Next stop: Ypres
Following last week’s fruitful run, the Peugeot 208 T16 will shortly take the start of its first rally as ‘zero’ car at the end of the month in Ypres, home of the next round of the FIA European Rally Championship. Briton Kris Meeke will have the privilege of being the first driver to take part in an actual event, with Chris Patterson sitting alongside as co-driver.
“Nothing can replace actually ‘competing’, but the chief aim of our run in Ypres will be to take our development programme forward and collect more data. Then we will be able to start to think about the final specification of the 208 T16 which is due to be homologated at the end of the year,” says Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin.
“Thanks to the feedback we received from Craig Breen and Paolo Andreucci, we intend to make a number of modifications which Kris Meeke and our technical squad will follow in Ypres. The objective, of course, will be to get as many kilometres on the car’s clock as possible in ‘real’ rally conditions. The ERC’s promoter and the organisers of the Ypres Rally have kindly provided us with
a great opportunity. The event will be the car’s first public appearance on its
favourite hunting ground... Like our rivals, we started from a blank sheet of paper after carefully studying the R5 regulations. They meet the demand of drivers and teams a like for a car which delivers higher performance compared
to an S2000 but which is also cheaper to buy and run.”
The next step in the promising, if fledgling career of the Peugeot 208 T16 will consequently be Belgium’s Ypres Rally on June 27-29.
Alexis Avril (208 T16 Development Manager): “It was very important to work with drivers with different driving styles and on roads which represented different challenges . Our work focused essentially on the car’s suspension, brakes and differential settings which all need to be specific to asphalt. We were able to try different parts and set-up options. We didn’t come across any major surprises, on the contrary, but there are some areas that will require work in the next few weeks, even though the drivers were globally happy with the new car’s overall package in asphalt trim.”
Craig Breen: “It was very interesting to be the first person to drive the Peugeot 208 T16 on asphalt. It certainly feels competitive. Personally, though, I will need to accustom my self with the turbo which is a big change compared with the Peugeot 207 S2000, especially on asphalt. Everything about the car is new and, the more we work on it, the more we realise how much potential it really has...”
Paolo Andreucci: “This was my first time in the Peugeot 208 T16, and I must say I felt perfectly at home in it at once. The basic car is very good and it responds immediately to set-up modifications. They produce the expected effect and that is the sign of a sound chassis. The test stages were a challenge, especially for the dampers, but it didn’t take long to find an efficient set-up. After testing the 208 T16, I can’t wait to drive it on an actual event!”