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Jacques Villeneuve conducted his first proper test in his Albatec Racing run Peugeot 208 at Lydden Hill over the weekend as the French-Canadian began preparations for his 2014 campaign in the all-new FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.

Villeneuve, a former F1 World Champion, Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar star, completed 40 laps round the home of British rallycross to allow the 42-year-old driver vital seat-time to perfect the car’s set-up.

After a debut run in the team’s Supercar in France last month Villeneuve joined British Rallycross Championship teams for the one-day test at Lydden Hill in Kent. A power steering issue early in the day was traced to a faulty component in the power steering pump, but once resolved, the car ran faultlessly completing around 45 miles, with Villeneuve immediately setting an impressive pace.

Martin Anayi, Managing Director of World RX for IMG Motorsport ­– a division of IMG, the global sport, fashion and media company – spoke positively about the latest news from Villeneuve and the Dumfries-based Albatec Racing team.

“I’m pleased to hear that Jacques and the Albatec team had a successful test at Lydden, which will form round two of this year’s Championship,” said Anayi.  “Hopefully this will set a precedent for the remainder of the season which has all the ingredients in place for a memorable inaugural year. Since Jacques confirmed his World RX plans for 2014 earlier this month, we’ve received some fantastic coverage for our Championship from media across the globe.”

Jacques Villenueve added: “It’s been a fun experience working with the team, with Andy who stands out because of his passion for the sport, and in particular the engineers, to get the best out of the 208. You don’t rallycross because of the jet set you do it because of the racing, so now I’m really looking forward to going head-to-head with the other drivers in Portugal.”

Andy Scott, Team Principal at Albatec Racing was delighted with his new team-mate’s performance behind the wheel of the 600bhp Peugeot 208: “As expected, Jacques was immediately fast once we’d addressed the power steering issue this morning, and just got quicker and quicker as the day progressed. We will test again before the season starts, but where and when has not yet been decided.”

The opening round of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship will take place at Montalegre in Portugal over the weekend of 3/4 May, with Villeneuve set to entertain his home fans at Trois-Rivières in Québec on 7/8 August.

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