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Albatec Racing Takes Heat Win In Portugal
Posted by: newsla on Apr 28, 2013 - 08:24 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Albatec Racing Takes Heat Win In Portugal

Albatec Racing took its second win of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, with Team Principal Andy Scott taking a resounding victory in his second heat in Montalegre today. With time constraints preventing Scott from using the team’s second Albatec Peugeot 208, he nevertheless enjoyed a successful appearance in Portugal, powering a Peugeot 207 to an untroubled run to the flag.


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Michaël De Keersmaecker, making his race debut with the team’s new 600bhp 2-litre 16v Albatec Peugeot 208, finished fourth in his opening heat, but was eliminated in the second. His JDK-backed car was left stranded in the gravel at turn one, after what promised to be a great start to the Belgian’s weekend was ended at the first corner.

A bright sunny start to the day saw Scott and De Keersmaecker successfully complete five practice runs apiece for the second round of the re-branded RallycrossRX. 2011 MSA British Rallycross Vice-Champion Scott was the first of the team’s drivers to take to the grid for his heat, lining up alongside Anton Marklund, Ronny Scheveneels, Davy Jeanney and Mats Lysen. Despite not making the best of starts, the Dumfries Scotsman nevertheless recovered well and drove a steady race to net fourth at the flag.

De Keersmaecker was next up, the former Super 1600 and Touring Car European Champion joining Timmy Hansen, Andreas Bakkerud, Alexander Hvaal and Pedro Matos. As they headed off for the start of the four-lap race, the weather conditions significantly deteriorated, with heavy snow greeting them as they took to the grid.

A great start by the Belgian allowed him to slot into second place, electing to take the compulsory joker lap first time round. But with a possible debut victory in sight, and with the track conditions worsening, the Londerzeel racer fell foul to the slippery surface on lap two and just missed his braking point into turn one. Taking to the joker lap for a second time, De Keersmaecker consequently dropped to fourth at the flag.

For the second heat, Scott and De Keersmaecker lined-up alongside Joaquim Santos and Pedro Matos, with Scott on the inside line. Both Albatec Racing drivers made a great getaway to head into turn one side-by-side, but as they entered the first corner, De Keersmaecker misjudged his braking point slightly and was pitched into a spin, off into the gravel, and instant retirement. Scott went on to take an untroubled second heat win of the season and after two heats is placed 12th ahead of tomorrow’s third heat.

Track action will resume with warm-up at 09.30 tomorrow, with the third and fourth heats due to start at 10.44. Two semi-finals are scheduled from 14.10, and the all-important finals, which get underway from 15.20.

Andy Scott, Albatec Racing Driver car #26:

“The conditions changed dramatically between the heats, snow in Portugal was not what I expected! So with new conditions and a new car, it was an interesting day. I didn’t make a particularly good start and had contact from in front and behind, but luckily I came out in front and it was a fairly easy race. Hopefully tomorrow the weather stabilises and it’s either wet all the time or dry.

”Michaël has shown great speed in the car and it’s unfortunate he didn’t get past the first corner in the second heat. But we’re all very happy with his performance.”

Albatec Racing Driver, Michaël De Keersmaecker #9:

“I made a mistake in the first heat, the track was very slippery and I just missed my braking point going into the first corner, so I had to take the joker lap again, which cost me a lot of time. And in the second race, again going into the first corner, it was hard to judge the braking point. Tomorrow hopefully the conditions will be better, less slippery than today and more settled, so I can get two good results to progress through.”

Marc Laboulle, Albatec Racing Team Manager:

“It’s good to get another win with Andy of course, he showed his experience in being able to adapt to the Peugeot 207 very quickly, and capitalise on the opportunities he had. Tomorrow we hope to build on that result and get two more strong finishes.

“Michaël has shown too that he has good speed in the car, that was obvious right from the first test. So naturally it’s disappointing that we weren’t able to get them both to the finish in the second heat. But hopefully tomorrow we can do that and leave Portugal with a good strong result for Albatec Racing.”

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