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04 Jun 2013

RX: Salo testing 208 SuperCar

Category: Miscellaneous, News Posted 04.06.13 12:15 by

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo: “This is just so much fun, I can’t stop smiling. And you never know maybe I’ll be out in a Rallycross event this year, you never know.”

 

Former Ferrari F1 racer Mika Salo joined Albatec Racing in a private test at the Premier Park, Porvoo on Monday 3 June. Piloting Andy Scott’s 600bhp, two-litre, 16V, four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208, the Finn joined Scott and the rest of the Albatec Racing team as it prepares for round four of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Kouvola, Finland this weekend.
Flying in from racing at Silverstone on Sunday, the Ferrari-contracted driver took the wheel of the #26 Albatec Peugeot 208, which was recently rebuilt after its latest outing in the third round of the re-branded RallycrossRX, at Nyirád, Hungary.

After a brief shakedown by Team Principal Scott, Salo completed several runs around the challenging purpose-built Rallycross course at the Rudus facility located 35kms from Helsinki, and treated some Finnish media to the ride of a lifetime, as passenger in the French powerhouse. Boasting a successful career in British Formula 3, before making his Grand Prix debut in 1994, Salo is unquestionably among Finland’s finest exports. With 109 Grands Prix to his credit, together with GT2 class victory in the 2008 and 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, Salo is also no stranger to Rallycross, having contested a round of the Finnish championship in 2011. This however, was his first taste of the latest spec SuperCar, as he powered his way round the one kilometre track, and was delighted with his experience.

 

Mika Salo:

“The car looks nice, it’s well prepared and I was surprised how easy it is to drive. I took a little bit of time to know the engine, where the power band is to keep the turbo boost up, but that was all. It handles so nicely; it goes exactly where it should, when I want to go left it goes left. But the best part is without doubt the start, it’s amazing, it’s just really good. The start should be like that in every racing car. It’s hard to compare F1 to SuperCar, they’re very different – this car is so easy to control and easy to drive, but it’s the same with both, you just need to learn your car and take it to the limit. But this is just so much fun, I can’t stop smiling. And you never know maybe I’ll be out in a Rallycross event this year, you never know.”

 

Andy Scott, Team Principal and driver Albatec Racing #26:

“Mika has been fantastic, he jumped in the car and was completely at home in it on the first lap, he was throwing it round like he’d been driving it all his life. I think he’s enjoyed it. Obviously Mika has a world-class reputation and he’s got a passion for fast cars so it was good to hear his opinion after he got out of the car. He brought along his young protégé Joni Wiman and gave him a run through as a passenger, and we’ll be inviting them along to a test with us at a real Rallycross circuit. The car is in good shape, it’s the first time we’ve run the car in warm temperature and so far everything is OK so it’s acting as a good shakedown for the race this weekend in Finland.”

 

Marc Laboulle, Team Manager Albatec Racing:

“It’s always an important day when you have a driver such as Mika Salo in your car. And we’re very pleased that he had such a great day and enjoyed the experience, which is the best compliment we could have. It’s very good for Rallycross to have guys like that, very good for Albatec Racing for sure and it was a pleasure to come to Finland, where we had good weather, everyone was very helpful, and everything went to plan.”