One-kilometer, mixed-surface circuits make for good racing. That’s why driving legend Sébastien Loeb will enter his first World Rallycross event this weekend in Portugal, along with teammate and last season’s runner-up Timmy Hansen.
Hansen and Loeb will drive two 540hp Peugeot 208 WRXs for Team Peugeot Hansen in Montalegre on April 16-17, the first of 12 World Rallycross Championship stops this year.
“We were very strong during the second half of 2015 and I hope to continue on that momentum,” said Hansen – Team Peugeot Hansen was the team’s champion in 2015 thanks to 11 podium finishes, including five victories.
“The world championship is tremendous fun! Also, I will have a new teammate in Sébastien Loeb. He’s one of the world’s greatest drivers, so it’s going to be interesting and I’m sure we will both be able to learn from each other to take the team even further forward.”
Loeb added, “I’m thrilled to be facing a new challenge. The car is a pleasure to drive. It’s powerful and handles very nicely. Compared with a rally car, it has much more grunt and it responds a bit less progressively. You need a driving style that allows you to keep on top of it and that’s great fun! At the same time, I need to find out for myself about things like fighting door to door, race strategy, tyre management, joker laps, etc.
“I will need to learn quickly and, above all, sense things like when to make an attempt to overtake because you don’t get that many chances! I also hope I will be fast enough. For the moment, I have a good feeling but I know that there isn’t much opportunity to practice in order to get into the swing.”
Ran by Peugeot Sport and Hansen Motorsport, two Peugeot 208 WRXs the 2015 version of the car, will compete for the newly formed Peugeot Hansen Academy. Davy Jeanney will contest all the European rounds of the 2016 World Rallycross Championship for the Academy, with an option of two non-European appearances. His role will also be to coach the reigning RX Lites champion Kevin Hansen whose focus will be the European Rallycross Championship, plus selected WRX rounds.