Peu­geot poised to de­fend Teams’ Ral­ly­cross crown

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

THE fi­nal round of the 2016 FIA World Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship in Rosario, Ar­gentina, is poised to set­tle the bat­tle for this year’s Teams’ ti­tle.

Ral­ly­cross events use mixed­sur­face as­phalt/ dirt ( 60%/ 40%) cir­cuits of about one kilo­me­tre in length and can fea­ture one or more jumps.

The driv­ers are knocked out as the week­end pro­gresses and only the six fastest and bravest of them get to con­test the fi­nal.

Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen, who have clocked up two vic­to­ries for Team Peu­geot Hansen so far, will do ev­ery­thing in their power to con­clude the cam­paign in style and at­tempt to de­fend the squad’s 2015 crown.

With a gap of 17 points to bridge, Team Peu­geot Hansen has ab­so­lutely no in­ten­tion of giv­ing up its bid to de­fend its 2015 Teams’ crown, even though the out­come is not en­tirely in its hands. Its driv­ers Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen will use their skill and the po­ten­tial of the pow­er­ful Peu­geot 208 WRX to re­verse the po­si­tions at the top of the pro­vi­sional Teams’ points ta­ble.

Rosario has al­ready been the scene of suc­cess for Peu­geot this year since it was at the foot of its Na­tional Mon­u­ment to the Flag land­mark that Stéphane Peter­hansel cel­e­brated vic­tory at the end of last Jan­uary’s Dakar in the Peu­geot 2008 DKR.

Next year Jan­uary, Peu­geot hopes to re­peat this win, but South Africa’s Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA aim to de­throne Peu­geot.

Ga­zoo Rac­ing have pre­pared two rac­ing Hilux- based bakkies for the iconic race, this year us­ing all- wheel drive, with Giniel de Vil­liers, part­nered with Dirk von Zitze­witz, and Nasser Al At­tiyah with Matthieu Baumel the driv­ing teams.

Their en­durance rac­ing bat­tle looms in Jan­uary, but on Satur­day, the Peu­geot 208 WRX will be look­ing to make the head­lines in Ar­gentina with Sébastien Loeb ( Peu­geot 208 WRX # 9, Team Peu­geot Hansen).

“I know Ar­gentina quite well af­ter com­pet­ing in the coun­try on nu­mer­ous pre­vi­ous occa- sions in the World Rally Cham­pi­onship, as well as on the Dakar for the first time back in Jan­uary. I love the pas­sion the peo­ple here have for mo­tor­sport.

“I hope the spec­ta­tors will be just as vo­cif­er­ous at the ral­ly­cross meet­ing in Rosario. We still have a chance of win­ning the Teams’ ti­tle. It won’t be easy but I’ve seen for my­self sev­eral times al­ready that any­thing can hap­pen in ral­ly­cross. We will keep fight­ing un­til the very end!”

• Fans can fol­low the last episode of 2016 of our WorldRX In­side web se­ries which fol­lows Timmy Hansen dur­ing a typ­i­cal race week­end. To watch it, click on http://liencs.fr/q49.

PHOTO: MOTORPRESS

Se­bas­tian Loeb is al­ready prac­tis­ing to beat South Africa’s rear- wheel- drive Hilux bakkies in Dakar next year.

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