Scottish outfit Albatec Racing is satisfied with the pace shown by its two drivers, Norwegian Tommy Rustad and Finn Jere Kalliokoski, on this weekend’s round two of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars in Hell, Norway.
Former European champion Rustad proved quick throughout the qualifying heats, went on to win his semi-final, and looked set for an overall podium in front of his home crowd, until suspension damage he got as a result of a collision with current Championship leader, Anton Marklund, forced him to retire from the final on the third lap.
Finnish young gun Kalliokoski, at his maiden season in EuroRX, also performed competitively, achieving a semi-final spot, but his race was to be short-lived after contact with overall winner, Robin Larsson, also forced him out.
“The team has been working really hard and we had some great speed and improvements, particularly with Jere, who drove some really good races, says Albatec’s team boss, Andy Scott.
To qualify for the semis in only his second Euro RX outing is fantastic. Unfortunately, his progress was halted with a small technical issue in the semi-final, otherwise he stood a chance to fight for a place in the final.
I’m sure he’s going to be mentally faster and stronger going into Höljes. Jere should leave here with a lot of positives, I’ve certainly seen the potential we saw with him in pre-season testing, so I’m very happy about that.
“Tommy did everything right, just a small mistake in Q4 but still good enough to get pole for the semi. Winning the semi put him on pole for the Final and he made a great start, but took a hit at the first and second corners.
“I think something had broken on the car as we started to lose positions on the second lap, and ultimately had to retire with rear suspension damage. I thought we were really in with a chance of lifting the victory this weekend. It’s only made us stronger and more confident that we can win in Höljes
“A lot of positives from the weekend, it just doesn’t necessarily feel like that at the moment.”
The Albatec team will be back in action in three weeks’ time, at round three of the ERX Supercars series in Höljes, Sweden (30 June-2 July).