June 2016

Fifth For Grosset-Janin in World RX of Norway Puts Him Second In Euro RX

Hell, Lånke (Norway) — Sunday 12 June 2016; Albatec Racing finished fifth in round two of the FIA European Rallycross Championship in Hell today, with Jérôme Grosset-Janin leaving Norway second in the championship battle. Reigning Euro RX Champion Tommy Rustad has moved into fifth place in the standings following a strong outing on his home track. Andy Scott made a welcome return to the driving seat but was unable to take up his place in the final qualifying race, which ended his hopes of progressing to the semis.

The weekend got off to a strong start with Friday practice going well for the trio of Peugeot 208 RX Supercars, with all three drivers completing seven laps. Rustad ended the session third fastest overall, Scott was fifth with Grosset-Janin eighth, in a session in which the top 14 drivers were covered by less than a second.

The opening qualifying saw all three in different races, Andy taking a comfortable win in race two and the ninth fastest overall time. HTB-backed Tommy was next up, where he took the race win and third fastest overall. Jérôme in the final qualifier finished second, and posted the fourth fastest overall time.

In Q2, Rustad improved to take the second overall time, just ahead of Grosset-Janin in the same race. A puncture for Scott dropped him down to fifth, his slower lap time pushing him out of the top 12 qualifiers. Sunday morning warm-up showed an improved pace for the 2015 Euro RX vice-champion Grosset-Janin, as he posted the third fastest time, ahead of Rustad in fourth, and Scott fifth.

This continued through into Q3 and Q4, with Rustad and Grosset-Janin consistently up at the sharp end in both races, finishing third and fifth in the third qualifier, and ending Q4 as third and fifth fastest in the intermediate standings. Team Principal Scott was unable to take up his place in the final qualifier dropping him out of contention for a likely semi-final position.

Lining up together in the first semi, Rustad got a good start but suffered a hit from another car. This damaged the front right suspension, dropping him to fourth and costing him a place in the Final. While Grosset-Janin took third to secure a place on the back row of the six car Euro RX Final.

An electric start by the Poujoulat-backed Frenchman saw him fly through the grid and with a superb move pass Tamas Pal Kiss to take second into turn one. Despite a stirring drive in difficult conditions, including a big moment on lap two when poor visibility saw him mount a high bank, he pushed on to run third for most of the race. However, on the final lap, he suffered engine failure dropping him to fifth.

Tommy Rustad, driver Albatec Racing #24 :

“It’s been a very disappointing weekend, as I felt we had the speed to finish in the top three. The car is suiting me better, which is a positive thing but we suffered with a recurring power steering problem which made racing quite difficult at times. Despite that, I was able to record some strong results, with some good overall times, to allow me to progress through to the semi-final.

“In the race I made a good start, but as I was going into the joker there was a bump and I couldn’t get the line because the steering wheel was jumping out of my hands.  I took a hit from [Peter] Hedstrom on the right front and bent the suspension, so with no power steering it was hard to control it. The team is working well though, the balance of the car is good, I just need to find that last tenth in the car. I know everyone in the team is doing their best but if we want try to win the championship then everything has to work together. We’ll refocus for the next race in Sweden.”

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing #26:

“I really enjoy racing at Hell and it’s great to be back behind the wheel. We had some good lap times across the practice and heats, and I believe we were in contention for a place in the semi-finals. But in the second qualifying I hit a kerb and suffered a puncture which compromised my overall lap times. Then in Q3 I suffered a jump start, incurred a second joker lap, and that was pretty much the end of the weekend for me as technical issues meant I couldn’t take the start for Q4.

“I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to have Tommy join Jérôme in the final after his contact in the semi-final. He’s getting more used to the car now, and that is reflected in his times and results across the qualifying races. Jerome drove an amazing Final, he made a brilliant start and was on form for a podium finish before his engine failure on lap five.”

Jérôme Grosset-Janin, driver Albatec Racing #74 :

“We had a good first day, with some good things and some bad. I felt I needed to work with my engineer to understand what I needed to do to increase the speed and that improved for Sunday. I’m feeling more confident with my starts, which is very important in rallycross, and I had some great starts across the first three qualifying races, and in particular the final.

“I made a little mistake on lap two, I got caught out with the lack of grip due to the track being watered, and where it was drying it was like ice. I managed to stay in third though and was feeling good for a podium finish when I started to have a vibration, then on the last lap I stopped. We’ve worked hard over the weekend to find a good pace and we’re now closer to the front, so I’m now really looking forward to the next race in Holjes.”

Albatec Fields Three Peugeot 208 RX Supercars In World RX of Norway

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Wednesday 8 June 2016; Albatec Racing will run its full complement of three Peugeot 208 RX Supercars in round two of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at the Lankebanen track in Norway this weekend (11&12 June). Team Principal Andy Scott returns to race action alongside reigning Euro RX champion Tommy Rustad and vice-champion Jérôme Grosset-Janin in the event, which forms round five of World RX.

The NAF World RX of Norway sees 26 drivers competing for Euro RX points. Holding the joint lead following a strong performance in round one is Poujoulat-backed Jérôme. The Frenchman netted the fastest overall time across all four qualifying races and semi-final, and finished second in the Final. HTB-backed Tommy competes in only his second race with the Dumfries team, and following a successful test recently goes into the event looking for a repeat of his victory on his home track last year.

For Andy, the event marks his first competitive outing of 2016 following a season long campaign in British RX in 2015. Amid the fiercely competitive Euro RX field, the Dumfries racer in his Motis/Rock Oil-backed Supercar will look to start the year in style at one of his favourite rallycross tracks.

The circuit is renowned for its tricky first corner, which also includes the start of the joker lap, and where strategy comes into its own in determining the outcome. Track action in Norway begins on Friday with practice at 18:00. On Saturday practice continues at 09:00 with the first of four qualifying races at 11:00 and the second at 14:30. Sunday sees warm-up at 08.30, followed by qualifying three and four at 10:00 and 11:45 before the semi-finals and Final from 14:00. All times CEST.

Tommy Rustad, driver Albatec Racing #24 :

“I’m really looking forward to my home event. I love the track, because of the elevation changes with various kinds of corners and I like the high speed entry to the joker lap. It’s also nice to have good support on the sidelines, which gives me extra motivation. I had a fantastic weekend here last year, and I will do everything I can to repeat it this year.

“We had a good test at Gardermoen Rallycross track this week, where I made a couple of practice starts, so I feel more confident now and am sure the starts will be much better this weekend. Every time I get in to the car I feel more confident and I am sure we will continue to get stronger for every race. This year’s championship is more competitive, there are more cars and stronger teams in Euro RX this season, as a result of development from World championship teams.”

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing #26:

“I can’t wait to get back to Norway for my first competitive outing of the year. Hell is one of my favourite tracks so what better place to start my 2016. It’s been an incredibly busy start to the season, competing in British, French and Euro RX, and I was disappointed to miss the opening round but delighted that we’ve now finished the third car, and pleased to be joining Jérôme and Tommy for the next race.

“The competition in Euro RX is incredibly strong this season, and I’m sure the event will be as competitive as the Belgian round proved to be. With three cars in the Albatec camp in Norway, it would be great to have all three in the Final.”

Jérôme Grosset-Janin, driver Albatec Racing #74 :

“I’m looking forward to getting back to race action this weekend. For me Hell is one the most difficult tracks on the calendar, and one which is the most representative of RX tracks. It’s important to have a good strategy there, and the joker and first corner can actually remove some of the pressure. I’ve always had a good feeling there and was actually fifth fastest overall in qualifying in 2014.

“We just need to be consistent across all the elements; drivers, car and the team and if we have all this together we can perform well. The competition in Euro RX this year is much greater than last year, with around 6-8 drivers all capable of winning, but the tighter the level, the higher the pleasure!”

Albatec Racing Up To Second In French RX Standings

Faleyras, Bordeaux (France) — Sunday 5 June 2016; Albatec Racing and Philippe Maloigne have leapt to second in the French Rallycross Championship standings after finishing sixth at Faleyras today (Sunday 5 June). Boosted by victory at Chateauroux last month, the Dumfries team returned to race action in round three looking to maintain the momentum that saw the Frenchman steer his SamShield-backed Peugeot 208 RX Supercar to his first outright win, in their bid to move him up the overall standings.

With two strong finishes already behind him; sixth in the opening round to add to his victory last time out, Philippe went into the event fifth overall. A strong performance in Saturday’s practice around the 1017 metre track netted the third fastest time. In the opening two qualifying heats, again a strong showing allowed the former motocross racer to twice take the third fastest overall heat time, and keep him easily in contention for a place in the all-important semi-finals.

In Sunday’s warm-up, Philippe topped the times before heading into the final two qualifying races. In the first he finished fifth, and with seventh in the final, comfortably qualified for the semi-finals, placing third overall in the intermediate standings.

Lining up on the front row, Philippe took a comfortable second place and with a faster lap time than the second semi, guaranteed himself a place on the front row of the Final. Starting that from the outside position, Philippe was blocked at the start dropping him to fourth, and despite a concerted effort to take third on the final lap, was unable to take the final podium place, finishing sixth. His net results across the weekend, however elevate him to second overall in the points, just 26 adrift of the leader.

Championship standings after three rounds:

1 Cadeddu Firmin 110
3 Theuil Alexandre 78
4 Chanoine Fabien 72
5 Florent Beduneau 69
6 Dubourg Andréa 67

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :

“It’s been another strong weekend for Albatec and Philippe, with a consistently fast pace across the entire weekend. His lap times from the test two months ago to this weekend shows a great improvement, so we’re all very happy with the overall outcome that sees him move up to second in the championship. After victory at Chateauroux we were feeling pretty good coming into this race, and determined to continue that form into Faleyras to move up the points standings.

“It’s one of our favourite tracks, we’ve tested here many times, and so we had a good set-up which showed with a strong pace right from free practice. I’m sure without the contact in the final he would have been challenging for at least another podium.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing :

“Coming into the race I was feeling very ‎happy and excited to drive the Albatec Peugeot 208 again on the fastest track of the championship. The victory in Chateauroux increased my confidence with fast times in wet and dry conditions, and this weekend I’m very happy to have improved my times from the test and been consistently fast across the whole weekend.

“Going into the final I was on the left of the grid, which isn’t the best position at Faleyras, and at the start I got blocked by a slower car in front which dropped me to fourth. To me after such a strong race pace all weekend we had the speed deserving of a podium finish so finishing fourth just wasn’t acceptable! I tried to pass for third at the final corner and we made contact, and I was classified sixth. It wasn’t the best result after all the hard work and efforts from the entire team, however my learning process is good, and I’m second in the championship so we have a lot of positives to take from the weekend.”