Team Peugeot Total aims to sign off from the FIA World RX in style

Team Peugeot Total aims to sign off from the FIA World RX in style

19.11.2018: WRX Round #12 – Cape Town, South Africa 24.11-25.11 Next week, the final race of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship on the spectacular Killarney circuit in South Africa will also mark the final race in the sport for Team PEUGEOT Total and

WRX Round #12 – Cape Town, South Africa 24.11-25.11



Next week, the final race of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship on the spectacular Killarney circuit in South Africa will also mark the final race in the sport for Team PEUGEOT Total and the factory PEUGEOT 208 WRX.





Having been the only team to deprive dominant champion Johan Kristoffersson of an event win earlier this year, the squad is aiming to do as well again at the final round, to sign off the campaign in style.




•    Cape Town is a stunning venue for the final RX round, where warmth and sunshine should make their presence felt. Killarney’s rallycross track – with Table Mountain visible in the background – was inaugurated last year, with a 60-40% asphalt to gravel split and plenty of fast corners (6 in total) leading to high average speeds that require total commitment from the drivers. The track is 1.067 kilometres long, with a layout that is designed toentertain and offer a breathtaking challenge. The long joker lap section before the finish is particularly tricky, with strategy making an important difference.The current lap record is 40.393 seconds from 2017.
 



•    Team PEUGEOT Total is fielding 3 cars as usual with Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen at the wheel of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX Evo, and Kevin Hansen –who has fully recovered from his crash in Estering – on board the basic specification 2018 car. After a difficult round in Germany just one month ago, the team remained fully committed in its efforts and completed 2 more test sessions. In South Africa, everyone from drivers to mechanics to engineers will be dedicated to finishing the championship, and the adventure, all together, on a high.
 


•    3rd place in the teams’ championship is safe for PEUGEOT Sport, meaning that the drivers can push hard to maximise their individual performances. Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen are currently 5th and 6th, having shown plenty of speed and talent. They both still have the chance to improve their final score. The team’s Junior driver, Kevin Hansen, is fully recovered from his accident at the Estering and is equally determined to improve on his current 8th position in the standings, having previously demonstrated that he has what it takes to go all the way to the top.




 
Bruno Famin, PEUGEOT Sport Director




“South Africa will be a momentous occasion for Team PEUGEOT Total because it will be our last race in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. And it stands to reason that we want to finish our rallycross programme in the strongest way possible, underlining the potential that the PEUGEOT 208 WRX has shown throughout the season. We’re still the only team to have taken a victory away from Johan Kristoffersson, and our car has always demonstrated that it has the speed to challenge for wins from the very beginning.



Unfortunately, we’ve not quite displayed the consistency to do that on a regular basis, but this only underlines the extremely high level of this sport and its competitors, which has undoubtedly improved us all as a team and inspired us to work even harder. Every single person at Team PEUGEOT Total has put in some unstinting efforts from the very beginning of the programme, and I hope there will be a final reward for that in South Africa.”
 




Sébastien Loeb, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver – 208WRX Evo #9



“To be honest I don’t remember so much about the actual circuit in South Africa, so I’ll be studying a few videos again to remind myself before we go there; however, I know that it was a very nice place to finish the championship! I’ll go into this round with the same approach that I’ve always had: I’m going for the win, and I know that’s definitely a realistic objective.



However, we’ve seen before that to win you need to have a completely clean weekend from the start, and especially to make sure that you have a good launch off the line and not get stuck in traffic. Despite PEUGEOT’s decision to withdraw from the championship, as a team we have been working hard together to make sure that we have everything in place for a strong final weekend. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of an RX car!”
 




Timmy Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver – 208WRX Evo #21


“South Africa is a lot of fun and I enjoyed racing on the track last year – I finished 2nd–  so I’m looking forward to going back. It’s a modern-style circuit with quite a lot of grip on the gravel, where you can find a nice rhythm and let the car flow. Although it’s quite impossible to compare one year with the next, I think it shows that we have some pace on this type of circuit with the PEUGEOT.



 I’m obviously really hungry to get a win with the 208 WRX Evo: we’ve been in the final and very close on so many occasions, but just missing that small final ingredient, or bit of luck, to get there. I was glad to participate in 2 more test sessions with Team PEUGEOT Total in Portugal, so I’m just looking for a strong weekend in South Africa, with no mishaps. It's always important to end the season with a strong result, as that fills you with confidence going forward...”
 



Kevin Hansen, Team PEUGEOT Total Driver – 208WRX #71



“For a number of reasons I think South Africa will be a very emotional event for everyone in our team and we’ll be giving it absolutely everything we have: there’s no point holding back. I like the track a lot because there’s a nice rhythm to it, with quite a high average speed, and there are plenty of spectators that give the place a very nice atmosphere.




 From my point of view, I’m just going to go absolutely flat-out from the start: we know we have a car that is fast and reliable. In Buxtehude I was absolutely on course for a podium, so I want to try and get that back in South Africa. I’ve learned so much from being in a professional factory team like PEUGEOT, so now my goal is to put that to good use.”
 
 



PROVISIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION – After Round #11/12



1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON / Volkswagen Polo R - 311 pts
2. Mattias EKSTRÖM / Audi S1 - 228 pts
3. Andreas BAKKERUD / Audi S1 - 224 pts
4. Petter SOLBERG / Volkswagen Polo R – 221 pts
5. Sébastien LOEB / PEUGEOT 208 WRX - 205 pts
6. Timmy HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX - 177 pts
7. Niclas GRÖNHOLM / Hyundai i20 - 142 pts 
8. Kevin HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX - 128 pts
9. Janis BAUMANIS / Ford Fiesta - 88 pts
10. Timur TIMERZYANOV / Hyundai i20 - 77 pts
11. Guerlain CHICHERIT / Renault Mégane RS - 62 pts
12. Jerome GROSSET-JANIN / Renault Mégane RS - 47 pts
13. Kevin ERIKSSON / Ford Fiesta - 35 pts
14. Robin LARSSON / Ford Fiesta - 32 pts
15. Anton MARKLUND / Renault Mégane RS - 23 pts
16. Liam DORAN / Renault Mégane RS - 19 pts
 



PROVISIONAL TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION – After Round #11/12


1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden - 532 pts
2. EKS Audi Sport - 452 pts
3. Team PEUGEOT Total - 382 pts
4. GRX Taneco - 219 pts
5. GC Kompetition - 134 pts
6. Olsbergs MSE - 67 pts
 





DID YOU KNOW?



Killarney is relatively new to rallycross but it’s a well-established motorsport venue, having 1stseen action in 1947. It even hosted a non-championship Formula 1 race in 1960, which was won by Sir Stirling Moss. It’s now become a true motorsport complex close to Cape Town, hosting all forms of circuit racing as well as rallycross, drag racing, karting and bike racing.




PEUGEOT has had a long presence in Africa generally, with a number of cars built on the continent. In particular, the iconic PEUGEOT 504 is still a common sight on African roads, with production continuing right up to 2006, from factories in Kenya and Nigeria. These days though, the South African range is ultra-modern, with the PEUGEOT 5008 SUV the next model to arrive in the country.
 
 




WRX ON TV



Rallycross was watched more than 24 million people on TV last year (17 million of them in Europe) – and the numbers are growing steadily. Not only that, but more than 32 million minutes of rallycross footage was watched on YouTube, which combined with Instagram and Facebook adds up to a digital footprint in excess of 34 million views.




 The main TV broadcasters include L’Equipe in France, Sport TV in Portugal, CBS in the USA, RTBF in Belgium, SVT in Sweden and RDS in Canada…
 




Aurélie Lehe - photos Peugeot
 

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19.11.2018 / MaP

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