oldest and most popular French rallycross venue, it attracts around 75,000 fans – making it one of the most popular motorsport events in France. The lap record holder (with a time of 36.095s) is currently Sébastien Loeb, who finished runner-up last year. The rebuilt track is 1.088 kilometres long, with a lengthy joker lap section, and consists of 33% asphalt combined with 66% gravel. The tighter corners tend to be on asphalt with the fast corners on gravel.
The Peugeot 208 WRX EVO only enters its 3rd event this weekend. Last time out in Canada, the team placed its 2 new cars on the podium in 2nd and 3rd. The Canadian round proved that the new 208 WRX Evo supercar has the pace to win races.
Sébastien Loeb sets his objective for round 8 in France: "Our objective as always is to go for the victory."
Peugeot Total are leaving no stone unturned ahead of the French round. "We’ll get a test just before the race, at Chateauroux in France, which should be good preparation for Loheac and we’ll use that to make some final adjustments to the set-up," said Loeb.
"Loheac is a lot of fun to drive but there’s no particular secret to it: you’ve just got to be clean and fast everywhere and above all it’s important to get a very good start," the Frenchman adds. "It’s a track that can be quite demanding on the tyres, so you need to look after them and most of all avoid getting a puncture, which is a risk on some of the big kerbs that you have there.”
Loeb's teammate Timmy Hansen showed impressive pace in his 208 WRX Evo in Canada. The Swede feels confident ahead of the Loheac round.
|PHOTO CREDIT: Peugeot Sport
Although Timmy only managed to secure a second place finish in Canada, he kept pressure on race winner Johan Kristoffersson, which displayed the performance of his new supercar. But the Swede feels that there is room for improvement. "The performance of the car is all there: we just need perhaps to focus a little more on the starts, which is so important in rallycross, especially in qualifying where all the cars start in a single line."
Timmy's younger brother Kevin Hansen, an independent entry has improved consistently this season and has received an updated Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar.
The young Swede has gained some experience racing in France. "I have already had a good French experience recently as I’ve been driving a Formula 4 single-seater racing car at the Auto Sport Academy in France, and I think I can definitely use some of the lessons I learned from that in Loheac,'' said Kevin. "It’s a fast circuit where you have to be very tidy and clean, so this is what I can carry over."
Kevin sets his target for the French round. "My aim is definitely to be on the podium," said Hansen. "I think this is a realistic objective, as our 208 WRX should be well-suited to Loheac."
"The car that I’m driving has also benefitted from a lot of development and I feel that I’m improving personally all the time as well, so there’s no reason at all why we can’t be right up there.”