Mark Cronjé to make World RX debut with Albatec in South Africa
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — 29 August 2017: South African motorsport star Mark Cronjé will contest World RX of South Africa at the Killarney International Raceway with Dumfries outfit Albatec Racing. The Pretoria-based driver, who is a multiple national champion in rallying, circuit racing and off-road racing, will make his World RX debut aboard one of the Albatec Racing team’s 600bhp two-litre, V6 Peugeot 208 RX Supercars in Cape Town over the weekend of 10-12 November.
With extensive rally experience under his belt – including a course at John Haugland’s Winter Rally School in Norway, the nature of rallycross and the brand new 60/40 split of gravel and tarmac circuit should suit Mark’s flowing driving style.
He heads to the event with limited knowledge of the Killarney rallycross track, which is located within sight of the magnificent Table Mountain. He joined series regular Petter Solberg at the pre-season launch, and drove an RX2 car for a couple of laps of the 1.07km track, but doesn’t believe that will necessarily give him the edge.
Making a return to circuit action for the first time since he won the Rotax Max World Final, Mark’s karting pedigree should also help as he acclimatises to competing against other 600bhp Supercars. But against a strong world championship line-up that includes defending champion Mattias Ekstrom, Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block, and nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, Mark has set his sights on reaching the semi-finals come November.
Mark will get his first taste of Albatec’s Peugeot 208 in a two-day test at the end of September, before making his rallycross debut alongside Rallycross France regular Philippe Maloigne at Lessay on 1 October.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:
“I’m delighted to welcome Mark to the Albatec team. His championship-winning rally experience will I’m sure, allow him to get up to speed quickly with the Peugeot 208 and rallycross, while his karting and circuit racing knowledge will help him adapt to racing with other cars around him.
“Mark has a huge following in South Africa, and the interest in the event means it should be an interesting and incredibly busy weekend. The organisers look to have done a great job with the track, so I’m sure the event will be a sell-out success.”
Mark Cronjé, Driver Albatec Racing:
“I’m really looking forward to racing in World RX, and love the fact that will be in front of all my supporters. I have been competing in motor sport for 27 years and previously won the Rotax Max World Final in front of my home fans in 2003, and it was unbelievable. I have no rallycross experience, just a very kind sponsor who enjoys throwing me in at the deep end!
“Albatec Racing comes highly recommended by a number of engineers and organisers. It’s going to be very different as we will be rubbing door handles with other competitors, and it’s going to bring back some great memories of when I competed on tarmac. I’ve done some circuit racing, it’s where I cut my teeth, and I have a few karting championships, and the World Final to my name, so I’m very excited about racing against other people again.
“There has been a lot of interest in South Africa ahead of the first World RX event as we’re starved of International motorsport, and I’m sure the event will be a sell-out. As a first time run it was enjoyable but I believe the track will change before the event, it’s new and requires some small tweaks, however they have done a tremendous job. I’d like to mix it with some of the best in the world, and getting to the semi-finals would be awesome! The biggest challenge will be getting to the end of a race with the 208 in one piece!”