Sébastien Loeb Claims His First Win In The PEUGEOT 208 WRX!
A drama-packed weekend of FIA World Rallycross Championship action in Latvia saw Sébastien Loeb secure his maiden WRX victory. Combined with third place for Timmy Hansen, the Frenchman’s performance puts Team Peugeot Hansen well and truly back in the fight for the 2016 Teams’ crown. The PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers hit the ground running in free practice to set the pace in Latvia. Timmy Hansen won the first qualifying heat to emerge as the man to beat early on, before Sébastien Loeb powered his way to the top in Sunday’s appalling conditions which failed to deter the big crowd of spectators.
After winning his semi-final for the first time, Sébastien Loeb went on to take an assertive win in the final, ahead of the championship’s provisional leader and team-mate Timmy Hansen. “We had a few delicate moments." said Loeb, "but it turned out to be a tremendous weekend. Timmy and I effectively collided during Q3 but the speed we have shown since Barcelona enabled us to battle for the win. Today’s rain reminded me of when I used to compete on wet asphalt in rallying. I could feel the movement of my tires and I had a very good feeling with my car. I am very pleased for my chief mechanic who lives in Latvia, as well as for the entire team. Everyone has worked so hard since the beginning of the season.”
Today’s double podium promotes the defending team's champion Team Peugeot Hansen to within just eight points of the top of the provisional standings with two meetings to come in Germany (October 15-16) and Argentina (November 26-27). The Franco-Swedish outfit’s score to date in the campaign stands at two wins and 10 podium places.
Kevin Hansen, who wrapped up the 2016 European Rallycross title* in Barcelona, tackled the final round of the ERX intent on making it five victories from five this season. Unfortunately for the Swedish youngster, the chaotic conditions that reigned during the classes final prevented him from turning that dream into reality. He was punted off the track, but fought back incisively from last to second place.
"The first day went well for me", said Kevin, "but Sunday in the rain was more difficult. My power steering failed during Q4 which wasn’t ideal just before the semi-final. It was also quite tiring! Indeed, I got away to a poor start and I effectively ended up second. My semi-final was quite chaotic again. In the final, someone pushed me off at Turn 3. I re-joined in last position, so I decided to push hard and I succeeded in picking off the other drivers one by one. I even thought I might find a way past Rustad to win, but I failed by a few tenths of a second. Never mind. That comeback felt almost like a win!”
2016 Paris Motor Show: Team Peugeot Hansen and the Peugeot Hansen Academy will take advantage of the break between the WRX clashes in Latvia and Germany to attend the Paris Motor Show in France onWednesday, October 5.