Jacques Villeneuve tested the Peugeot 208 he will race in this year’s FIA World Rallycross championship at Lydden Hill on Saturday.
The 42-year-old 1997 Formula One world champion will drive for Albatec in selected rounds of the new series this year. His turbocharged 208 boasts 600bhp and four-wheel-drive, and boasts F1-like performance in its acceleration to 60mph (96kph).
Villeneuve described Lydden Hill as “fast, a real fun track with quite high speeds”.
“It was great to finally drive on a proper FIA World Rallycross Championship track with a combination of asphalt and gravel,” he said. “It’s a nice circuit, it’s how tracks used to be made as it follows the lay of the land.”
Albatec team principal Andy Scott said it was vital to give Villeneuve maximum time to adjust to a world rallycross car.
“We chose Lydden Hill, the home of rallycross in the UK, as it is the perfect circuit for this, providing a good mixture of challenges, requiring very fast and precise lines and braking points.”
The inaugural World Rallycross Championship begins in Portugal in May. Lydden Hill will host the second round later than month.
The 12-round championship includes races in Canada and Argentina. The series will also visit Istanbul Park, which held F1 races between 2005 and 2011.
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Images © Gary Hawkins