4.10.2015 - Albatec And Sohlberg Denied Turkish Delight In Istanbul
Albatec Racing saw its hopes of securing a place in the semi finals in World RX of Turkey fade despite an entertaining performance by rookie Kristian Sohlberg in Istanbul this weekend. The former World Rally Championship driver demonstrated superb car control aboard his 600bhp two-litre 16v Peugeot 208 RX Supercar as he steadily improved his lap times over the course of the four qualifying heats.
Twelfth fastest overall in heat three moved him up the standings, however a slower final heat time meant the Flying Finn missed out on the top 12 spot by just ten points. Round 11 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy at the stunning Intercity Istanbul Park marked the first World championship event for the Espoo racer, following one-off outings in France and Britain.
Amid a quality field in Turkey, Kristian settled into the groove but a spin while leading Saturday’s heat two, dropped him down the order in the overnight standings. He bounced back with a strong performance and pace in heat three today to elevate him to 16th fastest, but the final race proved not quite quick enough to allow him to continue his upward climb.
The Albatec team now returns to the UK and heads straight to Croft in North Yorkshire for the final round of the British Rallycross Championship in association with the Shannon Group, where Team Principal Andy Scott looks to return to the top step of the podium in his bid to lift the crown.
Andy Scott, Albatec Racing Team Principal:
“The facilities here are great and once again Turkey RX lived up to its reputation. It’s a really good event, with good organisation, and the track was in really good condition. The track was hard even though it rained every night, but it has been made so well that when the racing started it was still hard and good. It was a bit slippery on Saturday though, and quite difficult for Kristian in his first ever World RX event.
“As we saw in his first two races in rallycross, Kristian has the speed to get to the highest level, so we had big expectations for this weekend, to maybe even reach the semi finals. But the beauty of this sport is that you can expect anything in rallycross. Heat one was not so good, and in heat two he had a spin, which lost a lot of time, putting Kristian to the back of the scoreboard.
“This meant he was already facing a tough challenge to progress, but today started really well with 12th overall in heat three. He’s improving all the time, when he got the laps together, the speed was there. So thank you Kristian for all your efforts over the three races, and we hope to see you again in the future doing rallycross with Albatec.”
Kristian Sohlberg, Albatec Racing driver #146:
“A little bit of mixed feelings over the weekend, obviously I’m quite disappointed not to make the semi finals, but what is positive is that I managed to improve my driving over the weekend, which changed the car quite a bit with the set-up from yesterday. But the heat two mistake cost us some valuable points, and maybe a place in the semi finals, but also the heat one drive wasn’t so good.
“At the end of the day though, I’m looking forward to the future. I need to change my driving style to be a little neater and more suitable for rallycross, and we need try different things with the car to suit my driving style. We only had one full day testing, so maybe that was not enough. But all in all, this is the top level of rallycross, the best in the sport, and it’s clear you can’t give any advantage to the other drivers, so it was very much a learning weekend.
“I’d really like to thank Andy and the entire Albatec team for making this race possible for us. We had three races so far this year and improved in every one of them, so I hope to be able to work with the team again and be back in the car as soon as possible.