Albatec To Field One 208 For World RX Of Sweden
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) â€” Thursday 3 July, 2014: Albatec Racing will run just one two-litre, 16v Albatec Peugeot 208 for Jacques Villeneuve in round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy in Sweden this weekend (5&6 July). Despite the team's best efforts, the Lochfoot-based squad has faced an uphill struggle to repair Jacques' extensively damaged 208 following his heavy testing crash.
The punishing World RX schedule, which sees four races in five weeks, including three back-to-back has not helped its cause. The team has split its efforts between rebuilding the Indy 500 winner's own car back at base, while also building and preparing Team Principal Andy Scott's similar 208 for the former F1 World Champion to use in the opening two Scandinavian rounds.
Jacques showed outstanding pace in Norway, posting the fastest single lap time in heat one, and the second fastest in heat two. In Finland the 1995 Indycar World Series Champion had looked set for a semi-final slot, only to have another puncture end his progress.
The Swedish venue though should suit the Albatec Peugeot 208 well, having offered up a first and second in two heats in the European round for Andy last season. A hit from behind punctured the rear tyre on the former British Rallycross Vice-Champion's car ending his charge, however hopes are high that lady luck will finally shine upon the team this weekend.
The high-speed HĂ¶ljes track located deep in the forests of Sweden's VĂ¤rmland region is a popular event on the rallycross calendar, attracting some 30,000 spectators last year. Held amid a music festival atmosphere, the legion of fans camp out in the forests all week, adding to the party-style theme.
Saturday's track action begins with open practice at 10.00 and the first of two qualifying heats at 12.15. Sunday sees an hour-long warm-up at 08.45, followed by two further heats at 10.30, with the semi finals for support races getting underway from 14.30. Additional event information is available at www.rallycrossrx.com
Andy Scott, Team Principal and Driver, Albatec Racing:
"Jacques' car suffered substantial damage in the testing crash, far greater than was initially assessed, and has consequently taken far longer to rebuild than we'd hoped. Naturally this is a great disappointment for the entire team and for me personally, as the HĂ¶ljes track is my absolute favourite. It's exceptional, technically very challenging, and one of the most popular on the rallycross calendar. Add into that the amazing party atmosphere, with around 30,000 enthusiastic spectators and it all adds up to a great weekend.
"After such a disappointing Norway and Finland, where a puncture in both final qualifying heats effectively ruled out our chances of progressing, we look to World RX of Sweden with renewed optimism and hopes of a strong result to reward the efforts of both the team and Jacques."
Jacques Villeneuve, Driver, Albatec Racing #25:
"Putting the disappointment of Norway and Finland behind us, I'm really looking forward to racing in Sweden and determined to take a good result. I've heard only good things about the track and indeed the whole party atmosphere, so I'm looking forward to seeing what it's all about.
"I understand the high-speed HĂ¶ljes track will suit the Peugeot 208 and the car has certainly been quick enough in the last two races, it's just unfortunate that a combination of things meant I couldn't progress to the semis - however that is the nature of rallycross. So now I will put that behind me and focus on the next race, where I am confident that the car will be built to its usual high standard and we can continue our objective to challenge for outright World RX victory."