The dramatic seventh round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship in Canada saw Timmy Hansen steal the win in the Team Peugeot Hansen PEUGEOT 208 WRX. The saying that ‘Anything can happen in rallycross!’ rang true yet again in Trois Rivières, Canada, where the 2016 world championship reached its halfway point.
Timmy Hansen bounced back from an early technical problem and a coming together with one of the many walls that line the track in Trois Rivières to improve as the weekend progressed. However, despite never losing hope, he failed to qualify for the final. In the end, though, the disqualification of a rival handed the PEUGEOT 208 WRX driver a place in the last six to put the Swede back in contention.
The final took place in extremely wet conditions following an outburst of rain. Timmy judged his start perfectly to steer clear of the potential pitfalls and he emerged in front with one lap to go. With grip at a premium, he successfully shrugged off the pressure to earn Team Peugeot Hansen’s first victory of the season.
The circuit in Trois Rivières, which boasts the championship’s longest straight, was new to Sébastien Loeb who gradually improved to clinch third place in Q2, then second spot in Q3. After that, things became a little more complex for the Alsace-born driver who failed to reach the final cut.
Kenneth Hansen (Team Principal): “It’s been a very special weekend for us! It was a weird feeling switching from the disappointment of not having a car in the final to the elation of winning! We had a little trouble with the faster part of the circuit but our drivers coped well with the more technically-challenging parts. The disqualification of another competitor was obviously a game-changer for us and the rain that started to fall just before the start was a help because the PEUGEOT 208 WRX and Timmy are both strong in wet conditions. He went on to produce a faultless race and our tactics worked a treat. We’re all thrilled to have won. It’s a result we worked very hard to achieve.”
Timmy Hansen (#21 PEUGEOT 208 WRX, Team Peugeot Hansen): “It’s like I’m dreaming! Right up to winning the final, it had been something of a complex meeting for me. We were down on top speed and this is an extremely close championship with plenty of drivers who are capable of winning. It was just beginning to sink in that I hadn’t qualified for the final when I was told that I actually had a place in the last six after all. Because of the storm, we fitted rain tyres for the final which went perfectly for us. What a day!”
Sébastien Loeb (#9 PEUGEOT 208 WRX, Team Peugeot Hansen): “This obviously isn’t the sort of result I was hoping for. The weekend got off to a poor start and it didn’t end much better. After trying a number of different ideas, we managed to make progress with the car’s set-up and I succeeded in posting some good finishes in Q2 and Q3. I had a tangle in Q4, however, and that dropped me to the second row for the start of my semi-final when I got caught in the pack, in thick dust, so I wasn’t able to reach the final.”
FINAL POSITIONS: TROIS RIVIERES – CANADA
1. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX),
2. Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS)
3. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
4. Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1)
5. Petter Solberg (Peter Solberg World RX Team, Citroën DS3)
6. Anton Marklund (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo)
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS AFTER 7 ROUNDS
FIA World Rallycross Championship for Drivers
1. Petter Solberg (Peter Solberg World RX Team, Citroën DS3), 161 pts
2. Mattias Ekström (EKS, Audi S1), 157 pts
3. Andreas Bakkerud (Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Focus RS), 132 points
4. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 129 pts
5. Sebastien Loeb (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 121 pts
6. Timmy Hansen (Team Peugeot Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 105 pts
7. Toomas Heikkinen (EKS, Audi S1), 99 pts
8. Timur Timerzyanov (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 67 pts
9. Robin Larsson (Robin Larsson, Audi A1), 62 pts
10. Anton Marklund (Volkswagen RX Sweden, Volkswagen Polo), 59 pts
11. Janis Baumanis (World RX Team Austria, Ford Fiesta), 59 pts
12. Kevin Eriksson (Olsberg MSE, Ford Fiesta ST), 57 pts
13. Davy Jeanney (Peugeot-Hansen Academy, PEUGEOT 208 WRX), 48 pts
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