Kris Meeke has tested an Albatec Racing Peugeot 208 Supercar at Loheac today and will race with the team in the seventh round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at the French track at the end of August.
Recently announced as a Citroen driver for Rally Finland, Meeke will join Albatec as the team returns to a full strength of two cars and will race alongside lead driver Andy Scott at Loheac.
“I’m blown away, I don’t think I’ve ever driven a Supercar with this amount of horsepower, it’s just incredible. There are so many things to learn, the tyres are different to what I use in rally, they’re so much softer to generate traction from a standing start but with not as much longitudinal grip as we have in rallies. And to have all that horsepower and try to manage it is just, well incredible,” said Meeke after his test in the 208. “I have experience of the new 208 T16 rally car, and there are obviously similar comparisons, but widely different in the same respect. With over 2.5 times the power than I’m used to, 600bhp is the biggest factor. It’s new to me of course, with so much to learn here, a new track, the conditions, the car, and the engineers, but if you give any driver 600bhp, a steering wheel and pedals they’re going to jump at it. As much as we can test though I don’t think anything can prepare you for the race, although I have some experience of that extra dimension of others around you. Naturally driving with Andy and the Albatec team ties in perfectly with my testing role with PSA Peugeot and Citröen, and racing in Lohéac gives me the perfect chance to put myself up against the best in the business in one of the best cars in the business.”
Meek has a career CV as long as your arm, but rallycross has only figured in it once before. Back in 2008 he raced an RX150 ‘buggy’ at Croft, beating a good field of regular competitors to win the event. On that day, Meeke was not shy of going wheel-to-wheel with some tough rivals, and among those he beat was Albatec team boss Scott.
Scott said the deal to put Meeke into the sceond 208 came about after the Ulsterman was part of the commentary team for the RallycrossRX event in Finland in June. “We met Kris when he came to Finland helping Andrew Coley with the TV commentary and I was pondering what would be the destiny of the second car. So we had some initial discussions with him and there was obviously a will and a determination by him to drive at some point. I’m privileged and honoured that a driver of his calibre and reputation has agreed to join us today, I’m sure his experience will help with the development of the car while naturally allowing him some crucial track time in preparation of his RallycrossRX debut with us in Loheac.”
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