Lydden Hill was home this weekend to the opening round of the 2021 Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy, as presented by Cooper Tires. All the ingredients for a great day were there on Saturday, top drivers, fantastic cars, lovely weather and most of all….. Spectators and with over a 100 entries they were in for a great day of action.
The Supercar field comprised of 11 entries for the first round and after some frantic action during the three heats the reigning champion Mark Donnelly in his Citroen DS3 was again heading the pack with Julian Godfrey in his Ford Fiesta close behind.
The first semi final of the day saw Mark Donnelly take the first place but alas he was not to go on and complete a single lap of the final due to some damage inflicted on his car during the semi final. Ollie O’Donovan and his Ford Fiesta took second place with Derek Tohill taking the third spot.
The second semi final went to Julian Godfrey with Tristan Ovenden in his Citroen DS3 taking second spot and Roberts Vitols claiming the third place. The final saw an amazing drive by the 17 year old Roberts Vitols in his maiden Supercar outing, as he eventually took first place ahead of ex champion Ollie O’Donovan. Tristan Ovenden took third place.
POS NO NAME LAP 1 LAP 2 LAP 3 LAP 4 LAP 5 LAP 6
1 126 Roberts VITOLS Citroen C4 51.616 42.279 42.641 42.680 42.773 42.841
2 2 Ollie O’DONOVAN Ford Fiesta 46.294 42.675 42.802 48.045 43.029 43.349
3 72 Tristan OVENDEN Citroen DS3 47.518 48.575 42.561 43.156 43.172 42.965
4 111 Derek TOHILL Ford Fiesta MK.7 47.885 44.378 44.090 48.681 44.983 43.913
5 69 Michael SELLAR Citroen DS3 55.656 44.800 44.973 45.131 45.268 44.915
6 100 Connor MCCLOSKEY Ford Focus 52.611 42.841 42.680 47.816 47.707 47.975
DNF 20 Julian GODFREY Ford Fiesta 46.946 45.578 – – – – 1:32.524 37
DNF 1 Mark DONNELLY Citroen DS3 —— 37
Jason Bleasdale brought his stunning Vauxhall VX220 home in first place after Slawomir Woloch (BMW M3), who crossed the line first, had a five second penalty applied for gaining an unfair advantage. Newcomer Ludo Hermans (Volvo S40) just got ahead of Woloch who completed the top three. Reigning champion Paige Bellerby (Lotus Exige) sadly didn’t complete any of her qualifying heats after an engine issue in practice necessitated a new motor being installed.
The under 17s produced one of the best battles of the day with every driver in podium contention at times throughout the race. Owen Robbins put aside a roll earlier in the day to surge through at the mid-point as fastest car on track and claim victory. Finley Scott and Max Langmaid were door-to-door with Corey Padgett who finished third, while Will Ovenden claimed second.
An epic close battle saw Luke Constantine win his debut senior Swift Sport event but was pushed hard by James Chisman, the pair side-by-side on the final lap. Max Weatherley was close behind in third.
Steve Harris took the lead at the start in his Ford RS200 Evo followed by Derrick Jobb (Ford Escort) and Andy Grant (Ford Focus). Grant had surged through the pack having started from the back of the grid after a jump start, passed Jobb then pressured Harris, taking the lead at the mid-point down Hairy Hill to take victory. Harris crossed the line second with Bradley Sampson (Mitsubishi Evo X) third.
John Cross led the final from start to finish in his Lancia Stratos, ahead of the full-race close battling Barry Stewart (Porsche 911) and Jos Sterkens (Ford Escort). 2020 champion Vince Bristow finished fourth in his mighty BMW.
Terry Moore (Austin Mini) took victory in Retro Rallycross beating off a challenge from Tony Lynch and Steve Cozens. Cozens (Citroen AX) initially failed to get off the line but overcame his poor start and was quickly on the tail of leader Lynch (Toyota MR2) and Moore up front. Moore took the lead into Paddock Bend and pulled away to win comfortably at the flag.
BMW Mini RX
Dave Bellerby made good his promise to daughter Drew to look after her BMW Mini, and capitalised on his experience to take victory in the Final. Starting from the outside of the front row, he took an early joker and when long time race leader Bradley Turner took his, the former Supercar racer got the undercut to come out on top, with Ben Sayer finishing third.
Reigning BMW Mini RX champion David Bell took advantage of the best start in the first ever four-wheel drive All4 Super Mini final. Martin Hawkes benefitted from Bell’s joker but wasn’t able to hold him off and had to settle for second with Adrian Turner in third.
Pole sitter Darren Scott saw his hopes of victory end with a broken oil temperature sensor on his Citroen C2 even before the start. Belgian Nick Snoeys leapt into an immediate lead in his Ford Ka, as 2019 champion Craig Lomax went for the joker lap. Phil Chicken making a return to the class brought his Citroen C2 home third, behind Lomax and winner Snoeys.
Patrick O’Donovan dominated, leading all but one lap when James Laverty took advantage of the 17 year old’s early joker lap. Billy Alexander claimed third with Ewan McGuinness just two-tenths off his first podium finish. Marc Scott and reigning champion Stephen Jones both suffered mechanical issues.
Electro Rallycross Championship
Hal Ridge initially led the field of all-electric Fiat 500es, from Tomasz Wielgosz and Daniel Welch. The joker-less five lap race ultimately went to Welch in the final stages after a close battle between the trio with Ridge rounding out the podium.
The next round of the BRX is at Lydden Hill on Monday 31st may 2021
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