October 2016

Maloigne and Albatec take fourth in Rallycross France standings

Lessay, Normandy (France) — Sunday 23 October, 2016; Albatec Racing and Philippe Maloigne ended their 2016 season with another solid performance in the final round of Rallycross France at Lessay this weekend. Driving his SamShield-backed Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, Philippe was consistently in the top three all weekend and although damage to his car prevented him from making it to the final, he claimed fourth in the championship standings in his first full season in Supercars.

A strong start in practice on Saturday morning saw the Frenchman fourth fastest ahead of the four qualifying races. In Q1, Philippe took the lead at the start of his race, and recorded a comfortable race win and the fourth fastest overall race time. In Q2 amongst a fiercely competitive field Philippe finished fourth, while the overall race was marginally slower, putting him seventh overall.

Sunday warm-up went off without any problems for the former motocross racer, posting the fourth fastest time before heading into the penultimate qualifying race. In that, another easy race win netted the third fastest overall race time. In the fourth and final race, again up against the main championship contenders, a strong performance allowed him to take third, and with it the third fastest time to comfortably allow him to progress to the semi-finals.

Starting from the front row for semi-final A, Philippe made a superb start to take the immediate lead, which he extended over the opening two laps. Going into lap three however, a small, rare error resulted in contact with a concrete wall and ripped off his left rear wheel, forcing him out on the spot and bringing his weekend to a premature end.

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :

“It’s so disappointing for Philippe after a great season to be denied the chance of fighting for victory in the last race, and the opportunity of finishing in the top three in the championship. He’s shown himself to be a consistently fast racer all season, and Lessay was no exception. He was quick throughout the qualifying races, regularly in the top three, and a serious challenger for victory.

“Unfortunately a small mistake in hitting concrete wall, where there is no room for error, meant his race was over. But it will make him stronger, it’s only his first full season in Supercars and I’ve been very impressed with how he’s handled himself all year, in both dry and difficult wet conditions, against some of the toughest opposition out there. He will I’m sure be a genuine contender for the title next year.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing #21 :

“I’m a little disappointed not to reach the final, particularly as it’s for the second successive race, as I really believe we had the potential this weekend to come away with another good result. In the semi-final I made a good start and was first into turn one despite a little fight with Andrea [Dubourg]. I was fast over the first two laps, but then I slowed a little to preserve the tyres and made a little mistake in a left hand second, gear corner which put me onto the dust for the following right had bend and into the wall that separates the track from the joker. The contact ripped off the left rear wheel and that was the end of my race.

“On a positive note, I was very happy with the car; we had great pace all weekend, the set-up was good, the atmosphere in the team is great, and my confidence and starts are improving all the time. I need to learn from my mistakes, as that will make me stronger for next year.”

Albatec and Grint round out 2016 with sixth in British Grand Prix at Croft

Croft, North Yorkshire (UK) — Sunday 23 October, 2016; Albatec Racing and James Grint rounded out 2016 with sixth place in a thrilling Procters Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix at Croft on Sunday. The Dumfries team and Kimpton racer, aboard his #27 Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, preceded that with 11th place in the British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery finale on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday dawned dry and cold for practice at the North Yorkshire track, ahead of three qualifying races for the series finale, which saw James twice post the sixth fastest race lap. Tenth in Q1, seventh in Q2 and eighth in Q3 allowed him to comfortably set-up a place in the semi-finals. After a strong start, the former rally man was looking for a top three finish, but dropped to sixth when side-lined with a broken propshaft, his hopes of a return to the British RX podium ended.

Undeterred, and with his two-litre, 16v Supercar repaired, James bounced back on Sunday on his British Rallycross Grand Prix debut. The unique format of the event pitches several classes head to head providing the opportunity for all competing drivers to qualify for the prestigious Grand Prix.

Despite heavy rain causing tricky conditions, James once again showed competitive form and pace amid the 39-car field. Posting lap times in the top eight across the three heats, James twice set the sixth fastest lap and qualified for the 10-car B Final. The elimination nature of the entry meant the top four would progress to join the back of the A Final grid. In the race James crossed the line fifth, however he was elevated to fourth allowing him to take up a place in the Grand Prix.

A sensible start allowed him to get away cleanly and a solid drive saw him gradually move up through the order. Crossing the line sixth at the flag, James finished just behind three British champions, a four-time X-Games gold medallist, and multiple British rallycross race winner to bring his season to a close.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

“I’m delighted for James that he could end his season with a solid result, against a quality field in the British Rallycross Grand Prix. He posted some respectable lap times throughout the weekend, both in the series finale and the Grand Prix, which allowed him to demonstrate his potential. It’s disappointing that we didn’t get the result he deserved on Saturday, but that’s rallycross, sometimes you have good luck other times bad luck.”

James Grint, driver Albatec Racing #27:

“I’m pretty happy with the outcome on Sunday, to finish where we did against such strong opposition was actually very enjoyable, the most fun I’ve had all year. The weather conditions were awful, with no grip and very tricky for everyone, which made the racing exciting to say the least. It was an absolute pleasure to drive the Albatec Peugeot to a good result to end the season.

“On Saturday we had a half decent run across the first heat but were held up a little by another driver, in the second I made a couple of mistakes, and the third was pretty average. We managed to get through to the semis and everything was going well for a place in the Final until we had to retire. Across the weekend though the car was great to drive, and our lap times were fast, a decent end to the year.”

Albatec Racing and Philippe Maloigne set for Lessay finale

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Thursday 20 October, 2016; Dumfries rallycross outfit Albatec Racing and driver Philippe Maloigne conclude their French RX campaign in the final round of Rallycross France at Lessay this weekend (22&23 October). With two victories already to his credit, Philippe is placed fourth in the title standings, and bids for a third win in his SamShield-backed Peugeot 208 RX Supercar.

The Frenchman recorded his maiden Supercar victory in difficult wet conditions in round two at Chateauroux, and backed that up with a win in the dry in Mayenne last month. Last time out in Dreux, damage sustained in a last-lap collision in his semi-final ended his hopes of progressing to the Final, but the former motocross racer heads into this weekend’s final round looking for better luck.

Returning to the scene of his second ever supercar race where he finished sixth last year, Philippe once again joins a quality field in Normandy looking for maximum points to move him up the overall order. With dropped scores now coming into play, Philippe does not need to drop any from his total, having missed the fourth round due to clashing weekend commitments for the team, and is 49 points away from the top of the standings.

Free practice in Lessay gets underway at 09.45-12.15 on Saturday, followed by the first and second qualifying races at 13.30 and 18.30. Sunday continues with warm-up at 08.00, with the third and fourth races at 09.00 and 12.00. The semi-finals and finals take place from 13.45. All times CEST.

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing #26 :

“I’m looking forward to Lessay this weekend and seeing how Philippe performs against the strong Rallycross France contingent. When you consider this is only his first full season in Supercars he’s been very impressive throughout all the races he’s competed in, and has proved a valuable asset to the team, working well with us and providing useful data to help develop the Albatec Peugeot 208.

“This weekend the entry remains as strong as ever, but Philippe has proved more than a match for the opposition, and I don’t expect this weekend to be any different. His victories in both wet and dry conditions underlines his ability, and our reliability and pace have combined to allow him to be a consistent challenger for race wins.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing #21 :

“I had my second ever supercar race last year on this track, qualifying for the final and finishing sixth. I really like it, it has a good combination of both slow and fast corners, and a good mixture of straights and curves. I understand this year they have added a jump, which will make it fun, so I’m very much looking forward to racing there again.

“Going into the last round of Rallycross France, I’d like to finish the championship with another strong performance ahead of the off-season, which will give me strong motivation for 2017.”

Albatec and James Grint geared up for BRX finale and Grand Prix appearance

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Wednesday 19 October, 2016; Albatec Racing and James Grint are geared up for their last appearance of the year, the final round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery at Croft on Saturday 22 October. The European, British and French rallycross team and Hertfordshire racer will also contest the prestigious MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix which takes place the following day at the North Yorkshire venue.

James is no stranger to Croft; in the season-opening race in March he easily qualified for the finals following a strong run of results and finished third in his semi-final. However, suspension damage sustained in the semi resulted in the withdrawal of his Peugeot 208 RX Supercar ahead of the Final. After missing the last round in Pembrey to concentrate on honing his circuit racing skills, James now heads to the final round more determined than ever to finish the season with a podium finish.

The weekend traditionally features a bumper entry of Supercar drivers and cars across both the BRX finale on Saturday, and the standalone MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix on Sunday, and this year’s event is no exception. On Saturday the championship regulars will battle for honours in the final round of the series, where the crown has already been decided in favour of Dan Rooke but where the runner-up position is up for grabs. For James, Sunday’s Procters Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix marks a first appearance in the jewel in the crown of rallycross for the former rally man, where he hopes to put his new-found tarmac experience to good use.

Track action on both Saturday and Sunday gets underway with practice at 09.00, followed by the qualification races, and finals. Admission to Croft Circuit is £15 per day or £20 for a weekend ticket. Children 15 and under (accompanied) are admitted free of charge to the circuit.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

“Traditionally the Croft finale has provided some good results for Albatec; it’s the venue of our first outright Supercar victory in 2013, where we also finished second in the Grand Prix, so we head to the final round of the season very much looking forward to another strong outcome. I believe we’ve proved our reliability and James undoubtedly has the speed and determination to challenge for a podium finish.”

James Grint, driver Albatec Racing #27:

“I can’t wait to get back into the rallycross car it’s been a very long time! I’ve definitely missed my 600bhp Peugeot beast. We decided to give Pembrey a miss for a few reasons and the Clio deal kind of fell into place last minute. The idea was to develop a smoother way of driving as the rally driver in me is always wanting big drifts and it will certainly help me on the tarmac this weekend. It was fun, but I can safely say that my heart is still very much with rallycross.

“We had a problematic start to the season but I do enjoy the Croft track. It’s very fast and a difficult track for overtaking so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in. As always the objectives this weekend are to go flat out and push for the podium. The car is quick enough for sure and that’s been proven throughout this season, so I really can’t wait to get back behind the wheel again.”

Albatec and Maloigne cement reputation with competitive run in Dreux

Dreux, (France) — Sunday 9 October, 2016; Albatec Racing and Philippe Maloigne cemented their reputation as a formidable combination in the penultimate round of Rallycross France at Dreux on Sunday 9 October. The Frenchman, at the wheel of the #21 Albatec Peugeot 208 RX Supercar secured overall victory in Q4 and was consistently fast across the weekend’s qualifying races.

Starting from pole for his semi-final on Sunday afternoon, Philippe was denied the chance to convert it to a third outright French RX victory, after contact on the last lap ended his charge, and with it his hopes of progressing to the Final.  His results over the weekend moves him up to fourth in the standings.

The weekend started well for Philippe, a steady stream of quick laps in free practice on Saturday morning earnt the SamShield-backed racer the second fastest time of the 20-strong Supercar entry. Lining up in the third race of Q1, Philippe reaffirmed his rapid pace against the quality field, posting the second fastest lap overall and finishing second in his race, to place sixth overall. For Q2 Philippe started from pole, and again finished second in his race, fourth overall, to maintain sixth in the intermediate standings.

Sunday morning warm-up showed the potential once again of the 600bhp two-litre 16v powerhouse, which allowed the former motocross racer the opportunity to cement his burgeoning reputation as a serious championship contender. Heading into Q3, Philippe quickly showed his hand with a strong drive into second place in his race, and with it posted the third fastest overall race time.

A superb lights-to-flag victory in Q4 resulted in his promotion to second overall in the intermediate standings, and earnt him pole position for his semi-final. In that Philippe didn’t get the best start and went into turn two in third place.  A spin at turn three saw the Peugeot 208 drop to sixth, however a spirited drive allowed him to get back on terms and challenge for the final qualifying position. Entering the last lap he was fourth, but contact with another car just before the finish line damaged the front of his 208, and ended his challenge for victory.

Philippe is now placed fourth in the championship, with one round remaining. He returns to race action in the final round of Rallycross France, at Lessay, over the weekend of 22&23 October.

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing #26 :

“What a disappointing result for Philippe. He was quick in practice, across all his qualifying heats, and was in a good position to maintain his 100% qualifying record. It’s not easy to win an outright heat in Rallycross France, but his result in Q4 is testament to his growing stature as a serious championship contender. It’s a tough championship, but he’s proved once again he has the speed and ability, and the Peugeot 208 has the reliability. So it all bodes well for the final round and for next season.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing #21 :

“After free practice I knew we had the speed to be a contender for race victory and over the course of the qualifying races I was consistently among the fastest on track. So it’s disappointing to come away without reaching the Final when it’s clear we had the pace to do so. We will put the events of the weekend behind us though and head to the next race at Lessay with renewed optimism and determination for another good result.”

Albatec Racing set for French RX Dreux outing

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Thursday 6 October, 2016; Albatec Racing heads to round eight of France Rallycross 2016 at Dreux on Sunday, 9 October, where Philippe Maloigne, armed with the Albatec Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, will lead the team’s bid for victory. In the hands of Maloigne, the 600bhp two-litre, 16v SamShield-backed Peugeot 208 is primed for battle against a fiercely competitive field of French RX racers, looking for a third win of the season.

Albatec heads to Dreux buoyed by its recent victory in the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, where Tommy Rustad took a dramatic win and Jérôme Grosset-Janin claimed back-to-back vice-champion crowns for the Dumfries outfit. With victory at Mayenne last time out for former motocross racer Maloigne, confidence for Philippe and the team is at an all-time high but both are realistic ahead of the penultimate round of French RX.

Dreux is well known to Albatec; the team has regularly tested there during the off-season as well as being the venue for one of Team Principal Andy Scott’s rare European appearances during his GRC campaign in 2012. This weekend all eyes will be on the battle for Supercar supremacy around the 1.2 km track in Northern France, where 20 cars go head-to-head in front of live television coverage.

Free practice in Dreux gets underway at 09.45-12.15 on Saturday, 8 October, followed by the first and second qualifying races at 13.30 and 18.30. Sunday track action continues with warm-up at 08.00, with the third and fourth qualifying races at 09.00 and 12.00. The semi-finals and finals take place from 13.45. All times CEST.

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing #26 :

“After winning our last two races of course we go to Dreux feeling pretty good, confident in our pace and reliability and the growing stature of Philippe as a serious contender for victory. However, we never underestimate the competitiveness of Rallycross France or indeed the nature of rallycross itself where luck can sometimes play a part in the outcome.

“We head to Dreux with a lot of test experience under our belt which certainly helps, but in the knowledge that it’s just another round in a very tough championship where half the field is capable of victory. As always we’ll do our best to provide a race-winning car for Philippe and hopefully he can deliver the results we know he’s capable of.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing #21 :

“I’m looking forward to racing at Dreux. It’s a track I know, I raced there in Super 1600 and I’m feeling confident following victory at Mayenne. The track is unlike most of the circuits we race on in that the gravel section is slightly different to the others on the championship schedule, but it’s equally challenging.

“I know the team has a lot of experience from testing there previously, so that should ensure we have a good set-up from the start. As always I am focusing on one race at a time and treat this weekend like every other race weekend. We go to Dreux following victory in the last two races for Albatec, which means that confidence is high across the team. Hopefully we can produce another strong result this weekend.”

Rustad wins Euro RX thriller as Grosset-Janin retains vice-champion crown for Albatec in Latvia

Bikernieki National Sports Base, Riga (Latvia) — Sunday 2 October 2016; Tommy Rustad scored a sensational first win with Albatec Racing in the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship in Latvia today. The Norwegian powered his HTB Racing Peugeot 208 RX Supercar to victory ahead of newly crowned Euro RX champion Kevin Hansen, despite a late spin for the outgoing champion. Frenchman Jèrôme Grosset-Janin brought his similar Poujoulat-backed two-litre, 16v motor home in fourth, to retain his vice-champion crown for the Dumfries team.

Lochfoot racer Andy Scott narrowly missed the cut after securing semi-final places in his last two outings. After a challenging Q3 on Sunday morning where he was held by slower cars compromising his overall race time, the Motis/Rock Oil racer bounced back to lead his Q4 race, until a broken driveshaft on the last lap brought his challenge to an end.

Across the four qualifying races at the inaugural Neste World RX of Latvia at the Bikernieki National Sports Base, Rustad and Grosset-Janin were consistently in the top four, to easily progress to the semis. Each starting from the front row, they both scored dominant race wins to set-up an all-Albatec front row for the all-important Final.

At the lights, pole sitter Grosset-Janin struggled with a slippery surface, which allowed Rustad to get the drop. After a hectic first corner shuffle Rustad settled into the lead, extending his advantage over the course of the six lap race. Even a last corner spin could not prevent the 2015 Euro RX champion from taking a well-judged first victory for the Albatec team, with Grosset-Janin recovering to take fourth. The results across the weekend elevate Grosset-Janin to second, and cement Rustad’s fourth place in the title standings.

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing #26 :

“It’s been a really difficult weekend for me, normally I can find the speed on a new track really quickly but on this track I found it very difficult. Qualifying one and two were really quite hard but overnight I was still in a semi-final position in P12. Overnight it rained and normally the rain suits me very well, but in Q3 I made an absolutely terrible start, and although I ended up winning the race, the speed was compromised due to following slower cars on the early laps. That meant I didn’t have a good start position for Q4 and again I didn’t make the right choice for the start strategy, but knew I had the speed to win the race. I took the joker on the second lap and had some really fast laps to take the lead but unfortunately we broke a driveshaft on the last lap which dropped me to 13th and out of the semi-finals. So a disappointing weekend in one way, but taking the positives, I was fast enough in the last race to have made the semis if the car hadn’t broken.

“From a team perspective everybody worked incredibly hard all weekend and it’s fantastic to see Jérôme secure second in the championship for the second year running, and an amazing victory for Tommy which the whole team worked really hard for all weekend after the damage sustained in Barcelona. Certainly the victory didn’t come easy, it was really hard fought. Tommy drove a brilliant race, he made one mistake on the last corner, which had everyone going crazy thinking he was going to lose the lead but he had more than 200 yards advantage, so he could recover from a spin and still win the race. It was a fantastic job from Tommy, a fantastic job from Jérôme, and for Albatec second and fourth in the championship is great – we’ve shown that although we were behind the factory teams at the start of the season, we caught up in the last two races – in Barcelona and Latvia – we’re not afraid of the factory cars.”

Tommy Rustad, driver Albatec Racing #24 :

“I’m very, very happy for Albatec Racing, all the mechanics, everybody in the team, HTB and my sponsors in fact everyone that has worked hard this year to get a victory. I’m so proud and so happy to be a part of Albatec. We had good speed on Saturday in dry conditions and everything worked well with the car, so I was quite satisfied with qualification. On Sunday it was raining, of course it was the first time for everyone in wet conditions here and in Q3 I finished fourth. I started from the outside line in both third and fourth qualifying races and it was difficult to get early into the first corner so I just pushed as hard as I could to try and keep my positions in the qualifying heats, and finished P4 overall. In the semi-final I started from the first row, I had quite a bad start getting out of fifth so chose the joker on the first lap and I managed to drive through the field and finish first which was a very good race from my side of it, I guess we did everything right with the joker and the speed was good.

“Into the Final I started in the first row alongside Jérôme, and I had a better start than him. Peter Hedstrom took the lead and was in front of me, he braked a bit earlier than I expected and I hit him from behind. I was pushed also from behind from some other cars so I couldn’t do anything but wait and I was sure I was going out of the track but for some reason Hedstrom spun and the track was open and I could take the lead at the first corner, so I was a bit lucky there. I pushed as hard as I could and the car was working excellently and took the joker on the penultimate lap. In the last corner I made a mistake and nearly spun but managed to survive and take the win.”

Jérôme Grosset-Janin, driver Albatec Racing #74 :

“Thanks to the amazing job by the team we performed well in tricky conditions so I’m very happy with that. In the final I started from pole position but I noticed they were putting down an absorbent which wasn’t ideal for a good start. Unfortunately, I made a little mistake which cost me a lot, because I could have been on the podium with Tommy. Motorsport is like this.

“I’m very happy to retain my vice-champion title with Albatec because that was the target this weekend and we did it against Tord Linnerud who was a very hard player with us. That was the most important thing for me this weekend. We discovered a very beautiful event with the Latvian organisation, the track was very good, even when it was raining cats and dogs this morning, so I am very happy with this. Congratulations to Tommy on winning the event for the team, I will now enjoy my result and start to prepare for 2017 because next season will be another fight.”