Albatec boss Andy Scott returns for Sol Rally Barbados in Fiesta R5
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — 18 April 2018: Albatec Racing Team Principal Andy Scott is set to revisit Sol Rally Barbados (Sol RB18) in June at the wheel of a 2017-spec, Motis, Rock Oil and Teng Tools supported Ford Fiesta R5. Scott made his debut last year in a rented MkI Ford Escort and vowed to return after running third in class, until a technical issue saw him crash out on the penultimate stage.
Ahead of the event which celebrates its 61st running this year, Scott will compete in Sunday’s (April 22) Carter Stages Rally as a shakedown, with experienced co-driver Rashid Philipps once again alongside him, before returning to contest Sol RB18 which takes place on June 1-3.
Entries close next week, but currently the Albatec-run Ford Fiesta R5 takes the number of 4wd cars to 23 amid an 80-car line-up, with the number of overseas submissions currently running at 38. The Fiesta R5 is an early 2017 version, previously owned by Belgian Pieter-Jan Maeyaert, who drove it to victory in last July’s Motul TBR Rallysprint in his home country.
Barbadian Philipps has claimed three overall Rally Barbados finishes, with three different drivers, with his best overall finish in 2009 sitting alongside David Brewster in his Peugeot 205GTi when they finished 38th.
Full details of the event can be found at the official website: www.rallybarbados.net
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:
“I’m very excited about returning to compete on Rally Barbados. I was determined to return after enjoying such a great event in 2017. This has only been made possible by the support of friends and family both at home and in Barbados, so I’m delighted we’ve been able to make it happen. Although a technical issue meant we crashed out on the penultimate stage, we were running third in class up to that point and were on target to come away with a decent result.
“The country, the culture, and the people are amazing. Last year the locals rallied round to help us get back out after we had a battery problem, and somebody took one off their own car to help us out. That really stuck with me since then and now we return with a car in which I very much hope we can produce a solid result. Rashid did a great job last year, and will be alongside me for this weekend, he has a lot of local knowledge which I’m sure will help us again.
“The biggest challenge last year was the heat, and the rough, bumpy roads under the trees, the adverse camber, plus the night stages which were tricky. But it was a good experience, very much a learning exercise, so this year we will be looking to put that experience to good use and hopefully get to the finish in one piece.”
Albatec NCME and Mark Higgins victorious in only second rallycross outing
Lydden Hill, Kent (UK) — 2 April 2018: Albatec Racing NCME and Mark Higgins took a commanding victory in the second round of the British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill, Kent today (2 April). The triple British Rally Champion put his extensive rally experience to good use, to overcome difficult track conditions in the six-lap final and steer the #34 Eddie Stobart NCME supported Peugeot 208 RX Supercar to a three second advantage.
For Mark, the morning started with free practice, which saw him happy with the set-up of his car. Lining up fourth for his first qualifying heat, a fantastic start saw Mark up to second into the first corner where he slotted in behind multiple British champion Julian Godfrey. Mark wasted no time in declaring his intentions however, with a masterful move on the run up to the hairpin putting him in the lead. Over the remaining laps, Mark held a comfortable advantage, however a misjudged joker on the last lap pitched him into the barrier. He recovered to finish third, with the second fastest lap, and the sixth fastest overall time.
The second qualifying race saw another consistent performance from the Manxman. He was fourth into turn one after starting at the back row and moved into third with a superb move at Devil’s Elbow before taking his joker on lap two. He rejoined in fourth but over the remaining lap and a half was stuck behind slower cars. At the finish he crossed the line third, and after the combined qualifying was placed third overall.
In Q3 Mark again started fourth, and at the lights powered away into the lead at the first corner. A faultless display followed, as he took the race win, and with it a scintillating pace that netted the fastest individual race lap which ultimately secured him the heat victory.
The result meant he lined up on pole position for his semi-final, and another superb start quickly gave him a commanding lead. Taking his joker on lap three, Mark retained the advantage, and fought off a last lap challenge from Liam Doran to take the win, and with it pole for the Final.
As the cars headed to the pre-grid for the all-important Final, the weather conditions took a turn for the worse. However even the heavy rain couldn’t dampen the mood, with Mark making the best use of his 600bhp to make the perfect start and take the immediate lead. Despite receiving a hefty whack from Doran on the first lap, Mark was never headed, and he went on to record his first outright rallycross win on only his second outing.
Mark Higgins, Albatec Racing driver #34:
“It was a great end to a fantastic event at Lydden. It didn’t start too well with my error in Q1, which I really should have won. But we clawed our way back up though through the heats and semi-final. Starting from pole for the final was obviously a massive help especially in these conditions and we just had to keep it clean. We had a moment on the second lap when there was contact with Liam. I always knew he would be the biggest threat at Lydden and it’s a shame he had his problem. After his retirement we were able to control our pace to the finish. It’s great to win at Lydden, and actually just to get to race here in rallycross for the first time. I’d like to thank the entire team for all their hard work and for providing a fantastic car all weekend.”
Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing:
“What a fantastic job by Mark, I’m sure he’s got the rallycross bug now, and we’re looking forward to more success. This result sort of makes up for the fact that I wasn’t driving today, but I’m really disappointed because we said we’d be looking for a 1-2 here and I really believed that was possible.
“I think the students have had a great weekend, with plenty of hands-on experience and opportunities. It’s great for them to be able to work on a car and see it win. We’re all really looking forward to Croft now, where we will be back to two cars.”
Dr. Mark Busfield, Director, National Centre for Motorsport Engineering:
“It’s been an excellent day although we’re naturally all very disappointed that Andy wasn’t able to race today. As a result, he resumed the role of Team Principal and steered the team to a great result for which we must thank him. Mark drove solidly all day and improved heat after heat, from the semi-final through to the Final he just didn’t put a wheel wrong. It was an impressive performance on only his second race in rallycross and he didn’t succumb to the pressure.
“The team has worked really well, I think it’s excellent for our second time out as a collaboration and it’s the best result we could have wished for. The students had a real hands-on experience today and I’m certain they enjoyed the success as much as we did.