|PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media|
Sebastien Loeb finishes 4th and his team mate Timmy Hansen is 6th (after receiving a 5-second penalty for contact with Ekström). They were both driving the Peugeot 208 WRX EVO and both showed good progress with their starting strategy over the weekend.
The team had to cope with the challenge of variable weather, and also an engine change in only an hour on the car #21 on Sunday morning (between Q3 & Q4). In addition to a 5-second penalty (Q2), Loeb was the victim of unfortunate racing incidents all throughout the weekend, that often found him caught in traffic on a narrow circuit where were no overtaking opportunities.
The team’s Junior, Kevin Hansen, showed plenty of promise in his 2018-specification Peugeot 208 WRX, getting as far as the rough semi-final he was involved in – he finished just 7th overall. Peugeot Sport engineers and mechanics will continue to push hard with the development of its cars and process over the final 2 rounds of the series.
Sébastien LOEB - 4th in Austin
“It was again a complicated weekend. We had a good speed but I had a penalty in Q2 & I paid quite a high price for it. In Q4, I was stuck in the traffic. The semi-final was a good heat for me but when you start from behind, it’s difficult to overtake, especially on this track. So I finished 2nd of the semi & 4th in the final... which was rough once more! I’ve been pushed in the 1st corner in the joker lap & went completely wide. All the cars that were in there at this moment took the opportunity to pass inside, in front of me. Then my joker lap strategy was already done so I had nothing to play with anymore. But OK, in the end we still scored some points & we’ll keep going.”
Timmy Hansen – 6th in Austin
"It was a difficult race weekend: we had to fight from the low & climb up step by step in the standings. I think it was already a good achievement to come to the final alongside all 6 factory cars. I've been fighting my best but it was quite a boring final since there were no overtaking opportunities on this track. I ended up 5th - still one place up on the grid. I think we should be happy with the weekend after all we went through - for being in the final & finishing 5th.”
Kevin Hansen – 7th in Austin
“It did not quite go all the way this weekend. I think I had a very good speed but it was just a too tough semi-final for me in the end. I am a bit bumped that I could not use the speed I had this weekend to properly challenge for the podium. It’s a bit a shame but still I was feeling good in the car, knowing that we struggled a bit with the set-up the previous weekends, so now we are back to very good feelings. To summarise: not super happy but I would like to continue moving forward. Estering is one my favorite tracks so I can’t wait to go there. This weekend we had a good pace & I had a good feeling, so I will take this in my luggage & bring it to Germany.”
REPORT BY: Team Peugeot Total