(Press Release) The new-for-2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy has added an ex Formula 1 World Champion to what is an increasingly competitive driver line-up for its inaugural campaign, with Jacques Villeneuve signing up to compete in an Albatec Racing-prepared Peugeot 208.
The 42-year-old has committed to a full season with the Dumfries-based squad, which has experience of fielding ‘big name’ drivers after running FIA World Rally Championship star Kris Meeke at Lohéac in France last year and testing erstwhile Ferrari ace Mika Salo in a private session in Finland.
Villeneuve will pilot one of the team’s fearsomely fast 600bhp Peugeot 208s, and Martin Anayi, Managing Director of FIA World RX for IMG Motorsport – a division of IMG, the global sport, fashion and media company – welcomed the announcement as another major endorsement of the nascent Championship’s burgeoning profile and popularity.
Since hanging up his F1 helmet, Villeneuve has gone on to compete in NASCAR, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Andros Trophy ice-racing series and Australian V8 Supercars.
“I am really looking forward to entering the rallycross arena with Albatec Racing,” said Villeneuve. “With my previous ice-racing experience, I’m excited about driving sideways in a 600bhp, four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208 over the combination of loose and tarmac surfaces, not to mention the jumps. With the added incentive of it being an FIA World Championship, the opportunity was really too good to miss.
“We had a very successful test in France. I was very impressed with the quality of the team, particularly on the engineering side – it reminded me of my time in F1. The car is just so responsive, the power is amazing and with 600bhp to play with, who wouldn’t be excited? I was pleasantly surprised by how reactive the car is to any changes, and I’m very much looking forward to getting into the events.”
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