Press Release – February 10, 2016
Dumfries rallycross squad Albatec Racing has announced the first of its plans for 2016, with the news that James Grint will stay with the team and contest the full MSA British Rallycross Championship. The 25 year-old Hertfordshire driver will pilot one of the team’s two-litre, 16v Peugeot 208 Supercars in the eight-round series, which kicks off at Croft, North Yorkshire on Sunday 6 March.
After an incredibly busy 2015 that saw the Andy Scott led team complete 17 Supercar events, (27 individual races across both Peugeot 208s), eight RX150 outings, and one kart race, as well as numerous test sessions, and the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed, the team racked up the miles both on and off the track. Now the team has set its sights very much on claiming the British RX title so narrowly missed last year, when Team Principal Andy lost out at the very last round.
James burst onto the rallycross scene racing RX150 buggies in 2013, before having his first test in a 600bhp Supercar at Dreux, France, joining former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve and the Albatec team. Last season James made his Supercar debut in the British series at Pembrey, before embarking on an ambitious Euro RX programme alongside Jérôme Grosset-Janin, crowned Vice-Champion, where the Briton secured three semi finals places.
Bringing British RX into line with the FIA World Rallycross Championship this year, a revised event format will see competitors contest three heats with the top sixteen at the end of the heat stages, now called the Intermediate Classification, divided into two eight-car semi-finals. The top four from each semi-final will qualify for the eight-car final.
The full MSA British Rallycross Championship dates are: 6 March Croft; 28 March Lydden Hill; 2 May Pembrey; 29 May Lydden Hill; 17 July Maasmechelen; 29 August Lydden Hill; 25 September Pembrey; 22 October Croft.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :
“I’m delighted to welcome James back into the team for a second season. There’s no doubt that consistency is important for both team and driver, and I’m certain there’s a lot more to come from him. He proved last season that he could mix it with the front runners, gaining three semi-final places in Europe, as well as putting on a pretty impressive show in his very first event at Pembrey.
“His previous rally experience meant he was very quickly up to speed on the gravel aspect of rallycross tracks, and he’s done some driving this year which he feels will help him on the tarmac sections too, so car and driver look a good prospect for a potential title-winning combination.”
James Grint, driver Albatec Racing :
“I’m really excited to be staying with Albatec in 2016. I’ve known the team for a while now and I’ve got two amazing mechanics, who I get on very well with, and I trust implicitly which I think is one of the most important things a driver needs to have in his team, complete confidence in his car and crew. My engineer is also incredibly clever, he’s engineered cars for some of the biggest names in motorsport and is constantly working to improve the setup and the car itself.
“And of course behind every successful team is a great team boss, and Andy is brilliant. He’s always on hand to talk strategy and all kinds of important racing stuff, but he will also pick up a spanner or a welding torch to help get the car on track if needed.
“My initial plan was to do the British and European championships. The British championship means a lot to both me and my sponsors so it was a deciding factor, and although I haven’t quite got the budget to do both right now, I’ll be working hard to top up the calendar with some Euro RX races.
“It looks like it will be a very fair and professional championship this season, and bringing it into line with the format of World RX, plus having Tim Whittington as race director should make the events run perfectly. Although I’m still a relative newcomer to rallycross compared to the rest of the supercar drivers in Britain, I think with the Albatec car being as fast as it is I should be a championship contender for sure.”