Albatec and Higgins denied home success at Silverstone

Albatec and Higgins denied home success at Silverstone

27.05.2019: Albatec Racing and Mark Higgins saw their bid to reach the finals of Dayinsure World RX of Great Britain come to an abrupt end after contact in Sunday’s final qualifying race. Re

Albatec Racing and Mark Higgins saw their bid to reach the finals of Dayinsure World RX of Great Britain come to an abrupt end after contact in Sunday’s final qualifying race. Returning to race action for the first time since last November, the reigning British Rallycross Champion made his first appearance of the season at Silverstone’s round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, racing head-to-head with the World RX regulars in the Eddie Stobart NCME-supported Peugeot 208 RX Supercar.



Silverstone’s notoriously challenging jump provided excitement right from the start, a broken driveshaft sustained on landing on the opening lap of Saturday’s first practice sending Mark back to the paddock for repairs. The Albatec team mechanics, and students from the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering at the University of Bolton, did a sterling job to replace it before the second session, when the triple British Rally Champion successfully completed six laps of the Northamptonshire circuit.



After set-up changes prior to Q1 to solve some handling issues, Mark confidently headed into the first of his two qualifying races. Unfortunately, damage was sustained during contact with other cars, which prevented him from showing the speed that netted him the domestic title in only his first season in the sport. The mechanics worked tirelessly to repair the damage to the chassis legs in their efforts to elevate him from his overnight position of P15 ahead of Sunday’s final two races.



A superb performance in Sunday’s Q3, despite a loss of power steering on the last lap, resulted in the ninth fastest overall time, and he went into the fourth and final race knowing a repeat showing was necessary to seal his place in the semis. After a good start, he slotted into the inside into turn one but was squeezed into the tyre barrier, dropping him 13 seconds down the order and ending his weekend.





Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:


“It’s disappointing to have the weekend and our hopes of progressing ended with contact in the final race. It was always going to be a tall order to recover from the damage sustained in the opening two races. Mark as always drove well, in Q3 particularly with some impressive pace that netted a strong overall position.


If we could have repeated that in Q4 we could have had a shot at the finals which was our aim before the weekend. All credit to him, and the team for getting the car repaired and ready so quickly.”





Mark Higgins, Driver #134, Albatec Racing:



“It’s been a frustrating weekend. We were chasing a handling issue on day one and seemed to be getting on top of it for the start of day two. Once this was resolved we seemed to find a lot more pace. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the car and to come back into it at this level with limited preparation was never going to be easy.



“I enjoyed qualifying three and it’s been great being back in the car and with the team. With a little bit more time and preparation, let’s hope for better things next time out.”





Dr Mark Busfield, Director, National Centre for Motorsport Engineering at University of Bolton:

“The weekend has once again proved challenging not just for Mark but for the team and our students from the University of Bolton. We’ve overcome those challenges time and again, however we just couldn’t recover from the issues we had on the opening day. The challenges have allowed the students the opportunity to see first-hand the trials and tribulations of motorsport. We have all enjoyed this experience to race on the World Stage.”





Cathy Metcalfe photos Albatec




Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/albatec-higgins-denies-world-rx-silverstone---191356.html

27.05.2019 / MaP

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