9 May 2014
RX: Albatec names Villeneuve stand-in
Davy Jeanney will fill in for the Indianapolis-bound Jacques Villeneuve when the FIA World Rallycross Championship hits Lydden Hill.
Albatec racing has tabbed Davy Jeanney to fill its second Peugeot 208 seat at the Lydden Hill round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
With regular pilot Jacques Villeneuve away contesting the Indy 500 that weekend, Jeanney will join Albatec Racing team principal Andy Scott at the Dumfries-based team's home event, the Autosport World RX of Great Britain, over the weekend of 24-25 May.
The 2010 French Rallycross champion greatly impressed the Albatec team during testing last year, and the team considers the signing of one of the sport's most popular and talented drivers - and one who, pre-season, was tipped as a title challenger for 2014 - as a major coup. Although not an outright winner in 2013, Jeanney racked up six Finals and four podiums from nine European events last season, becoming the only driver to seriously challenge eventual champion Timur Timerzyanov for the title.
Consistency is key in rallycross, not just outright speed, and 28 year-old Jeanney has proved consistently to be among the favourites for race wins. He will join Albatec to pilot the 600bhp two-litre 16v #25 supercar at its 'home' event, at a circuit he knows well and on which he's had considerable success.
“I am delighted to have secured Davy for our home event at Lydden Hill and look forward to welcoming him into the Albatec family,” Scott said, “We have always had a very good relationship with him, so I am extremely happy that he will be joining us and confident that he is strong enough to challenge for a podium finish, if not an outright victory.
“Davy's strengths lie not only in his outright speed, but also his technical knowledge and his cool-headed approach which enables him to consistently run at the front. Hopefully we can offer him the opportunity to kick-start his 2014 season in the best possible way, with a strong performance in front of our home crowd.”
For all his potential, Jeanney is still looking for a first outright win on the world stage, but is happy to take small steps as he steps into the Albatec Peugeot.
“This is not something we have just decided as we always had an interest in Albatec and see the 208 as a good compromise in terms of the length of the car,” he explained, “This is what I like to drive and the technology inside is impressive thanks to the people working at Albatec. I have a really good relationship with Andy as we know each other well since we have been racing against each other for quite a while now - there was really no reason not to join Albatec.
“Lydden Hill is a track that I know very well where I have always had great results so, hopefully, we can get a good result, being in the top five or even a podium is the target for now. For sure, the greatest opposition will come from (Petter) Solberg, Timur (Timerzyanov) and Timmy (Hansen), but I would also expect drivers like (Alexander) Hvaal and (Toomas) Heikkinnen to be really strong.
“Not being able to compete in the whole championship gives me extra motivation, it's like a bonus for me towards next year, and it's giving me a good opportunity to work on getting really good results, I am really going to be 200 per cent committed.”
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