Team Peugeot-Hansen Announce Three-Car Entry For 2017
Team Peugeot-Hansen will continue its campaign in the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy with teammates Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen driving the Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar in 2017. The Swedish-based squad will also enter a third car to compete in all rounds of the World Championship which will be driven by Sweden’s Kevin Hansen, last year’s FIA European Rallycross Champion.
Last year, Team Peugeot-Hansen – with 14-time European Rallycross Champion Kenneth Hansen as its Team Principal - finished runner-up in the Teams’ Championship. The squad also racked up two victories with Timmy Hansen winning Canada RX and nine-time WRC Champion Loeb triumphing at the inaugural World RX of Latvia.
“I believe I learnt a great deal in the course of my first full rallycross season,” explained Loeb, before admitting he had more to offer in 2017. He continued: “I’ve obviously set my sights higher this time round and I hope this year’s version of the Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar will enable us to challenge for victory. Given the stiffer competition we face, it won’t be easy but I am determined to add to my record in this discipline.”
Timmy Hansen added, “The engineers did a great job over the winter and the Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar has taken a big step forward. I’m really looking forward to driving it competitively. My aim when action begins in earnest will be to find a good rhythm and adapt the car to my driving style. In my experience, that is what you need to do if you want to be up there fighting for victory. We’ve got some new teams joining the championship this year and I’m glad to see that there will now be four manufacturer-backed entries. I hope there will be plenty of great racing in 2017 and that you will often see us on the top step of the podium.”
Last year’s FIA Rookie of the Year Kevin Hansen, commented, “I’m very happy to be a fully-fledged World Rallycross driver at last. It’s been a long winter getting to this point after my Euro RX gold in 2016 and it feels amazing to have signed for a World RX campaign with Team Peugeot-Hansen. Personally, for 2017, I would like to find the feeling I had last year behind the wheel of the car and then build on that. I will do my very best amongst the sport’s elite.”
Bruno Famin, Director at Peugeot Sport, concluded, “We won the teams’ title in 2015 and were runners-up in 2016, so the aim is to take things a step further this time by targeting both the teams’ and drivers’ crowns. To achieve that, we know we can count on the services of two battle-hardened drivers since Sebastien Loeb, who will once again be teaming up with Timmy Hansen, now has a complete season’s experience under his belt.
"That said, we know very that the level of the World Championship is improving all the time. We are pleased to see that Audi and Volkswagen have joined Ford and Peugeot by backing strong teams. It’s going to be a quality season. We are continuing our association with Hansen Motorsport as Team Peugeot Hansen. Peugeot Sport is responsible for the cars’ development, while Hansen Motorsport will run them in the championship.”
Nitiss Joins EKS as Ekstrom's Team Fields Third Car
Reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekstrom and his team, EKS, will contest the 2017 season with three Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars. Latvia’s Reinis Nitiss will join teammates Ekstrom and Topi Heikkinen in the team’s third car.
In 2013, Nitiss was crowned the European Champion in the highly-competitive Super1600 category. A year later, at the age of 18-years-old, he became the youngest driver ever to win a World RX round at the wheel of a Supercar when he triumphed at the Norwegian round of the World Championship. In the 560-bhp Audi Supercar, Nitiss will compete in all twelve World RX rounds and battle for points in the Drivers’ classification.
“Switching to the World Champion’s team is the dream of any racer,” explained Nitiss. “It’s a unique opportunity and I’m exceptionally happy that Audi and EKS is placing its trust in me.”
“Together with Audi Sport we worked hard to enter three cars in the race and I’m very happy that it worked out,” added Ekstrom, whose squad is receiving factory support from AUDI AG this year. “In Reinis, we have another strong driver. Although he’s only 21-years-old, he has gathered a lot of experience in rallycross.”