Heathcote progress halted
Nathan Heathcote fell from first to eighth in the British Rallycross Championship standings after a disastrous event at Lydden Hill on Easter Monday.
The Pluckley racer, 20, led the Supercar class following a stunning debut victory at the Croft circuit last month.
But he suffered mechanical dramas in his Citroen C4 after just three laps of practice at Lydden, dropping him down the championship leaderboard.
He said: “There is not a lot I can take away from Lydden – it definitely did not go my way at all.
“During practice I thought I was going to have a good day as the car was quick.
“But it was just a massive shame as I was hardly able to go out at all.”
Heathcote had set the second best time in practice behind team-mate Warren Scott before gearbox gremlins struck.
The reigning Swift Sport Rallycross champion was forced to sit out the first qualification heat as a result, before his power steering failed in Q2.
Heathcote was one lap from the finish when the leak from the power steering sparked a fire, seriously damaging the wiring loom.
“The team worked as hard as they could and they were trying everything,” Heathcote added.
“But all of the wiring loom was burnt and we just ran out of time.
“It’s onwards and upwards now – I will put Lydden behind me and am looking forward to Pembrey.”
Irishman Ollie O’Donovan climbed from sixth on the grid to win the Supercar class at Lydden and grab the championship lead.
The London-based Ford Focus driver snatched the lead on the final tour when rival Warren Scott, who was slowed by a puncture, took his joker lap.
Former rally driver Oliver Bennett scored his first Supercar podium, finishing 10 seconds behind secondplaced Scott.
Biddenden’s Lee Keeler also competed at Lydden, driving a Citroen Saxo to eighth in his semifinal in the Hot Hatch class.
Round three of the British Rallycross Championship will be held at Pembrey in Wales on June 25.
‘It definitely did not go my way at all’
Pluckley’s Nathan Heathcote endured a tough event at Lydden Hill in his Citroen C4