Albatec Hoping for ‘Magic Weekend’ in Höljes RX

Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — 30 June 2017: Albatec Racing resumes its bid for FIA European Rallycross Championship honours in Sweden this weekend (1&2 July) on the back of a strong result last time out. In Norway, former Champion Tommy Rustad put on an impressive display to top the intermediate points for much of the weekend only for suspension damage to end his Final. Jere Kalliokoski was equally impressive, not least because it was his first time racing in Hell, and in only his second competitive outing in the Albatec Peugeot 208 RX Supercar secured a place in the semi finals.

Now the action moves to the Holjes Motorstadion for World RX of Sweden, round three of Euro RX and round seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Dubbed the ‘Magic Weekend’, the event is held amid a festival atmosphere with 40,000 spectators attending last year.

Located deep in the forests of Sweden’s Värmland region, Höljes is one of the fastest tracks on the schedule, and is a popular with drivers and fans alike. Tommy finished third for the team last year, overcoming difficult circumstances along the way that included heavy rain making driving conditions challenging.

Tommy will pilot the HTB Racing Peugeot 208, which following extensive test and development over the winter months has resulted in a strong pace across the previous two rounds. Kalliokoski will be at the wheel of the similar SMA-backed two-litre, 16v 208, making his debut Supercar appearance following a Lites test in 2014.

Practice on Friday gets underway from 16.50, with the first of two qualifying races from 14.00 on Saturday. Warm-up on Sunday starts at 08.30, followed by Q3 & Q4 from 10.00, the semi finals from 12.00 and all-important Final from 15.00.

Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:

“Looking ahead to my favourite race, I’m naturally disappointed not to be racing myself, but I’m looking forward to being there, supporting Tommy and Jere. Jere has had a great start to the season. I’m really pleased to see the potential I could see in pre-season testing really come out, particularly in Norway where he had good pace and qualified for the semis. I believe there’s more to come and I’m sure at Höljes he’ll lift his game and come away with even better results.

“In Norway Tommy had a near perfect weekend, but sadly we had the small technical issue which prevented him from getting the result he and the car were capable of. We go to Sweden now very much focused on a win.”

Tommy Rustad, Driver Albatec Racing:

“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Höljes, I really like the track. All the corners are great, plus the jumps, and I’m sure it will suit the 2017-spec Albatec Peugeot. All the corners are challenging, it’s a track where you need to take every corner right as they all flow into the next one.

“The car is very good at the moment. The team has made some changes, the most significant being with the suspension which has made a dramatic difference in the tight corners making it easier to turn, which will be necessary in Sweden.

“Last year we had difficult conditions across the weekend. Several times it rained just before my race, where the possibility of tyre and set-up changes can add to the pressure before the start, but in those situations it’s important not to lose the focus and just concentrate on the driving.”

Jere Kalliokoski, Driver Albatec Racing:

“I’m feeling good about racing in Sweden, there will be a lot of Finnish fans there to support me. I’ve done a test in Höljes with Supercar Lites in 2014, and it’s a very technical and challenging track with ups and downs and camber corners.

“I was happy to reach the semi-final in Norway, from now on the target definitely needs to be first to reach the semis and then make it to the final. It will be very tough in Sweden but in order to progress you need to take each race step by step and not settle for targets you’ve already achieved.

“I feel very good with Albatec and being part of the team. The more mileage I get in the car the more comfortable I feel with it. The Peugeot 208 RX is very different compared to my Skoda so I need time and testing to get the maximum out of it. Euro RX is a very tough series this year, 30+ cars regularly competing makes it a challenge to be in the top 12 in every race. Consistency is the key word.”

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