Friday | 22 Oct 2021

World RX’s first French winner returns to the fray for the Nürburgring

Davy Jeanney, the first French driver ever to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, will rejoin the fray for next month’s Nürburgring double-header season finale (27-28 November) in PGRX’s Hyundai i20.

Davy Jeanney, the first French driver ever to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, will rejoin the fray for next month’s Nürburgring double-header season finale (27-28 November) in PGRX’s Hyundai i20.

Jeanney has an impressive record of success in the sport, having shone on the French, European and World Championship stage. After twice finishing third in the domestic series in 2008 and 2009 – in Division 2 and Division 1A/Super1600 respectively – he was crowned champion in the headlining Supercar category in 2010, prompting graduation to the international scene.

From 2011 to 2014, the Romorantin native raced in Euro RX’s Supercar (now Euro RX1) class, achieving ten podium finishes and scooping the championship runner-up spoils in 2013.

Following sporadic World RX appearances in 2014, he signed up for a full campaign alongside current championship leader Timmy Hansen at Team Peugeot-Hansen in 2015, triumphing in Germany and Canada en route to fifth in the overall standings and assisting the Swedish squad to the Teams’ title.

Jeanney competed under the Peugeot-Hansen Academy banner in 2016, but after one-off outings at the Estering in 2017 and on home soil at Lohéac a year later, he retired in 2019 to focus on his business commitments.

Now 34, he donned his helmet once more to contest the French Autocross Championship at Faleyras last weekend – qualifying on the front row of the grid for the final – and with the spark reignited, he is excited to be returning to the pinnacle of the sport in just a few short weeks’ time.

“First and foremost, I must thank Patrick Guillerme and PGRX for this opportunity – I could never even have dreamed of racing in the 2021 World RX season finale,” Jeanney enthused.

“It’ll be really cool to be a part of the last event of the combustion era, and for me, the Nürburgring is unquestionably the ideal circuit for my comeback at the highest level, given that nobody has any prior knowledge of the track. Everyone will start off on an equal footing, although I’m under no illusions that matching the pace of the front-runners will be a tall order, because they obviously have far more relevant recent experience than I do. 

“Not only that, but most of them know their cars inside-out, while I’ll be making my debut in the Hyundai i20. It will be tough to break into the top five, but I’m aiming to get as close as I possibly can and my target is to qualify for at least one of the two finals. For me, that would be tantamount to a victory as it would be a wonderful way to thank Patrick and the entire team for giving me this chance.”

Guillerme, for his part, is looking forward to gauging the pace of the Hyundai with a World RX race-winner behind the wheel. The PGRX team owner drove the car himself in the Catalunya curtain-raiser back in July and again in three of the four Euro RX1 rounds this year, and he is optimistic that Jeanney will be able to fully exploit the performance of the Korean ‘pocket rocket’.

“Alongside Sébastien Loeb, Davy is the only French driver to have won in World RX, and it’s an honour for our team to offer him the chance to race at the Nürburgring,” Guillerme explained. “When he coached me at Lohéac, I already had the idea in my head of getting him behind the wheel of the Hyundai in a competitive environment – and the World RX season finale represented the perfect opportunity. 

“The event will allow us to truly assess the potential of our i20. With a driver of Davy’s calibre in the car, we will be able to show off the excellent work that the whole team has put in over the past few months – while kick-starting our preparations for next season in the best possible way.”