PR: François Duval battles with the big teams in Mettet!
Albatec headed to Belgium for a rare outing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy this weekend, with former WRC driver François Duval at the wheel of one of the team’s Peugeot 208 RX Supercars. Coyote World RX of Belgium, round four of World RX at Mettet, provided François with the opportunity to race in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, and left the Belgian happy with the pace of the 600bhp Supercar, but disappointed not to reach the semi-finals.
A short test at Chateauroux just before the weekend was François’s first opportunity to drive a Peugeot, but left him confident ahead of the first practice on Friday. Across practice and the four qualifying races, François demonstrated the pace and potential of the two-litre 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, and the team leave Belgium as the highest placed privateer entry.
In the opening two qualifying races François steered the #67 Peugeot to second place in both races, and the 15th fastest overall time. Q3 on Sunday morning pitched him against an incredibly strong line-up, and he ended the session P12 to keep his chances of progressing very much alive. The day’s final race put him P15 overall after a slight stall at the start, and he ended the day just 12 points and three places off a qualifying position.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing:
“It’s been a real pleasure to work with François at his home event. He’s a very professional and fast driver, is very understanding about the Peugeot 208, and drove the car to its maximum potential. We were a little bit unlucky all weekend with our grid positions. Apart for the last heat, where we made a bad start, in the previous three heats we made a good start, but at Mettet it’s always difficult unless you’re on the inside and once you’re round the first corner it’s a very difficult track to come back from.
“The weekend has demonstrated to us that the level in the World Championship is very competitive and across a quality field we posted some really competitive lap times. Unfortunately, we just didn’t get the result to back up the speed and potential of the car and driver. We’re the top privateer European team and only a few seconds and points away from being in the semi-final, so we leave Belgium happy overall with our performance.”
François Duval, Driver Albatec Racing #67:
“The weekend has been pretty good. We tested the car for the very first time just before the weekend in Chateauroux for a few laps and that was quite good. The problem here is that the level of the big, permanent teams is now very, very high but I’m happy. It’s difficult for sure to not reach the semi-finals of course, but the car is quite good, the team is very good, the mechanics, everything, the team is perfect. I’m very happy to have driven with Albatec for the first time this weekend and I hope to drive with them again and try to reach the semi-finals.”