This year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship draws to a close with the competition’s first ever visit to South Africa and Team Peugeot Hansen has pulled out all the stops in its bid to conclude the year in style on November 11-12.
Brian Joss – Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen have two targets for the season’s finale: to win outright and make sure of second place in the 2017 Teams’ standings.
Team Peugeot Hansen and its opponents will compete at a purpose-built circuit in Killarney, some 20 kilometres north of Cape Town. The fact that Africa’s southernmost city is towered over by a peak known as Lion’s Head is perhaps a good omen.
With a score of nine podium finishes from 11 outings to its name so far this season, Team Peugeot Hansen is determined to add a victory to its score in South Africa. At the same time, the Peugeot 208 WRX 2017 stars Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen have been tasked with making sure of securing runner-up honours in this year’s Teams’ championship. The Franco-Swedish operation is provisionally 28 points clear of its closest threat.
First organised in 2014, the FIA World Rallycross Championship is continuing to expand its geographical coverage. After rounds in Europe, America and Asia, world motorsport’s most boisterous series is making its first stop in Africa, a continent that has frequently been successful for Peugeot Sport over the years. Kenneth Hansen (Team Principal), said: “It’s only once we are there that we will be able to get a true feel for the place. We will be looking out for details like the quality of the asphalt and the profile of the dirt section. That said, I’ve had nothing but good feedback about Cape Town. The championship’s promoters say it promises to be the best race of the year, so we are curious to see how the first WRX round to be held in Africa goes. Everyone will be on an equal footing there. I think only Petter Solberg has lapped the track a few times, but not in a Supercar. There’s every reason to be optimistic.”
Sébastien Loeb (Peugeot 208 WRX #9), said that he can’t wait to see this new circuit and discover another new country.
“My only experience of Africa to date is limited to the Safari Rally in Kenya, which I remember vividly, and cross-country rallying’s Rallye du Maroc. I presume that South Africa will be very different and I’m thrilled that the 2017 WRX finale gives me a chance to find out for myself. I am fired up for the finale and my sights are very much set on the weekend’s win.”
Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208 WRX #21), said: “Everything new about the trip to South Africa will be new to me, from the track to the country, and even the continent itself. I hope I succeed in finding my marks very quickly so that I can do the best job possible. Since coming second at Estering, I realise I need to be a little more relaxed, but I feel quite confident ahead of the year’s finale.”
The rally is on Saturday and Sunday November 11, free practice at 9.15am with the drivers going off a regular intervals from 1pm. Sunday start is at 10am with the semi-finals and final at 3.30pm.
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