Albatec Racing made its full time début in the 2016 French Rallycross Championship with Frenchman Philippe Maloigne, who would go on to score a top six finish at the Essay circuit, piloting one of the teams Peugeot 208 RX Supercars.
Despite the Dumfries based team and driver working through difficult conditions during the event, Maloigne started proceedings well by going third fastest in Free Practice. He followed this up by doing his best as conditions worsened at the circuit, ending the first day in thirteenth position overall. On day two, the Albatec driver guided his Peugeot 208 RX Supercar to ninth fastest and then went quick enough to qualify inside the top 12 for the all important Semi-Finals as the track dried out and faster times were set.
In his Semi-Final appearance, the Frenchman fought his way into fourth place at the flag and this promoted him into the Supercar Final. He would go on to take a measured approach in the Final and finish in sixth place, however the Albatec driver would be the top Peugeot finisher and also the third fastest time.
Team Principal Andy Scott was very happy with how Maloigne performed over the weekend, “I’m very satisfied with the results in Essay, the competition again was incredibly strong and Philippe drove very well across the whole event. It was a very impressive performance particularly considering his relative inexperience in rallycross, and against some of the best drivers in French RX.
“To be third fastest in practice in his first competitive run in the car, and claim the third fastest lap in the Final was a remarkable achievement, and throughout the course of the two days he improved with every race. He demonstrated a professional attitude and I’m confident that he will be a very strong driver in the races to come.”
Maloigne himself was very happy with his performance at the top flight of French RX, “I’m very happy to have reached the finals on my first event with Albatec and only my tenth car appearance. Free practice went well and I was happy with the third fastest time.
“In the first race, which was very wet, I had a spin on the second lap, which compromised the rest of the heats. I think if I’d been higher up in the first qualifying race, I could have made more progress through the other races and been in a better position for the semis and final.
“However I’m very pleased with the performance, the team worked well together and the car was faultless. It’s given me a lot of confidence going into the next round, where I’m sure we’ll continue to progress.”