Albatec Racing’s Jacques Villeneuve lies just outside the top 12 qualifying positions ahead of today’s sixth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy in Belgium. The former F1 World Champion powered his two litre 16v Albatec Peugeot 208 to second and third places in this morning’s opening heats to place 13th overall in the overnight intermediate standings.
A first corner incident in heat two badly affected the former Indycar World Series Champion’s chances of a strong result, when after making a good start, he was held up by the collision, which cost the French-Canadian a certain top ten position. A determined drive allowed him to push hard over the remaining three laps, but left him frustrated with the 16th fastest heat two time.
Making a welcome return to World RX action at the new Circuit Jules Tacheny, was Team Principal Andy Scott, who despite taking two second places in his opening qualifying runs suffered with crash damage to the #26 MacDuff-backed Peugeot which dropped him down the order. After giving up his car to Jacques and missing the last three rounds, the 2011 British Rallycross Vice-Champion bounced back with two hard-charging drives, but which ultimately netted slower race times.
The Dumfries businessman is currently 20th of the 32 runners and knows that two strong results tomorrow are necessary to elevate him in the points standings and allow him to return to the form that netted semi-final slots in the opening two rounds.
Tomorrow’s race action resumes with an hour-long warm-up at 08.00, followed by two further qualifying heats starting at 09.30. Two semi finals and the all-important final get underway from 15.00. Additional event information, including live timing and live streaming is available at www.rallycrossrx.com
Andy Scott, Team Principal and Driver, Albatec Racing #26:
“It was great to finally get back behind the wheel and I enjoyed the racing today although I’m disappointed ultimately with slow race times and the collision damage in heat two, which cost us considerable time. Overall I’m fairly happy with the car, and I don’t anticipate any major changes overnight, however it’ll take more than a bit of polish to repair the damage to the back end!
“Jacques was unlucky to get caught up in the first corner crash in heat two, when two cars ahead tangled, and that seriously compromised his overall race pace in that heat, however he sits in a strong position ahead of tomorrow’s final qualifying heats.”
Jacques Villeneuve, Driver, Albatec Racing #25:
“I struggled to get off the line in both races which is very frustrating, and the team is looking to see if there’s a problem with the turbo. The day hasn’t gone as I’d planned, I’d hoped the track would suit my driving style and offer a more level playing field, however it’s pretty rough out there, and we’re struggling in the rutted area particularly.
“It’s very frustrating to have lost all that time in the second heat too, as we were on for a quick time if I hadn’t got caught up in someone else’s accident. It’s not over yet though, with two more races tomorrow, hopefully they can sort the issue and we can continue a good run with two clean races.”