August 2016

Strong performance in Kent nets sixth for Albatec and James Grint

Lydden Hill, Kent (UK) — Monday 29 August, 2016; James Grint underlined his potential with a strong performance in round six of the MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery at Lydden Hill this Bank Holiday Monday. Driving the #27 Albatec Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, the Hertford racer was immediately up to speed from morning practice, and left Kent with sixth place in the eight-car Final.

The Dumfries team and Kimpton racer secured a podium finish last time the series visited Lydden Hill in round two in March, and went into the one-day event looking for a repeat performance to move up the overall standings. A cracking start to his campaign saw James take second place in his opening qualifying race, and the fourth fastest overall time behind two multiple champions, Julian Godfrey and Pat Doran, and multiple race winner Kevin Procter.

In the second and third races, James twice finished fourth and was fifth fastest overall to ensure he easily qualified for the semi-finals. In that a well-timed joker lap earnt the former rallyman third and a place in the all-important Final.

Starting from row three, James made a decent start and was running third before taking his compulsory joker on lap five. However, after pushing hard in the opening laps, his tyres were past their best when he resumed the main track, and he dropped to sixth at the finish.

Despite missing out on a podium position, James and Team Principal Andy Scott leave Kent optimistic ahead of the next British RX event, at Pembrey, Wales on 25 September. Albatec Racing returns to World RX action this coming weekend at Lohéac-Bretagne, where Andy joins reigning European Champion Tommy Rustad and French RX contender Philippe Maloigne.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

“After a great start it’s a little disappointing not to come away with a podium finish. However overall it’s been a very positive day with some very consistent lap times across the three qualifying heats and finals.

“James drove very well all day, and the changes we made to the car worked very well. So overall I’m happy with the outcome.”

James Grint, driver Albatec Racing #27:

“Overall it’s been a great weekend and I’m very happy. We had the pace right from the start and the car performed perfectly all day. We made some significant changes after practice and throughout the day it allowed me to have three good qualifying races.

“The training I had certainly paid off in the opening heats, but in the Final I think I pushed a little too hard and overcooked the tyres, which meant after I’d jokered I was unable to retake third position. We had some good clean racing today though and I’m happy with the outcome – we head into the next round fired up and ready for a good result.”

Albatec and James Grint return to Lydden looking for a repeat performance

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Friday 26 August, 2016; European, British and French rallycross outfit Albatec Racing and Briton James Grint head to Lydden Hill on Bank Holiday Monday (29 August) for round six of the 2016 MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery. The Dumfries-based team and the Kimpton racer return to race action after a lengthy break in the rallycross schedule, which allowed the Peugeot 208 RX Supercar to take pride of place at the recent IGNITION Festival of Motoring in Glasgow, and the Dumfries Motor Show.

Now the team embarks on back-to-back races starting with this weekend’s British RX event, where James looks to repeat his performance of round two at the Kent track. Back in March, the 26 year-old secured a podium position with a spirited drive to third place, and heads into Monday’s race determined to leave with another strong finish.

The British Rallycross Championship celebrated its 40th anniversary last month, with this weekend’s race at the ‘spiritual home of rallycross’ the first since that inaugural event on 25 July 1976.  James will once again go head-to-head with a number of former champions including five-time winner Julian Godfrey, four-time winner Pat Doran and 2007 Champion Ollie O’Donovan among the 13 car entry.

Practice gets underway at 09.00 before Q1, Q2 and Q3, with the semi-finals and finals taking place that afternoon. Admission starts from £15 and accompanied children aged 12 and under are admitted free of charge.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

“We return to Lydden Hill on Bank Holiday Monday looking for a return to the form that allowed James to take a podium finish in round two. He knows the track well and has already proved his potential there, while our Peugeot 208 RX Supercars have proved consistently fast across European, French and British RX and are more than capable of securing a podium finish.

“I have every confidence that James and the team can produce the results.  We just need a good run in the qualifying races to ensure we can convert our race-winning potential into results as we look to move back up the championship standings.”

James Grint, driver Albatec Racing #27:

“I’m excited to be back at Lydden! I know we have the pace to get a result there and with no pressures of salvaging any kind of championship it’s all about the enjoyment now. The car is very quick so we shouldn’t have any worries about making the finals as long as I do a decent job in the qualifying races.

“Lydden is a strange track in a way; it looks very simple but it’s actually a tough circuit to drive! You really need to be the perfect circuit driver on the tarmac and a full-on gravel ace on the loose. I do love firing the car into Paddock Bend and pulling off overtakes around the outside at Chessons Drift and our car is great on the loose so I will put all that traction to good use.”

Albatec confirms Rustad, Scott and Maloigne for Lohéac World RX

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Thursday 18 August, 2016; Albatec Racing has confirmed a three car entry for World RX of France at Lohéac-Bretagne, round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship on 2-4 September. Reigning European Champion Tommy Rustad, French RX race winner Philippe Maloigne and double British RX vice-champion Andy Scott will race their 600bhp Peugeot 208 RX Supercars on the biggest event on the rallycross calendar.

The tiny village of Lohéac is home to just 700 inhabitants, but every year around 70,000 spectators descend on the 1.1km track, known as the Temple of Rallycross, located 30km south of Rennes, Brittany. For Albatec the event marks a return to the track on which WRC star Kris Meeke and four-time WTCC Champion Yvan Muller made their World RX debut with the Dumfries team.

This year it sees the debut appearance of Norwegian ace Rustad aboard his HTB Racing-backed car, who heads to France looking forward to returning to World RX action, following a strong performance in Canada in 2015. Lohéac is well known to Andy – he made his first appearance there in 2012, before returning to run alongside Meeke in 2013, and David Binks in 2014, where he reached the finals. Philippe too has previous experience of the Lohéac track, and goes into the event with an outright French RX victory already under his belt in his SamShield-backed 208 and excited about returning to compete against the cream of World RX.

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

“It’s always a fantastic event at Lohéac, with massive crowds who are very passionate about rallycross, it’s the number one motorsport in France. We always have a great weekend there where performance is boosted by the strong support of the fans, it’s almost like a home event for me.

“I’m really looking forward to taking Tommy to Lohéac so he can experience what is arguably the biggest rallycross event of the year, and Philippe too after a strong run of races in the French Rallycross Championship it will be really interesting to see how this measures up against the World RX stars.

Tommy Rustad, driver Albatec Racing #24 :

“I’m really looking forward to doing Lohéac, and being part of such a big event in the world championship with Albatec. I’m also very happy that Andy has offered me the chance to get more time in the car, which is good preparation for the next round of Euro RX.

“It’s a new track for me but I’m used to learning new tracks quite quickly, although I know it’s a high level in the world championship. I think if we can put everything together we can reach the semi-finals, and maybe even the final. I know the track is quite fast which suits me, with loads of grip on the gravel section and I’ve watched lots of videos of past races, and studied in-car footage to be as well prepared as possible.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing #21 :

“I discovered rallycross as a spectator in 2013 at Lohéac, and raced there for the first time in 2014 in Super 1600 finishing fourth in my semi-final. For a French driver to have produced this performance in front of 70,000 French fans is a huge souvenir, but now racing in World Supercars three years after discovering the sport is simply amazing, especially aboard an Albatec 208.

“I’m very excited about racing there alongside Andy and Tommy. The track is a true rallycross venue, with lots of grip and very fast, but it’s not just the track that makes the weekend so special. The support from the crowd is incredible and the atmosphere is among the best you’ll find in rallycross.”

“We’ve had a successful start to the season in French RX and I’m feeling very confident with the team and the car after some consistently quick times and strong results. The quality and quantity of the entry will be very high, but I’m sure that being beside such experienced and competitive drivers like Tommy and Andy is going to pull my driving level up so if we continue to work well together as we have done all season, we should be able to come away with a good result.”

Albatec and Maloigne reaffirm pace on their way fifth in Kerlabo

Kerlabo, Cohiniac (France) — 1 August 2016; Albatec Racing continued its French Rallycross Championship campaign in round six at Kerlabo this weekend, with Philippe Maloigne consistently among the fastest on track on his way to fifth overall. The Frenchman powered his SamShield-backed two-litre, 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar to the second fastest overall time in the seven lap Final, underlining his rapid pace among a quality field.

Philippe went into the weekend with a victory already under his belt, and determined to add another to an already impressive debut season tally. Finishing eighth in his opening qualifying race, he headed into the second looking to make amends, and came away with the third fastest race lap, but a lowly 14th overall race time. He bounced back in Sunday’s Q3, winning his race and setting the second fastest overall time to keep his semi-final hopes on track.

In Q4, another solid run to fourth place, sixth overall and another third fastest lap ensured he would easily qualify for the semi-finals. Lining up in the first of the two races he made a good start to place second on the opening lap, and only briefly dropped to third during the joker lap, retaking second and the fastest overall race lap.

While Philippe was enjoying a successful weekend in Kerlabo, there was disappointment for Team Principal Andy Scott, after a promising start to the weekend. The opening qualifying race saw the Dumfries racer claim the sixth fastest overall time amid the 22-car entry.

In the second on Saturday afternoon however, disaster struck with substantial damage caused to his Motis/Rock Oil-backed motor that would ultimately end his weekend. Starting from pole, a great start allowed him to get the jump on the others into turn one.

Such is the high level of competition in French RX, five cars ran side-by-side through the first corner, with Andy being squeezed out and into the path of Jean-Philippe Dayraut, ending the Frenchman’s race on the spot. Andy drove the stricken Peugeot, suffering with damage to the dampers, front and rear suspension to the flag, but with the rapid turnaround required to return to the UK for next weekend’s appearance in Glasgow, there were simply insufficient spares available to repair the car for Sunday’s track action.

Leaving Kerlabo buoyed by his performance Philippe will return to French Rallycross Championship action at Mayenne on 24&25 September, while Andy joins Euro RX Champion Tommy Rustad in the inaugural IGNITION Festival of Motoring at the SECC Glasgow over the weekend of 5-7 August.

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing :

“I was very disappointed not to be able to continue the weekend after the damage sustained on Saturday. In the opening heat I was pretty happy with the sixth fastest overall time and feeling confident of a good result in the second. In Q2 I started from pole and got a good start, but going into the first turn I got squeezed from the outside, which pitched me into Jean-Philippe Dayraut, causing substantial damage to my car. With our participation at Ignition next weekend, we just didn’t have the spares available here to repair the dampers, rear and front suspension, so we had to retire from the event.

“I really enjoyed the experience of racing in the French Rallycross Championship though, it’s incredibly strong; very competitive and very professional and I look forward to returning to race here in the future. Philippe drove a fantastic weekend, once again consistently fast, twice setting the third fastest race lap in his heats, and a superb second fastest in the Final. That all bodes well for the remaining races.”

Philippe Maloigne, driver Albatec Racing :

“It’s been a weekend of mixed feelings. We’ve shown once again that we have incredible speed in the Peugeot 208, and it’s been fantastic to drive across the weekend. We had a disappointing Q2 with much confusion at the first corner, which ultimately cost me a good finish overall.

“But to be among the top three fastest on track in three of the four qualifying heats, as well as second fastest in the Final means we go to the next round feeling confident of a strong result to keep our championship hopes on track.”