The PEUGEOT 208 WRX SECURES 2016 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP HONORS
The last round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship ended in disappointment for Team Peugeot Hansen in Rosario, Argentina, where neither Sébastien Loeb nor Timmy Hansen were able to defend the Teams’ crown claimed in 2015.
To defend its title, Team Peugeot Hansen had to overturn a deficit of 17 points, which meant Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen needed to post a perfect weekend. Unfortunately, their plans took a dent during the very first qualifying heat when torrential rain began to fall just before the race in which the two PEUGEOT 208 WRXs were due to take part. It was consequently impossible for them to match the times of their rivals.
“We felt quite confident after the draw." said Team Principal, Ken Hansen, "but then it started to rain just before our Q1 race and there was nothing we could do to match the times posted in the other races. In Q2, we tried two very different set-ups on the cars. Sébastien’s set-up worked and he ended up fourth after two more good runs in Q3 and Q4. Unfortunately, he failed to make it through to the final. That’s not how we wanted the season to end and we must now work hard over the winter to recover the title in 2017.”
Sébastien Loeb went on to qualify for the semi-final stage but Timmy Hansen failed to make it that far and their points tally was insufficient for the PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers to challenge for the title. Team Peugeot Hansen ended up second overall in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship standings. Loeb reflected on the weekend, “It turned out to be something of a hectic weekend. It rained hard on the first day and that didn’t help us. Things went pretty well during the remainder of the qualifying phase, even though I lacked a little speed. In my semi-final, the first corner was quite chaotic. I was lined up to exit the turn in second place but someone punted me. I did what I could to recover third place but I didn’t succeed. It’s been a mixed season. We were competitive at certain circuits but less so at others. We’ve got more work to do.” Meanwhile, Sébastien Loeb concluded his first season in the series in fifth place in the Drivers’ classification, one place ahead of team-mate Timmy Hansen.
Between them, the two PEUGEOT 208 WRX drivers totalled no fewer than 10 podium finishes in 2016, including a win for Timmy Hansen in Trois Rivières, Canada, at the beginning of August, and victory for Sébastien Loeb in Riga, Latvia, at the beginning of October. Fellow PEUGEOT 208 WRX driver Kevin Hansen claimed the FIA European Rallycross Championship title.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION – ROSARIO (ARGENTINA)
1, Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS)
2, Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
3, Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1)
4, Timo Scheider (Munnich Motorsport, Seat Ibiza)
5, Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1)
6, Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1)
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (AFTER 12 ROUNDS)
FIA World Rallycross Championship – Drivers
1. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 272 points
2. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 240 points
3. Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS), 239 points
4. Petter Solberg (Peter Solberg World RX Team, Citroën DS3), 239 points
5. Sebastien Loeb (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 209 points
6. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 178 points
7. Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1), 150 points
8. Timur Timerzyanov (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 117 points
9. Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1), 109 points
10. Janis Baumanis (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 109 points
FIA World Rally Championship – Teams
1. EKS, 422 points
2. Team Peugeot Hansen, 387 points
3. Volkswagen RX Sweden, 316 points