Four time FIA World Touring Car Champion Yvan Muller has confirmed he will make his debut in the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship at the wheel of an Albatec Racing Peugeot 208 Supercar at Loheac in France.
The mutiple title winning touring car champion and ten time Andros Trophy holder has been released for this event only by current employer Citroen during a break in the 2015 WTCC, allowing him to take part for the first time in WorldRX alongside fellow Frenchman and current FIA European Rallycross Championship leader Jerome Grosset-Janin. Muller recently tested the car at Faleyras, where he set competitive lap times during the outing. Muller will have a second test at Loheac before the WorldRX event itself.
Loheac is one of the iconic events on the WorldRX calendar, where last year it attracted a crowd of over 70,000 spectators and nearly 40 Supercars being driven by the very best and talented drivers in Rallycross. Muller’s current Citroen WTCC team-mate Sebastien Loeb drove in the 2013 event himself. With all of his Touring Car and Andros Trophy experience, Muller will be one to watch over the Loheac Weekend.
For Albatec Racing, this is another event in their mammoth 2015 Rallycross calendar. The team is fielding Andy Scott in a full time assault on the British Rallycross Championship as well as fielding Jerome Grosset-Janin and James Grint full time in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. The team have entered two French Rallycross Championship events with Julien Febreau and Kristian Sohlberg, who makes his own Rallycross debut this weekend. This announcement also confirms the teams third WorldRX appearence after Scott and David Binks contested the Lydden Hill event and with Sohlberg due out at Turkey.
Team Principal Andy Scott is excited to have Yvan Muller on board and is looking for to the Loheac event.
“I’m very excited about Yvan joining us at arguably the biggest rallycross event on the 2015 schedule. We had a great result there last year, reaching the semi finals, while in 2013 Kris Meeke showed everybody the potential of our Peugeot 208 RX Supercar,” explained Scott.
“We head to the event on the back of a very strong start to our season, leading Euro RX with Jérome and having success in Britain, and although rallycross is very competitive across all the championships we’re contesting, I’m confident that Yvan will be right up there from the start on his home track.
“We had a very successful test with Yvan, he’s totally committed, and obviously an incredibly fast and professional driver, who will I’m certain fit in very well with the team and indeed rallycross. Having an all-French line-up, aboard French cars, at the biggest event on the French rallycross calendar will I’m sure contribute to the amazing atmosphere the event always attracts.”
Muller himself is looking forward to the challenge of World Rallycross and making his debut at his home event on 4-6 September.
“I’ve wanted to do rallycross for a long time, it’s been on my mind for four or five years, but I didn’t have the opportunity, the good opportunity, or the time to do it. I’m really looking forward to doing Lohéac, firstly it’s very well known in France, and rallycross now is at a high level, so I think it’s just the right time to do it. So yes I’m very pleased and looking forward to it,” said Muller.
“I don’t think we can compare ice racing to rallycross too much, yes ice racing is four wheel drive, but also four wheel steer, and on ice the grip levels are naturally much lighter. Of course, the comparison is closer from ice racing to rallycross, than from say circuit racing like WTCC, but it’s still quite different, so there are things to learn. The test with Albatec in Faleyras was good, very nice. It was my first experience, so I learnt and saw much more how rallycross is, what it’s all about. The track was quite greasy, quite slippery when we started, because we had a spot of rain but it was great.”