August 2018

Albatec NCME and Mark Higgins win on Lydden British Rallycross return

Lydden Hill, Kent (UK) — 27 August 2018: Albatec Racing NCME and Mark Higgins have won round seven of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill today (27 August). The result elevates Manxman Mark to the top of the British RX points standings with two rounds remaining.

The day started well, a strong pace in morning practice netting the third fastest time. Lining up on the outside of the front row for the day’s opening qualifying race, a great start for the #34 Eddie Stobart NCME-supported Peugeot 208 RX Supercar allowed Mark to get the jump into turn one. He went on to win by over two seconds, and with the fastest overall race time took the overall heat win.

Q2 saw Mark not get the best getaway, losing the lead into turn one to Julian Godfrey, and subsequently trailing the five-time champion to the flag. The final qualifying race played a pivotal role in the outcome of the overall results. A close run race to the flag saw Mark finish second, however Godfrey was subsequently penalised 30 seconds for failing to take his compulsory joker lap. The penalty elevated Mark to the top position and secured a pole start for the Final.

In that, another great start put Mark into the lead into the first corner. Going into the hairpin, Ollie O’Donovan made a lunge up the inside and made contact with the side of the Peugeot. O’Donovan went on to cross the line first, despite a spirited fightback from the triple British Rally Champion. O’Donovan was subsequently penalised for the incident with a two second time penalty, which dropped him to second, handing Mark and the Albatec team the win.

After seven rounds Mark holds a three point lead over O’Donovan, with two rounds remaining and 60 points up for grabs. The championship returns to Pembrey, Wales on Sunday 23 September for the penultimate round.

Mark Higgins, Albatec Racing driver #34:

“It was a disappointing way to end the day. I’m pleased to have been given the win, but would much rather it had been a victory achieved on the track. We’d had a good start, with strong pace and excellent reliability, and I was feeling confident we could convert that to victory. It’s a very competitive field and it keeps the championship title wide open.”

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing:

“It’s been a real roller coaster of a day. The car has been incredible, reliable and fast, while Mark has been consistently quick throughout. As a result, I’m pleased he came away with the win as he deserved it, however, it’s never nice to win the race after the finish.”

Dr. Mark Busfield, Director, National Centre for Motorsport Engineering:

“From the University’s perspective we’ve had a trouble-free run with the car and once again Mark has driven exceptionally well all day. Our students have had a relatively quiet day, with no mechanical issues to speak of, but continue to learn alongside the experienced team personnel.”

Albatec NCME and Mark Higgins focused on repeat Lydden victory

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — 23 August 2018:  Albatec Racing NCME and Mark Higgins return to the scene of their round two victory for round seven of British RX at Lydden Hill on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August. Driving the #34 Eddie Stobart NCME-supported Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, Mark will bid for a second win in the domestic series in his efforts to clinch the crown at his first attempt.

Back at Kent in May, the triple British Rally Champion overcame a rare misjudgement in Q1 while leading, bouncing back to take a convincing Q3 victory, win his semi-final and take a three second winning margin in the Final. It’s not been an easy campaign for James Bond’s stunt driver, but since the season-opener at Silverstone Mark has consistently proved to be among the fastest on track, with one win, three seconds and a third place to his credit.

Last time out at Croft, unseasonable weather conditions took their toll, after a great start saw him a full second faster in practice. A broken windscreen wiper, in torrential rain, dented his race-winning hopes, but the Manxman is determined to put that behind him as he strives for victory.

Mark sits just one point adrift of Julian Godfrey, sharing second place with Ollie O’Donovan, with a total of 90 points available from the three remaining rounds. While it’s too soon to talk about the effects of dropped scores, he knows another strong points haul is necessary to keep his championship aspirations on target.

Lydden Hill is the home of rallycross, hosting the first event back in 1967, and is renowned for its close racing regardless of the weather. Indications are that this weekend’s event could play a deciding role in the outcome of the 2018 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship.

Track action gets underway with free practice from 09.30 on Monday morning, followed by the qualifying races, semi-finals and final later that day. Event information is available from http://www.rallycrossbrx.comand tickets can be purchased from

Mark Higgins, Albatec Racing driver #34:

“It was great to win at Lydden back in May, in difficult conditions, particularly after the shaky start to Q1. Since then we’ve been consistently at the sharp end in terms of results and lap times, and it’s nice to be running so close to the experienced Godfrey and O’Donovan in the points standings. Over the final three rounds it is going to be very important to continue with some solid, high-scoring results to keep our championship target on track.  At Croft we were very unlucky with the broken wiper which compromised our second qualifying race, the knock-on effect being a poor start position for the Final, which hampered our chances of victory.”

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing:

“We head to Lydden confident of a repeat performance. The circuit has been good to us in the past and we aim to continue that trend on Bank Holiday Monday. Mark has proved consistently to be among the fastest on track at each race with some impressive lap times and race results from the opening six rounds. We need to continue that momentum going forwards, but I know we have the right package in our Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, the team and Mark to leave with another win.”

Dr. Mark Busfield, Director, National Centre for Motorsport Engineering:

“From our side the season has gone very well so far, with some very strong results across the opening rounds including victory last time we raced at Lydden. These results have provided a valuable learning opportunity for our students, and they are benefitting greatly from the experience. The students continue to show their level of commitment to the project, working in their own time during the summer break with Andy and the Albatec team at its Dumfries base.”