Albatec Racing have announced that they will contest the full 2016 French Rallycross championship, with French Super1600 driver Philippe Maloigne signed to pilot the teams Peugeot 208 RX Supercar.
The Dumfries based team has already announced its MSA British Rallycross plans for 2016 where James Grint had a positive first outing at Croft.
Maloigne made his Supercar debut in the French series last year and also contested the Final two round of the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship at Spain and Italy in a Citroen C4 Supercar. He finished in the Semi-Finals at both EuroRX events.
The Frenchman recently had a shakedown in the Peugeot and was impressed by both the car and the team, saying: “I’m very proud and at the same time excited to be joining Albatec this year. The shakedown was brief, but it was enough to allow me the opportunity to sample the Peugeot 208 RX Supercar for the first time and work with a professional rallycross team.
“When considering my options for 2016 my main priority was to join a team that had performance capabilities and a good development programme, and naturally having a French team manager helped!”
Maloigne is also looking forward to the challenge of stepping up to the Supercar ranks:
“I’m familiar with all the circuits we visit this year, with the exception of Mayenne, from racing in Super 1600 in 2014. Driving such a high performance car this season, I’m looking forward to returning to the tracks I know, and the challenge of a new one.
“The biggest challenge however in moving up from Super 1600s to Supercars, will be making the step from learner to hopefully winner, as soon as possible. I have high expectations, and I’d certainly like to be on the championship podium, and to perform well enough during 2016 that I can be a contender in Euro RX next year.”
Albatec itself saw victory in FrenchRX last year at the hands of French F1 reporter Julien Fébreau at Pont de Ruan last year and Team Principal Andy Scott is confident of a strong first full season in the French series.
“It’s shaping up to be another busy season for Albatec, but one which I hope will reward all our hard work and efforts this year. We contested two rounds of the French series last year and it proved very competitive but also saw us take our first International Supercar outright victory with Julien,” Scott explained.
“Philippe has a lot of Super 1600 experience, and although he’s relatively new to Supercars he put on a good show in 2015 that netted two semi final appearances in the final two rounds in Europe. At the shakedown he demonstrated a professional approach, and was certainly competitive, so I’m confident that with a few more miles under his belt he can challenge for race wins this season, and certainly be a regular podium finisher.”
During 2015, Albatec Racing competed in four different Rallycross championships: The FIA World Rallycross Championship, The FIA European Rallycross Championship, MSA British Rallycross Championship and the FFSA French Rallycross Championship