Returning to Europe after making its global debut in Canada last month, Albatec Racing heads to France this weekend for round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. The Circuit de Lohéac plays host to arguably the biggest event on the 2014 schedule, where the Lochfoot -based team led by Team Principal Andy Scott, will be joined by Briton David Binks, the duo piloting a pair of 600bhp Albatec Peugeot 208 Supercars.
A recent string of fine results has seen the Dumfries businessman qualify for four of the five semi finals contested. Buoyed by that performance and by the pace shown in Lohéac last year, the 2011 British Rallycross Vice-Champion will be determined to continue that form into the weekend’s event, which has attracted nearly 40 Supercars among a quality field.
With regular driver former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve busy with television commitments, the French-Canadian’s place in the squad has been taken by former Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) star Binks. A regular front runner and no stranger to domestic rallycross success, David looks set to be the dark horse in the pack. Returning to race action after his sponsor pulled out of rallycross, the Newcastle-born racer is arguably a contender for race honours, and will stop at nothing to kick-start his World RX campaign with victory.
Although home to just 700 residents, the entire village of Lohéac in Brittany turns out in force, and last year around 70,000 enthusiasts soaking up the frantic race action around the 1.1km track joined them. This year World RX of France features 37 Supercars vying for race honours, among them 2003 WRC Champion Petter Solberg, American Gymkhana star Ken Block and reigning French Rallycross Champion Jerome Grosset-Janin.
The weekend starts with scrutineering on Friday and the all-important driver draw at 16.00, which determines the grids for heat one. Track action gets underway with open practice at 11.00 on Saturday, with the first of two heats at 13.30. Sunday’s action resumes with warm-up at 08.00, the first of the final two qualifying heats at 09.15 and the semi finals at 15.00, followed by the Final at around 15.30. Further event information, live timing and streaming is available at www.rallycrossrx.com. All times remain provisional and please check the website for details of local coverage.
Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing #26 :
“I’m particularly excited about racing in Lohéac as I’ve had some success there in the past and last year we came very close to qualifying both cars, so we have a bit of unfinished business. It’s been a busy time re-prepping the cars since they returned from Canada, but the team has worked hard to ensure they are both in good shape to take on the challenge of France.
“I’m very interested to test with David this week ahead of the weekend, and hopefully together we can work to develop the optimum set-up to allow us both to challenge for a strong result.”
David Binks, driver Albatec Racing #81 :
“I can’t wait to get back in the driving seat, it’s been far too long. I had a seat fitting at the team’s Dumfries workshop over the weekend and that felt great just sitting in the car, never mind driving it. I’m really looking forward to the test on Wednesday, I think we have a good base set-up from which to work, and hopefully between myself and Andy, with all his experience of the car, we can head to the race with a good package to give us the best chance of success.
“I can’t thank my sponsors enough, JBT Waste, recyclieitall, Codemasters, Harsh Ltd, Smuggling Duds, Ripla and Crosswrap for all their support and I will do everything I can to repay their confidence in me.”