Media Release: Andy Scott Scores French Hat-trick On Lohéac Debut
Lohéac, Brittany (France) – Sunday, September 2, 2012; Andy Scott delivered a dominant performance on his debut at Rallycross de Lohéac 2012, battling back after an opening heat puncture to take three consecutive race wins, in heat two, heat three and the B Final, before finishing sixth in the Final against Europe’s elite.
For Scott, the 37th running of Rallycross de Lohéac brought a weekend of firsts, including learning the challenging circuit for the first time complete with joker lap, while adjusting to running the 550bhp Ford Focus ST T16 4x4 on the Kumho controlled tyre.
Ready for his latest challenge, the Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal and Global Rallycross pilot quickly adapted to the new conditions to consistently feature as the fastest Ford, and only GB entry, throughout the two-day event which attracted over 40,000 spectators.
Free practice offered Scott the first chance to learn the circuit and adjust to the car’s handling on new tyres, before heading in to the official timed session. Getting a better feel for the Ford and the 1070-metre course with every lap, Scott clocked-in ninth fastest amid the closely matched field with a time of 39.531 seconds. A left front puncture, however, ruined the Scotsman’s race chances on lap two of the opening heat on Saturday, forcing immediate retirement.
Scott bounced back in convincing style by taking his first race win around the Circuit de Lohéac from grid five, leaving him sixth overall after the second stage heats. Lining up third on the grid for heat three, the FIA European Rallycross podium winner put in another storming show to deliver his double win of the day, the lights-to-flag victory placing him fourth of the 20-strong Supercar field and seventh overall.
Lining up on pole position for the six-lap B Final on awesome form, Scott powered the Scott Trawlers Ford Focus to victory once again. With just two drivers set to go through to the all-important A Final, Scott navigated his way through the expected first corner chaos to seal his third consecutive win by over 3.6 seconds and graduate in style to the Final showdown.
Eight Supercars were set for the last battle of the weekend, with Scott starting from a mid-back row grid slot of seventh. Clean away, the Tony Bardy Motorsport-prepared Ford Focus ST immediately moved up to sixth as the fiercely competitive gaggle jostled for position into turn one and, while there was contact further up the pack, Scott steered clear to score an impressive sixth-place finish.
Buoyed by an unbelievable reception from the massive crowd attending arguably Europe’s biggest rallycross event, Scott relished the opportunity to entertain the French fans further at the wheel of the most successful Supercar of its era, the Peugeot 306. Staging two special demonstration runs on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Scott put on an enthralling show of car control aboard his former MSA British Rallycross Championship race-winning and ex Will-Gollop car.
“My Rallycross de Lohéac debut has been a great experience,” said Scott. “The French crowd couldn’t have been more welcoming and the competition was tough. To take three race wins at this famous event means a lot and although I wasn’t able to make any further progress in the Final I’m really pleased with the result.
“The biggest learning curve wasn’t so much learning the circuit but adapting to the Ford Focus ST on the Kumho controlled tyre. I had to change my driving style to limit sliding through the corners and if anything I pushed a bit too hard in the Final, but it’s been a valuable exercise.
“Driving my Peugeot 306 in front of such an overwhelming crowd was unbelievable, it topped off a great weekend.”
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