September 2018

Higgins and Albatec demonstrate race-winning pace at Pembrey

Pembrey, Wales (UK) — 23 September 2018: Albatec Racing and Mark Higgins demonstrated strong pace on their return to Pembrey for the penultimate round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship. Once again Mark was the sensation of qualifying, twice fastest overall and third quickest in Q3 earning him pole for the Final. Unfortunately, contact with Ollie O’Donovan at turn one saw Mark pushed wide, and although he recovered to finish third, he now drops to second in the points table.

The day started well, drawn on pole position for the first of the three qualifying races Mark made the perfect getaway in slippery, wet conditions to lead into the first corner. A well-timed joker on lap two allowed him to hold the lead, and he went on to record victory, winning the race and topping the overall times.

As track conditions improved for Q2, tyre choice was critical, and the team’s decision to select a combination of wet and cut slicks for the Eddie Stobart partnering NCME at University of Bolton Peugeot 208 RX Supercar proved the right one. Starting from pole, Mark made another good start and got the jump on five-time champion Julian Godfrey and O’Donovan to lead into turn one. A masterful display saw him hold on to take race victory and the heat win.

The third and final qualifying race again had Mark on the pole spot and another good start put him into the lead at the first corner. However, contact from O’Donovan behind pitched Mark into a half spin and dropped him down to last place. A sterling recovery allowed him to finish third, and secure pole for the Final.

The bad luck and contact continued into the six lap Final. Mark didn’t get the best start, slotting into second behind Godfrey, with O’Donovan alongside. As they entered the first corner contact between Mark and the Irishman resulted in Mark running wide, dropping him to fourth. He retook third on lap four and held the position to the flag, leaving the rallycross newcomer frustrated by the result.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

“Naturally it’s disappointing not to leave Pembrey with the championship lead intact and another win under our belt, particularly as once again we proved to have a very strong package. I understand Mark’s frustration, he’s been consistently fast all day and deserved to win. It leaves the championship very close going into the final round.”

Mark Higgins, Driver #34, Albatec Racing: 

“It’s been a very disappointing day from my side. We had the pace to take the win here and were on target to do so but for contact with Ollie in the last two races. We came here as championship leaders and were looking to extend that into the final round. Sadly, it wasn’t to be and it’s incredibly frustrating to have the hard work of myself and the entire Albatec team go unrewarded.”

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

“It’s been a challenging day, for Mark and the entire team. We had two good wins and the car once again performed faultlessly. But twice we sustained contact and the students got the chance to experience the politics of motorsport as well as the engineering challenges.”

Higgins heads Pembrey line-up for British Rallycross

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — 17 September 2018: Albatec Racing returns to British RX action at Pembrey this weekend (23 September), with Mark Higgins top of the tables going to Wales. Higgins took victory in the last round of the series at Lydden Hill to retake the series lead by just three points in his Eddie Stobart partnering NCME Peugeot 208 RX Supercar.

The penultimate round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship takes place on the Carmarthenshire track which was completely revised for 2018 and offered up some exciting racing on the series’ first outing of the year in June.

Then Mark finished second after dominating the day’s qualifying races. He never put a wheel wrong, topping the times in practice, securing victory in all three qualifying races, and twice setting the race fastest lap, but was just beaten to the top spot in the Final.

Albatec’s collaboration with the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME) at the University of Bolton will see five engineering students join the team in Wales, working alongside the experienced team personnel.

Track action commences with practice from 09.30, followed by the first qualifying race at 10.15, Q2 at 11.40 and Q3 from 13.45. The semi-finals start from 15.10 with the Finals from 16.30.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

“We return to Pembrey hoping to leave with the championship lead intact and another win under our belts. Last time there Mark was in dominant form, quickest across the day but just didn’t get the start he needed in the Final to convert that to victory. The event marks a very important stage in the season, with dropped scores now very much on people’s minds. However, we’ll treat it like every other weekend; present a reliable, race-winning package for him, and hope we can come away with the results we deserve.”

Mark Higgins, Driver #134, Albatec Racing: 

“We had a solid run at Pembrey last time out, and I’m looking forward to getting back out there. Although we lead the championship, it’s heating up at the top and a clean trouble-free run is required to maintain the momentum. We’ve proved we have a good package, with some fast and consistent pace across the season. Now we need to continue that through into the last two rounds to keep our title hopes on track.”

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

“From our side the season has gone very well so far which has provided a valuable learning opportunity for our students. We’ve had a good combination of trouble-free races, and some where the students have been able to work alongside the Albatec personnel to solve issues. I’ve been very happy with the way the two have worked together and I have no doubt this will continue at the penultimate round.”