Lydden Hill, Kent (GB) – Saturday 22 February, 2014: Jacques Villeneuve today conducted his first proper test aboard the 600bhp #25 Albatec Racing Peugeot 208 in which he will contest the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. The former F1 and Indycar World Series Champion completed ten 4-lap stints around the Lydden Hill circuit in preparation for his World RX debut in May, when he will race alongside Team Principal Andy Scott.
After a first ever run in the team’s Supercar at Dreux in France last month Villeneuve joined British Rallycross Championship teams for the one-day test at the Kent venue. This was to give the French-Canadian vital track time on a circuit at which the Dumfries-based team has comprehensive set-up knowledge and experience.
A power steering issue early in the day was traced to a faulty component in the power steering pump, and once resolved, the car ran faultlessly completing around 45 miles, with Villeneuve immediately setting an impressive pace.
Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:
“Jacques proved his speed straight of the box during the test in France, but it is vital that he gets as much track time as possible, on different circuits, to help him acclimatise to a world rallycross car. We chose Lydden Hill, the home of rallycross in the UK as it is the perfect circuit for this, providing a good mixture of challenges, requiring very fast and precise lines and braking points.
“It was also good for him to drive on a rallycross circuit that’s on the world championship schedule as it gives him the chance to experience the whole atmosphere of racing in an amphitheatre circuit. As expected, he was immediately fast once we’d addressed the power steering issue this morning, and just got quicker and quicker as the day progressed. We will test again before the season starts, but where and when has not yet been decided.”
Jacques Villeneuve, Albatec Racing driver #25:
“To come to Lydden Hill is great, it’s fast, a real fun track, quite high speed and after testing in Dreux it’s great to finally drive on a proper FIA World Rallycross Championship track with a combination of asphalt and graveI. It’s a nice track, it’s how tracks used to be made, and follows the lay of the land.
“It’s been a fun experience working with the team, with Andy who stands out because of his passion for the sport, and in particular the engineers, to get the best out of the 208. You don’t rallycross because of the jet set you do it because of the racing, so now I’m really looking forward to going head-to-head with the other drivers in Portugal.”
Copyright free images supplied for media use by Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic.