|PHOTO CREDIT: Peugeot Sport.|
The Canadian round will be an opportunity for Timmy Hansen and Sébastien Loeb to claim the 1st major result for the Peugeot 208 WRX EVO, which showed great potential on its competition debut in Sweden.
Sébastien Loeb will be particularly motivated to do well, following two races with mixed fortunes in Norway and Sweden. His objective will be to do better than the 3rd place he managed in Canada in 2017. “The goal for me in Canada is to confirm that progress and I think we can be in the fight for the win," said Loeb.
The Frenchman believes that the team need work on race starts. In a number of races this season, Loeb bogged off-the-line or nearly stalled. He believes that progress can still be made in this department.
"We’ve still got some progress to make when it comes to the starts, and that’s actually a key part of the challenge in Canada, which starts off with one of the longest straights of the year," he explains. "This means that you’ve got to get away well and have good acceleration."
Loeb believes that the Canadian round of the championship will confirm the performance of the 208 WRX Evo: "Last year, we were a bit lacking in engine power and so we were often behind at the first corner. This year, the race will be a good indication of our performance with the latest technical evolutions, especially when it comes to the engine. But we’ll only have the final verdict at Trois-Rivieres!”
Timmy Hansen won in Canada in 2016, a victory that he described as “one of the most unexpected of my career”, which underlined his determination and ability to make the most of any opportunity.
“I’m very happy with the new Peugeot 208 WRX and the result that we so nearly had in Sweden. To be at this level in the 1st race with the car just shows the extraordinary potential for the future, and since then we’ve been working very hard to address some of the things we learned in Sweden," said Hansen. "As for Trois-Rivieres, it’s a place that I love: a proper rallycross circuit right in the middle of the town with a fantastic atmosphere. It’s very fast, so you need a good engine, and I think we have that.”
Kevin Hansen will drive the 2018-specification Peugeot 208 WRX, previously raced by Sébastien and Timmy started the season with.
“In Sweden I started with the initial 2018-specification car, and although I thought it would feel quite similar to the car I had been driving until then, in fact there were a few things that were quite different, especially with the set-up," said Kevin Hansen. "So Sweden was a bit of a learning experience for me, and by the end I thought that we were really getting somewhere. Now my goal is to continue that progress in Canada: I feel we’re getting better all the time.”
Team Peugeot Total are currently 3rd in the provisional Teams’ Championship, just 6 points off 2nd place. In the drivers' standings, Sébastien Loeb is the leading Peugeot driver in 4th (48 points off the lead) while his team mates Timmy and Kevin Hansen are 5th and 7th respectively.