Albatec And Grint Secure First Podium Of The Year At Lydden
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Thursday 31 March, 2016; Albatec Racing secured its first podium of the season in round two of the 2016 MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery at Lydden Hill, Kent over the weekend. Briton James Grint in the team’s #27 Peugeot 208 RX Supercar easily progressed through three qualifying races and the semi finals, to finish third in an action-packed, six-lap Final at the spiritual home of rallycross.
The two-day event got underway with practice on Easter Sunday, where the Dumfries outfit was keen to put behind it the disappointment of Croft’s opening round. Lining up in the second of the day’s opening three Supercar qualifying races, 25 year-old James suffered a hit from another car at the start, which brought out the red flag and forced a race restart. Finishing second in his race placed him third overall, however a faster final race meant he dropped to sixth overall in the overnight standings.
In the second qualifying race on Monday he finished eighth fastest overall, and in the third and final qualifier, ninth to guarantee a place in the semi finals. In that he made a great getaway to trail first round winner Kevin Procter into the first corner. Electing to take his joker at the mid-point, he subsequently dropped to third which he held to the flag.
Amid a quality eight-car field in the Final, a commanding performance from the Hertfordshire racer saw him catapult into second place from the inside of the back row, passing three cars around the outside into Chessons Drift. An error on lap two saw the young charger hit a kerb, pitching him into a spin, and dropping him down the order. However, a sterling recovery moved him back up to third to take his first podium of the season and elevate him to fourth in the standings.
Rounds three and four of the MSA British Rallycross Championship take place at Pembrey, Wales over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend Sunday 1 May/Monday 2 May.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :
“I’m delighted for James to secure his first podium finish after all his efforts this weekend. He drove very well, he was fast and committed, and I’m sure it won’t be long before he takes his first win. We overcame many challenges at Lydden, and it’s great to see the car handling so well. During a relatively quiet April, we embark on a testing programme ahead of the next round at Pembrey, and the opening rounds of French and Euro RX, where we remain committed to producing a car capable of challenging for outright victory.”
James Grint, driver Albatec Racing :
“It’s great to make the final this weekend after disappointingly missing out in Croft, and nice to have a decent result on the board for my championship bid. In the Final, the 208 was an absolute pleasure to drive, it had so much grip, it was awesome. I’m incredibly happy with the set-up of the car, and very excited about testing this week, so hopefully we can return to Pembrey next month in peak performance.”
MSA British Rallycross Championship points after two rounds:
- Dan Rooke 57
- Kevin Procter 53
- Ollie O’Donovan 48
- James Grint 41
- Mark Flaherty 40
- Dave Bellerby 40
Tommy Rustad Leads Albatec’s Euro RX Charge
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Wednesday 16 March 2016; Reigning FIA European Rallycross Champion Tommy Rustad will spearhead the Dumfries team’s Euro RX campaign in 2016. The Norwegian ace joins the team aboard an HTB-backed two litre, 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar as he bids to retain his crown.
Tommy clinched the Euro RX title last year in style, winning the final round in Italy to add to his victories in Germany and Norway, but was pushed hard by Albatec’s Jérôme Grosset-Janin, winner of the opening race. Regularly battling and trading times with the World RX drivers last season, Tommy proved to be among the fastest overall across the field, and racked up an impressive fourth place in a one-off World RX outing in Trois Rivières, Canada.
With an impressive track record across various disciplines, Tommy can boast championship titles in Norwegian, Swedish and British (Independent Cup) touring car championships, Renault Sport Spider Eurocup, and Formula Opel Sweden as well as becoming six-time Norwegian Rallycross Champion in 1987-1992. Clocking up an impressive 123 race wins across an illustrious career, he now targets a return to the top step of the championship podium with Albatec in 2016.
The announcement comes a week after the news that the team will contest the French Rallycross Championship, to run alongside its British Rallycross Championship campaign, marking an incredibly busy season for the squad. Albatec will undergo testing ahead of the first round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy on 15 May in Mettet, Belgium.
The Euro RX schedule features a brand new track in 2016; in Riga, Latvia. The remaining rounds take place over the weekends of 11&12 June – Hell, Norway; 2&3 July – Höljes, Sweden; 17&18 September – Barcelona, Spain; 1&2 October – Riga, Latvia.
Andy Scott, Team Principal and Driver Albatec Racing :
“I’m delighted to welcome Tommy to the team for 2016. It’s an incredibly exciting time for us, and I look forward to seeing how he performs against what promises to be a very strong and competitive field. Last season we pushed hard to beat him with Jérôme, and came so close to winning the title that we led from the start. Now we will support him in his efforts to retain that title.
“This year’s Euro RX schedule offers up some great events and tracks, including a brand new circuit in Latvia, where none of the teams will have any race experience, putting everyone on an even keel. Albatec’s commitment to race in British, French and Euro RX, together with our debut season in Karting, and previous success in RX150 ensures we are the only team to offer a route from Karting to Supercars. Although we have another incredibly busy season ahead, I’m confident we can deliver the goods.”
Tommy Rustad, Driver Albatec Racing :
“I’m really looking forward to working with Albatec, which I know is very professional and the right team to give me what I need to win the championship again. It’s always exiting to work with a new team, we have the same target and I’m sure we can succeed if we are doing our best together. When my sponsor HTB and I couldn’t join Marklund Motorsport this year it was obvious, as our main opposition last year, who we should go with.
“From what I’ve seen I think the Peugeot 208 will be good at all circuits, and we need to take the best out of the car in all conditions. Albatec has experience with the car and I know most of the tracks, so when we arrive at the last race in Latvia I expect our knowledge of each other will be strong enough that we can handle the new track well.
“The biggest challenge will be the high level of competition this year. It’s never easy to win a European championship, but I’m sure if all of us in the team are working hard it will not be easy to beat us. Of course the target is to win races and the championship again, but I know the target and ambition to win is much easier than it is to get results on the tracks, so we need to work hard.”
Albatec Lines Up French RX Campaign With Philippe Maloigne
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Friday March 11 2016; Albatec Racing will return to the French Rallycross Championship in 2016, fielding a two-litre, 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar for Super 1600 racer Philippe Maloigne. The Dumfries team contested two rounds of the French series last season, notably winning its first outright international Supercar race in Pont de Ruan with Canal+ F1 presenter Julien Fébreau.
Now, in phase two of its 2016 plans, Albatec will dovetail its MSA British Rallycross Championship bid, with a campaign in the French series, which gets underway at Essay on May 1.
Philippe, a former international motocross rider, and French Supercross Champion, started his rallycross career in 2014 contesting the Super 1600 category in a Citroën Saxo where he finished on the podium at Lavaré and Pont de Ruan, and finished the season seventh overall.
In 2015 he made his Supercar debut in France, winning a heat at his first attempt, and joined the ranks of the FIA European Rallycross Championship piloting a Citroën C4 in the final two rounds in Spain and Italy. On both occasions he reached the semi-finals, finishing just outside the top three qualifying positions, with a season-best fourth in Barcelona.
Joining Albatec for a shakedown at Chateauroux this week, Philippe completed several runs around the French track, venue for round two of the series, and was impressed with both the car and team as he embarks on a first full season in Supercars.
French Rallycross Championship Calendar: May 1 Essay, May 22 Chateauroux, June 5 Faleyras, July 7 Lavaré, July 17 Pont de Ruan, July 31 Kerlabo, September 29 Mayenne, October 9 Dreux, October 23 Lessay.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :
“It’s shaping up to be another busy season for Albatec, but one which I hope will reward all our hard work and efforts this year. We contested two rounds of the French series last year and it proved very competitive but also saw us take our first International Supercar outright victory with Julien.
“Philippe has a lot of Super 1600 experience, and although he’s relatively new to Supercars he put on a good show in 2015 that netted two semi final appearances in the final two rounds in Europe. At the shakedown he demonstrated a professional approach, and was certainly competitive, so I’m confident that with a few more miles under his belt he can challenge for race wins this season, and certainly be a regular podium finisher.”
Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing :
“I’m very proud and at the same time excited to be joining Albatec this year. The shakedown was brief, but it was enough to allow me the opportunity to sample the Peugeot 208 RX Supercar for the first time and work with a professional rallycross team. When considering my options for 2016 my main priority was to join a team that had performance capabilities and a good development programme, and naturally having a French team manager helped!
“I’m familiar with all the circuits we visit this year, with the exception of Mayenne, from racing in Super 1600 in 2014. Driving such a high performance car this season, I’m looking forward to returning to the tracks I know, and the challenge of a new one. The biggest challenge however in moving up from Super 1600s to Supercars, will be making the step from learner to hopefully winner, as soon as possible. I have high expectations, and I’d certainly like to be on the championship podium, and to perform well enough during 2016 that I can be a contender in Euro RX next year.”
Albatec Denied British RX Final Start At Croft
Croft, North Yorkshire (UK) — Sunday 6 March, 2016; After a great start to the opening round of the 2016 MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery at Croft this weekend, James Grint easily qualified for his first RX Final, posting the fourth fastest time after three heats. However, the Dumfries team was denied the opportunity to start the race, after suspension damage sustained in the semi final sidelined the #27 Peugeot 208 RX Supercar.
Heading into the event with a brand new livery for the Hertfordshire racer, a great opening heat race saw the 25 year-old finish second, and post the fourth fastest time overall. Fourth place in race two, and fifth fastest overall, plus seventh overall in the day’s third heat allowed the former rally man to easily progress to the eight-car final.
Suspension damage suffered in the semi final however, which saw James finish third and comfortably among the qualifying fastest eight, meant the team was forced to withdraw from the final, ending its hopes of starting the season with a podium spot. James will return to race action in round two of the eight-round series, which takes place at the spiritual home of rallycross, Lydden Hill in Kent over the Easter weekend, March 26-28.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :
“We had some issues in the semi final and sustained some suspension damage, which unfortunately we were unable to fix ahead of the final. On a positive note, the car was very quick and handled really well, and James showed great speed throughout the day.
“It was far from an ideal start to the season for us, James missed some of the practice session putting him on the back foot, however he recovered from that to post the fourth fastest time in the opening heat. Throughout the day he’s been quick, and I’m sure we will bounce back from this disappointment to be challenging for a place in the final at Lydden Hill.”
James Grint, driver Albatec Racing :
“There were a number of problems during the day that were outside of our control, but the car is very quick. We had a small clutch problem before practice which meant we missed most of the session, but straight into the first heat we were quick and had a strong race pace which allowed me to finish second and fourth fastest overall.
“We were matching the times of our competitors, and the package is certainly good enough to come away with a good result. We had to retire from the Final due to suspension issues sustained in the contact in the semi, but I think we proved we had the pace to cruise through. Not having any testing was an issue, but there’s really nothing to fault from the weekend, bar a technical issue.”