Loheac World Rallycross: Timmy Hansen sets pace for Peugeot

Peugeot-Hansen driver Timmy Hansen set a pair of fastest heat times on day one of the French World Rallycross Championship round to head into Sunday on top at Loheac

Loheac World Rallycross: Timmy Hansen sets pace for Peugeot

Picking up where he left off at the previous round in Norway, Hansen bettered Petter Solberg's benchmark from the champion's earlier heat one race, before the pair met in the final race of heat two.

As he had in the first heat, Solberg made a stunning start and led into the first corner, but Hansen slotted into second and was attached to the leader's bumper in the opening two and a half laps before taking his joker.

When Solberg went for joker on the final lap, Hansen jumped into the lead to set the fastest time overall, while EKS Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom was hard on Solberg's coat tails in third, the trio covered by under half a second and ending up the top three at the end of the day.

"The day has been really good," said Hansen. "It really feels like the Peugeot is at home.

"It's so good to drive round here, it handles so well and now we've really finetuned it to suit the track.

"It's so easy to drive alone and it was behind Petter in the last race too. I'm super comfortable in the car."

Johan Kristoffersson had a better time than in recent events, especially the last round in Norway when he failed to make the cut-off time for the semi-final grid due to a battery change. He goes into day two in fourth.

Andreas Bakkerud drove two clean races and is fifth while double 2015 winner Davy Jeanney was passed by compatriot Jerome Grosset-Janin in heat one but is sixth at the end of day one.

Grosset-Janin's Albatec Racing team-mate Yvan Muller was eighth fastest in heat one but spun in heat two after contact with Toomas Heikkinen and is 22nd overall.

British driver Guy Wilks had a torrid day. He set the seventh fastest time in free practice in his JRM Racing Mini but suffered technical problems that caused him to sit out heats one and two.

Fellow former rally driver Francois Duval was also forced to sit out heat one with a turbo problem. He did start heat two but could only manage 19th fastest time.

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