Peugeot reveals 2018 World Rallycross car, retains Hansen brothers

Brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen have been retained by the Peugeot World Rallycross Championship outfit for 2018 alongside nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb

Peugeot Sport announced the full details of its works 2018 World RX programme on Monday, including the introduction of a new 208 WRX Supercar for Loeb and Timmy Hansen that will be updated throughout the season.

The new car is being fully developed in-house in France - moving away from a joint development venture with Swedish team Hansen Motorsport - and features extensive aerodynamic, suspension, transmission and chassis changes.

"This marks the start of an exciting year for us, as the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be Peugeot's key motorsport engagement in a factory capacity," said Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin.

World RX is expected to switch to electric cars for the 2020 season, and Famin added expectations would have to be managed this year while the manufacturer plotted its future involvement in electric rallycross.

"Even though we have some past knowledge of the sport, we have to be realistic as our competitors are very experienced while we will have to train our team for this new discipline from scratch," he said.

"Despite this big challenge, we are aiming for some wins this season, then something more in the seasons beyond.

"We decided to participate in world rallycross because we firmly believe in the future of this sport: the sporting format is short, intense and exciting, the audience is younger than in other categories and is still growing, and furthermore we also believe in the electric future of the championship."

Peugeot announced it would continue in World Rallycross with Loeb last October.

The 2018 campaign will mark Timmy Hansen's fifth consecutive season racing a 208 in World Rallycross. He finished second to Petter Solberg in the 2015 drivers' standings.

"I've never competed at such a high level before with a factory team, so it's an honour to be chosen to represent Peugeot at such an important time," he said.

"We're expecting the car to be better than ever with all the evolutions implemented by the Peugeot Sport engineers, so this certainly increases our opportunity to do well."

His brother, former European Rallycross champion Kevin, will race an upgraded 2017-specification 208, having driven year-old cars with Team Peugeot-Hansen for the previous two years.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me," he said. "Maybe it's come as a surprise to some people because my season last year wasn't great, but I've learned a lot and I'm sure I can come back stronger.

"My aim is to be in the finals more often this year: if I achieve that, then we can maximise our chances.

"It's so fantastic to have Peugeot in the sport as a factory team, and a sign of the big manufacturer interest in the future of this series, especially with the move to eventually becoming an electric championship. This is all positive."


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