Montalegre, Portugal — Saturday 3 May, 2014; Albatec Racing began its World RX campaign with a positive showing in round one of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy in Portugal today (3 May), with Andy Scott placed eighth overall in his Peugeot 208 after two heats. His team-mate, former F1 and Indycar World Champion Jacques Villeneuve lies 15th, three places adrift of a semi-final place, after suffering a puncture on his similar car in heat two.

A fuel pressure problem plagued both cars this morning, costing valuable track time for series debutant Villeneuve, and denying Scott any track time in the 2014-spec two-litre, 16v Albatec 208. Swift work by the team allowed both drivers to take up their positions on the grid for the first ever World championship rallycross race.

In the first of four heats, Team Principal and 2011 British Rallycross Vice-Champion Scott overcame an exhaust leak, but managed to salvage the tenth fastest time while an even faster pace in heat two saw him eighth quickest. For 1 a 1 a albatec 9Villeneuve, his first ever rallycross event proved troublesome, losing time with a puncture in heat two, which dropped him from 13th to 15th fastest at the overnight stage.

Track action resumes tomorrow with warm-up at 09.00, followed by the third and fourth heats, which get underway from 10.30. Two six-car semi finals and the all important final start at 15.00.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing driver #26:

“It’s been a hard day, with a lot of technical issues, which we traced to a fuel pressure problem, first on Jacques’ car and eventually on mine, which meant I ran out of time before free practice. In the opening race I made a reasonable start, which was pretty good considering I hadn’t tested the car. We had an issue with the exhaust leaking which melted the paint off the tunnel, so I had to drive the last two laps with the door open to clear the fumes.

“In the second heat we made a few adjustments on the suspension, but at the start I had no option but to joker on lap one, and came out behind another car, costing us time. But I’m quite happy overall with eighth fastest time which is encouraging for tomorrow.”

1 a 1 a albatec 10Jacques Villeneuve, Albatec Racing driver #25:

“It’s been a tough learning day but the level of racing was very good, we just need to figure out how to make it work. We were a bit late running so we didn’t get all the laps in and the car is very different to when we were testing this winter. I made a mistake in the first race and suffered a puncture in the second one, but the aim tomorrow is to make it to the semi finals; it would be a shame to stop after two heats. The atmosphere here is very good, the fans are fun, and it’s good to be part of a championship.”

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