Local driver François Duval shows good pace at Mettet


François Duval slides his Albatec 208 on the dirt at Mettet - Copyright: Albatec/McKlein

Belgian former World Rally Championship driver, François Duval, has taken part in his home round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship for the fourth time in a row, this year at the wheel of an Albatec Racing Peugeot 208. Duval called himself happy with the Peugeot’s pace, although his fifteenth-overall finish was by all means a disappointment.

Before the race, the Belgian driver had a chance to test the car at Chateauroux in France, and claimed it felt very good. However, as Francois himself pointed out,

The problem here is that the level of the big, permanent teams is now very, very high but I’m happy. It’s difficult for sure to not reach the semi-finals of course, but the car is quite good, the team is very good, the mechanics, everything, the team is perfect.

Duval’s weekend started with P15 in both of Saturday’s qualifying sessions. In Q3 on Sunday he progressed to twelfth, however all his hopes of a semifinal spot were shattered when his car bogged down at the start of his Q4 heat, marking the end of his WorldRX appearance.

“It’s been a real pleasure to work with François at his home event, enthused Albatec Racing’s boss, Andy Scott.

He’s a very professional and fast driver, is very understanding about the Peugeot 208, and drove the car to its maximum potential. We were a little bit unlucky all weekend with our grid positions. Apart for the last heat, where we made a bad start, in the previous three heats we made a good start, but at Mettet it’s always difficult unless you’re on the inside and once you’re round the first corner it’s a very difficult track to come back from.

At the moment there are no clear indications about Francois Duval taking part in further WRX rounds this season.

Albatec Racing will compete in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars round two at Hell, Norway, on 9-11 June, fielding two cars for 2015 European Rallycross Champion Tommy Rustad and young Finnish driver Jere Kalliokoski.