Albatec Claims Third Vice-Champion Rallycross Crown Of 2015
Franciacorta International Circuit (Italy) — Sunday 18 October 2015; After an incredibly busy season, Albatec Racing claimed its third Vice-Championship of 2015 with Jérôme Grosset-Janin finishing second in the FIA European Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. Last weekend the Dumfries team embarked on its last British RX event of the year, with Andy Scott finishing second in the title race by just seven points, while Marc Scott narrowly missed a third consecutive RX150 title.
This weekend however all eyes turned to the battle for Euro RX honours at the Franciacorta International Circuit in Italy, where Jérôme looked to overcome the slender six-point deficit aboard his two-litre, 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar. Going into the final race of the year, Jérôme started his campaign in fine style, fifth fastest overall and second fastest EuroRX runner in heat one putting him second in the overnight standings.
Overnight rain made track conditions difficult on Sunday morning, and poor visibility played its part in the outcome of heat three. Although he maintained second in the points, a hit from Tamás Kárai in heat four saw the Poujoulat-backed racer spinning off at turn one and subsequently suffering a right rear puncture.
Qualifying for his fifth semi final position of the series, Jérôme finished a close second, but with victory in his semi final already secured for series leader Rustad, the title chase was over. Lining up for the final, Jérôme’s last race of 2015 was ended before it even began, with a front left puncture bringing his race to an early conclusion.
Joining the team in Italy, rallycross newcomer James Grint once again showed the promise that saw him twice reach the semi finals. The 27 year-old has quickly acclimatised to the cut-and-thrust of the fastest growing motorsport in the world; coming from rallying, the Hertfordshire racer has had to adjust to not only the increased power of his 600bhp Up&Go-backed Peugeot, but also adapt to driving his Supercar with other competitors.
Looking to end his year with a place in the Final, Saturday started well for the Briton, claiming seventh in heat two to elevate him to tenth in the overnight standings. This morning however, the tricky conditions saw James slide off into the wall in heat three, dropping him to 13th in the intermediate standings, while contact with Robert Czarnecki in heat four pushed him into a spin and out of contention for a place in the semi finals.
Andy Scott, Albatec Racing Team Principal & Driver :
“It’s been a really hard weekend; Jerome gave it everything he could. He worked hard, we all worked hard, but it was always going to be difficult. Yesterday we had a good result to have both Jérôme and James second and tenth in the standings, but it all fell apart in heat three today with James hitting the wall, and then taking a hit in the fourth, and a puncture for Jérôme in heat four.
“Jérôme came back to finish second in his semi final, but the title was already decided by Tommy [Rustad] winning his semi, but finishing second overall in the European Championship is a good result. James has improved in every race, he’s learning all the time, and I’m certain if he hadn’t had the spin in heat three, he’d have been through to his third semi final of the season.”
Jérôme Grosset-Janin, Albatec Racing driver #74 :
“I will remember only the positive things not only from Franciacorta this weekend, but from the entire season. We have had good pace all year, we just missed a few little things in the end to pull it all together to win the championship at this high level of competition. But of course the team has done a very good job, we all worked hard all year to win this title, but it wasn’t to be. Now I’m ready to start work for next year and start a new challenge.”
James Grint, Albatec Racing driver #27 :
“It’s not really gone my way this weekend, again! I think I had some good potential today, and I didn’t really meet it. I made a small mistake under braking in heat three which put me into the wall. I lost quite a bit of time there, which I think probably cost me a place in the semi final. It was my first experience of a Supercar in the wet and although I think I’ve got good wet pace, it just didn’t work out well for me in heat four either.
“I’m disappointed as I really wanted to end the year with a better result, but it’s all progress, it’s all experience. Overall it’s been a good season, I’ve learnt a lot, and here’s hoping I can carry on into next year and hopefully have a better run.”
Albatec And Sohlberg Denied Turkish Delight In Istanbul
Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul (Turkey) — Sunday 4 October 2015; Albatec Racing saw its hopes of securing a place in the semi finals in World RX of Turkey fade despite an entertaining performance by rookie Kristian Sohlberg in Istanbul this weekend. The former World Rally Championship driver demonstrated superb car control aboard his 600bhp two-litre 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar as he steadily improved his lap times over the course of the four qualifying heats.
Twelfth fastest overall in heat three moved him up the standings, however a slower final heat time meant the Flying Finn missed out on the top 12 spot by just ten points. Round 11 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy at the stunning Intercity Istanbul Park marked the first World championship event for the Espoo racer, following one-off outings in France and Britain.
Amid a quality field in Turkey, Kristian settled into the groove but a spin while leading Saturday’s heat two, dropped him down the order in the overnight standings. He bounced back with a strong performance and pace in heat three today to elevate him to 16th fastest, but the final race proved not quite quick enough to allow him to continue his upward climb.
The Albatec team now returns to the UK and heads straight to Croft in North Yorkshire for the final round of the British Rallycross Championship in association with the Shannon Group, where Team Principal Andy Scott looks to return to the top step of the podium in his bid to lift the crown.
Andy Scott, Albatec Racing Team Principal :
“The facilities here are great and once again Turkey RX lived up to its reputation. It’s a really good event, with good organisation, and the track was in really good condition. The track was hard even though it rained every night, but it has been made so well that when the racing started it was still hard and good. It was a bit slippery on Saturday though, and quite difficult for Kristian in his first ever World RX event.
“As we saw in his first two races in rallycross, Kristian has the speed to get to the highest level, so we had big expectations for this weekend, to maybe even reach the semi finals. But the beauty of this sport is that you can expect anything in rallycross. Heat one was not so good, and in heat two he had a spin, which lost a lot of time, putting Kristian to the back of the scoreboard.
“This meant he was already facing a tough challenge to progress, but today started really well with 12th overall in heat three. He’s improving all the time, when he got the laps together, the speed was there. So thank you Kristian for all your efforts over the three races, and we hope to see you again in the future doing rallycross with Albatec.”
Kristian Sohlberg, Albatec Racing driver #146 :
“A little bit of mixed feelings over the weekend, obviously I’m quite disappointed not to make the semi finals, but what is positive is that I managed to improve my driving over the weekend, which changed the car quite a bit with the set-up from yesterday. But the heat two mistake cost us some valuable points, and maybe a place in the semi finals, but also the heat one drive wasn’t so good.
“At the end of the day though, I’m looking forward to the future. I need to change my driving style to be a little neater and more suitable for rallycross, and we need try different things with the car to suit my driving style. We only had one full day testing, so maybe that was not enough. But all in all, this is the top level of rallycross, the best in the sport, and it’s clear you can’t give any advantage to the other drivers, so it was very much a learning weekend.
“I’d really like to thank Andy and the entire Albatec team for making this race possible for us. We had three races so far this year and improved in every one of them, so I hope to be able to work with the team again and be back in the car as soon as possible.”