Albatec Racing return to the 2015 French Rallycross Championship this weekend as they make their second appearance in the series with Julien Febreau being joined in the second Peugeot 208 RX by rally star Kristian Sohlberg.
In his debut for the Dumfries based team last time out at Faleyras, Febreau guided his Peugeot Supercar into the Semi-Finals and on into the Final as he secured fourth position overall. He is looking to improve on that performance this weekend as he aims to try and gain a podium position at the Pont de Ruan circuit for what is round six of the French Championship.
Former Works Mitsubishi WRC driver Sohlberg joins Albatec Racing for what is his first outing in a varied programme of Rallycross events. The Finn makes his Rallycross debut this weekend, joining Febreau in a two car assault in France, before his next appearance will be alongside Team Principal Andy Scott at the Pembrey round of the British Rallycross Championship. He will then return to the team later on in the year as he will make his WorldRX debut in Turkey.
Sohlberg is excited to make his Rallycross Supercar debut and is looking to learn more over the weekend.
“I’m very excited about this new challenge,” said Sohlberg. “I have no previous experience of a rallycross car, but I’m very quick to adapt and learn new things so I’m confident I’ll learn to handle the phenomenal acceleration of a Supercar. One of the biggest challenges will be to race with other cars on the track on the same time. I have done some circuit racing with endurance cars 10 years ago, but it’s still something very new to me.
“I’m looking forward to getting in the car in testing and start to learn and work with the team, and I’ll try to maximise my time in the car. I hope that my experience in rally development work will also benefit the team and allow me to give good feedback to the engineers, so that we can further improve the car.
“I don’t know the circuit at all, but I have watched some in-car videos, it looks good with some challenging places and I will try to prepare as best I can. My personal goal is to show my speed and skills in these few races with Albatec and earn a seat for 2016. There is a lot to learn but I have full confidence that with the team’s help and support it will be great.”
Febreau is looking to improve upon his placing last time and working with new team mate Sohlberg.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back on track at Pont de Ruan!” said the Frenchman. “I had a fantastic weekend in Faleyras with all the Albatec Racing team and I really want to live those emotions again. Now I know more about the team and the Peugeot 208 RX, I should have even more pleasure and fun! I will approach this weekend in the same manner as Faleyras, with the desire to do things well; quietly and cleanly.
“It will be only my third race driving a Supercar so I have still many steps to climb, but our performance in Faleyras, including my lap times in the final, make me think I’m going in the right direction. I found myself close to the podium there, a month ago, so you can imagine what my goal will be this weekend!
“I am very happy to drive alongside Kristian, he is a top racing driver who has a lot of experience of rallying and Supercars. It is a chance for me because I’ll try to learn as much as I can, by watching him and listening to his comments. As I said Faleyras was a great opportunity for me to work with a great team like Albatec Racing, because it is with professional people such as Andy and all the members of the team that I can improve myself as a racing driver.
“Pont de Ruan is very different to Faleyras. It is a track with low/medium speed corners that require you to keep a constant pace from the beginning to the end of the lap. You have to be very quiet on board the car and not over drive. Obviously I have a great memory of this circuit, since I won my first race in Supercar here last year. It is an extraordinary memory and it is to live great moments such as these, that I race in Rallycross!”