Albatec Claims Second in French RX thriller at Chateauroux

Chateauroux, France — 27 June 2017: Albatec Racing and Philippe Maloigne finished second in a thrilling round three of Rallycross France in Chateauroux on Sunday. The Frenchman, at the wheel of the SamShield-backed Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, is now placed fourth in the championship standings.

The weekend got off to the best possible start with a strong pace in Saturday practice, four tenths ahead at one time, which netted the fastest time for the former motocross racer. Mid-way through the session, the team elected to sit out the remaining time, happy with the pace and performance of the two-litre 16v Peugeot 208.

In the day’s opening’s qualifying heat Philippe didn’t get the best start, but drove a steady race to claim the third fastest time overall. Starting Q2 from the middle of the grid, a great start allowed him take the early joker, but he was subsequently unable to find a way past and finished third.

After morning warm-up, Sunday’s third qualifying race saw the #4 two litre 16v Peugeot top the overall times with a race victory, that put him half a second ahead of second, and put him top of the overall intermediate standings. The day’s final qualifying race saw him start from the pole spot, where a small mistake cost him victory, but a solid run into second kept him top of the standings, earning him pole for the first of two semi-finals.

With a conservative approach taken in the qualifying races allowing Philippe to head out on fresh rubber, the extra grip caught him out, and didn’t produce the start he wanted. He recovered well to take third, putting him fourth fastest for the eight-car final.

Heading into the Final he made amends with a great start from row two, getting into third into turn one. After a close battle with the second placed driver, a sudden technical problem for the car ahead resulted in Philippe hitting the back of the car, pitching him up onto two wheels. A sterling recovery allowed him to resume his bid for race honours, but had to settle for second at the finish.

The team returns to race action in round four of Rallycross France which takes place at Lavaré over the weekend of 8/9 July.

Andy Scott, Albatec Racing Team Principal:

“It’s always disappointing not to win when you know you have the fastest car and driver combination in the field, so of course we’re not entirely happy to finish second, but a podium is a podium and once again Philippe was the class of the field.
“It’s easy to say he should have won, but his speed all weekend was never in doubt, and he was certainly more than capable of winning his semi-final, which would have set him up better-placed for the Final. But it’s important to remember he’s still in only his second season in Supercars, racing against much more experienced drivers, so overall I’m happy to have come away with a strong finish.”

Philippe Maloigne, Driver Albatec Racing:

“I’m a little disappointed as I really felt we had the pace to win this weekend. We took a conservative approach with the tyres across the four qualifying heats to ensure we had a set of new tyres for the semi-final. I’d stalled a couple of the starts, and was determined to get a good start in the semi, but the extra grip, although I upped the revs, just caught me out. Despite that we come away from Chateauroux with another podium finish which is good for the team.
“Q2 was unusual, we jokered early and that should have given us the edge, but the others didn’t joker on lap two, which meant we were stuck behind some slower cars. Overall though we had great pace all weekend, some good lap times, and good results, all of which put us in a strong position and able to challenge for victory.”

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