Reigning FIA European Rallycross Champion Tommy Rustad will spearhead the Dumfries team’s Euro RX campaign in 2016. The Norwegian ace joins the team aboard an HTB-backed two litre, 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar as he bids to retain his crown.
Tommy clinched the Euro RX title last year in style, winning the final round in Italy to add to his victories in Germany and Norway, but was pushed hard by Albatec’s Jérôme Grosset-Janin, winner of the opening race. Regularly battling and trading times with the World RX drivers last season, Tommy proved to be among the fastest overall across the field, and racked up an impressive fourth place in a one-off World RX outing in Trois Rivières, Canada.
With an impressive track record across various disciplines, Tommy can boast championship titles in Norwegian, Swedish and British (Independent Cup) touring car championships, Renault Sport Spider Eurocup, and Formula Opel Sweden as well as becoming six-time Norwegian Rallycross Champion in 1987-1992. Clocking up an impressive 123 race wins across an illustrious career, he now targets a return to the top step of the championship podium with Albatec in 2016.
The announcement comes a week after the news that the team will contest the French Rallycross Championship, to run alongside its British Rallycross Championship campaign, marking an incredibly busy season for the squad. Albatec will undergo testing ahead of the first round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy on 15 May in Mettet, Belgium.
The Euro RX schedule features a brand new track in 2016; in Riga, Latvia. The remaining rounds take place over the weekends of 11&12 June – Hell, Norway; 2&3 July – Höljes, Sweden; 17&18 September – Barcelona, Spain; 1&2 October – Riga, Latvia.
Andy Scott, Team Principal and Driver Albatec Racing :
“I’m delighted to welcome Tommy to the team for 2016. It’s an incredibly exciting time for us, and I look forward to seeing how he performs against what promises to be a very strong and competitive field. Last season we pushed hard to beat him with Jérôme, and came so close to winning the title that we led from the start. Now we will support him in his efforts to retain that title.
“This year’s Euro RX schedule offers up some great events and tracks, including a brand new circuit in Latvia, where none of the teams will have any race experience, putting everyone on an even keel. Albatec’s commitment to race in British, French and Euro RX, together with our debut season in Karting, and previous success in RX150 ensures we are the only team to offer a route from Karting to Supercars. Although we have another incredibly busy season ahead, I’m confident we can deliver the goods.”
Tommy Rustad, Driver Albatec Racing :
“I’m really looking forward to working with Albatec, which I know is very professional and the right team to give me what I need to win the championship again. It’s always exiting to work with a new team, we have the same target and I’m sure we can succeed if we are doing our best together. When my sponsor HTB and I couldn’t join Marklund Motorsport this year it was obvious, as our main opposition last year, who we should go with.
“From what I’ve seen I think the Peugeot 208 will be good at all circuits, and we need to take the best out of the car in all conditions. Albatec has experience with the car and I know most of the tracks, so when we arrive at the last race in Latvia I expect our knowledge of each other will be strong enough that we can handle the new track well.
“The biggest challenge will be the high level of competition this year. It’s never easy to win a European championship, but I’m sure if all of us in the team are working hard it will not be easy to beat us. Of course the target is to win races and the championship again, but I know the target and ambition to win is much easier than it is to get results on the tracks, so we need to work hard.”