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Apr 19, 2013 - 04:55 PM
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Albatec Racing Looks To Build On Early Form At Montalegre
Posted by: newsla on Apr 19, 2013 - 04:54 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Albatec Racing Looks To Build On Early Form At Montalegre


Albatec Racing is bidding to repeat its Lydden Hill form in the second round of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship in Portugal next week, April 27&28. Armed with a pair of identical 600bhp, two-litre, 16v Albatec Peugeot 208s, Dumfries Scotsman Andy Scott, and Belgian Michaël De Keersmaecker, will go to battle against some of the biggest names in rallycross as they look to take victory at a track steeped in Celtic culture and tradition.

 

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Lying on the northern Portuguese border with Spain, the track is technically different from any others on the nine-round RallycrossRX calendar, and located some 3000 feet above sea level, the higher altitude will naturally affect the performance of the engines. Added to that the track renowned for its high kerbs offers a different challenge for the drivers, as they head six–up, around the 1.5km long track.

Held within the Vila Real district on the Western edge of Europe, the Montalegre circuit hosts the second round of the re-branded RallycrossRX, which pitches 15 permanent Supercar drivers, and up to five wild-card entries per round, head-to-head over a series of four heats, two semi finals and a final. In the opening round at Lydden Hill, Scott successfully negotiated his way through the heats, picking up a victory, second and third place, before a puncture in the semi-final ruled him out of contention.

With De Keersmaecker sidelined due to an injury sustained in a national championship event earlier this year, Montalegre marks his debut in the fledgling team’s first season at the pinnacle of European rallycross. Nevertheless the Londerzeel racer joins Team Principal Scott, and Team Manager Marc Laboulle, in a positive mood following Albatec Racing’s impressive form in the season-opener.

The Albatec Racing team heads to France next week to continue its test and development programme, with De Keersmaecker having his first run in the car prior to official practice in Portugal on Saturday. There, the former Super 1600cc and Touring Car European Champion and 2011 MSA British Rallycross Vice-Champion Scott will resume battle against a fiercely competitive field that includes former World Rally Champion Petter Solberg and reigning European Rallycross Champion Timur Timerzyanov.

The RallycrossRX action starts with official practice on Saturday, 27 April, followed by the first of the heats later that day. The remaining heats kick off Sunday’s track action with the semi finals and final taking place that afternoon. (All timings are provisional and subject to change.)

Tickets for the second round of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship are available via www.blueticket.pt.

Andy Scott, Albatec Racing Driver car #26:

“I’m really looking forward to racing in Portugal again. It’s technically very different to any other track we race on due in part to the high kerbs, but also the high altitude, which will affect the engines, although of course it will be the same for everyone. I’m also excited to be working with Michaël from this event onwards, as we will have twice the data coming in, which will double the speed at which we develop the Albatec Peugeot 208.

“After the very positive outing at Lydden Hill, where the car proved technically reliable and undoubtedly one of the most competitive out there, I’m confident that the few minor changes to the base set-up will allow us to reap rewards with a strong result next weekend.”

Albatec Racing Driver, Michaël De Keersmaecker car #9:

“I can’t wait to get to Portugal. I know the track well having raced there in 2007 when I finished second, and again in 2009. It’s a good, fast track, technically very difficult, with a fast section comprising a lot of tarmac where I feel my circuit racing experience may help. I’m very excited to be joining Albatec Racing. The team is very professional and the Peugeot 208 proved very reliable at Lydden, so I aim to achieve a top five finish at Montalegre.

“The kerbs are very, very high, and it would be easy to roll there. I think when I raced on the track previously I never had all four wheels on the road. But, hopefully we can have a solid, clean run through the heats and get a strong finish to start the season off.”

Marc Laboulle, Albatec Racing Team Manager:

“Our first challenge was to produce a reliable and competitive car for Lydden Hill for Andy and we achieved that. Now with the addition of Michaël to the team, our goal is to provide two cars for Portugal so that we can continue to develop the Albatec Peugeot 208 and produce a competitive package within Albatec Racing.

“We need to continue to understand the car, with the two driver’s individual driving styles, to allow us to build on our results from Lydden. We’ve had a lot of work to do getting the second car ready between the races, and now all I ask of the drivers is to bring the cars home in good condition, for Michaël to learn the car and team, and for Andy to do the same great job he did at Lydden Hill.”


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