Albatec and Cronjé Targeting a Spot in the Semis at World RX of South Africa
Albatec Racing and Mark Cronjé are primed for the final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, Gumtree World RX of South Africa which takes place in Cape Town on 10-12 November. The event marks a welcome return to the World stage for the Dumfries team, but more significantly heralds the long-awaited World RX debut for Pretoria-based Cronjé. Mark made a considerable impression on his first outing with Albatec at Lessay, France where he joined series regular Philippe Maloigne and Team Principal Andy Scott in round eight of Rallycross France. Mark was immediately on the pace in the team’s #124 600bhp Peugeot 208 RX Supercar, capturing two race wins and consistently fast lap times across the weekend however, broken suspension in his semi-final ended his inspired performance.
“Personally, I’m really looking forward to going to Cape Town for World RX of South Africa, and particularly excited to see how Mark fares against world-class opposition," said Team Principal, Andy Scott. He proved in France that he has certainly has the talent and speed behind the wheel, but he also showed a professional approach to rallycross and working within the team environment, so I have every confidence that he will adjust well to World RX.
“I know he’s spent a lot of time getting to grips with the start procedure in rallycross, which was really the only difficulty he faced in France. We have, as always, worked hard to build a car equipped to deliver the results we know he’s capable of. All being well, together we can achieve our aim of reaching the semi-finals.” Next weekend the multiple national champion in rallying, circuit racing and off-road racing is targeting a place in the semi-finals amongst a quality entry at his home event. The new rallycross track at the Killarney International Raceway has been altered slightly since Mark’s introduction to World RX at the pre-season launch. However, his aptitude for learning tracks swiftly was evident in France and should, therefore, pose no real issues when he takes to the circuit for the first time on Friday.
The biggest challenge Mark faced in his first rallycross encounter was adjusting to the different start procedure, where off the grid the start is signaled purely by the green lights, without the traditional red lights widely used in circuit racing. To assist him, Mark has undergone significant practice to enable him to quickly learn the procedure ready for the first qualifying race on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m excited to be racing at World RX of South Africa next week", said Mark Cronjé, Driver for Albatec Racing, "and very much looking forward to racing in front of my home supporters. The rallycross event we did at Lessay was a steep learning curve, but I left France a whole lot wiser than when I arrived. Albatec gave me the perfect introduction into the world of FIA World Rallycross.
“Our outright pace was good, unfortunately the fast pace we had was not transferred into results, but I’ve now got more of an understanding about how rallycross works, in particular how critical the start is. I’ve spent considerable time practicing the starts and four lap stints, to get the precision required to give me the best shot when it comes to the races. Now it’s just a case of rubbing shoulders with the best in the business. Hopefully we have the package to deliver a solid result. I said before I’d like to mix it with some of the best in the world, and getting to the semi-finals is my aim!” Track action at Killarney gets underway at 09.15 on Saturday 11 November, with Q1 from 13.30 and Q2 from 15.50. Two warm-up laps get Sunday’s action started from 09.00, Q3 starts at 10.00, with Q4 at 12.00. The semi-finals take place from 15.00, immediately followed by the Final. All times SAST.