Former World Rally Championship driver Kristian Sohlberg will enter his third Rallycross Championship this weekend as he makes his debut in the FIA World Rallycross Championship for the Albatec Racing squad at the wheel of their Peugeot 208 RX Supercar in Turkey.
The Finnish driver has already had experience of the rallycross scene this season after competing at round three of the 2015 British Rallycross Championship in Pembrey, Wales for the squad and this was followed up by making his debut in the French Rallycross Championship at the Pont de Ruan event.
The Dumfries based squad is embarking on a mammoth programme this year which has seen them compete with one or both of their Peugeot Supercars in the BritishRX, where Team Principal Andy Scott is fighting for the title, the French Rallycross Championship, the FIA WorldRX and the FIA European Rallycross Championship where Jerome Grosset-Janin is six points behind championship leader Tommy Rustad.
Sohlberg is looking forward to making his WorldRX debut this weekend: “I’m feeling very excited about Turkey, a little nervous but just counting down the days until my first World RX race. I’m also feeling confident, not so much in myself, but certainly about the car and the Albatec team. I know I’m fast enough to be fighting for the win against the best in the sport, and my goal is to be among them in the future…
“But for the race weekend I need to be clever and not do anything stupid. I know some of the drivers already, and how they are on track so I need to be smart, as Petter [Solberg] also told me.
“I’ve been watching video footage of the track, but apart from that it’s all new to me, though I have heard it’s very nice and the gravel part is very slippery! I’ve also increased my physical training. Sports and training is in my daily routine anyway, but I have done extra in preparation. I feel that in any sport where you need maximum concentration, fitness is important. It’s good to know that you are as fit as possible so the weekend is not dependent on that.
“Albatec has done a great job in developing the 208 this year. I did a differential test in France recently, and we found something there so it’s making progress all the time. The car’s raw power is amazing though, I’m used to high torque engines but the raw power and driveability is fantastic. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the beast again.”
Team Principal Andy Scott is overjoyed to have Sohlberg drive for the team again and to return to Turkey from more WorldRX action: “We’re very excited about returning to Intercity Park. It really is an amazing track, one of the best the series goes to, and incredibly technical where the slightest mistake can cost valuable time.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how Kristian gets on in World RX, after two very strong outings it’s obvious he has great potential, but this weekend is the ultimate test at the pinnacle of rallycross. I’m sure he will go well in Turkey, but it will be important to be clean and tidy to get a good result.”