Fight for ti­tle goes on de­spite fire set­back

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport All The Week’s Ac­tion... - By Dan Wright

Nathan Heath­cote thinks this year’s Bri­tish Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship Su­per­car ti­tle could be any­one’s af­ter a dra­matic week­end at Mon­dello Park in Ire­land.

The Pluck­ley racer, 20, was set to win his semi-fi­nal in round four on Satur­day when a fire in his Citroen DS3 Su­per­car forced him to re­tire from the lead.

But the reign­ing Swift Sport Ral­ly­cross cham­pion bounced back at the next round on Sun­day, bor­row­ing Pat Doran’s DS3 to take fourth place in the fi­nal and climb up the cham­pi­onship or­der.

Heath­cote said: “It was go­ing so well on Satur­day and then it just all went wrong.

“Pat de­cided I would be more com­pet­i­tive on Sun­day and it was de­cent of him to give me his car.

“I came away with some good points and the cham­pi­onship could still be any­one’s – I just need to keep be­ing con­sis­tent.”

Heath­cote now sits fifth in the stand­ings – 33 points be­hind se­ries leader Ju­lian God­frey, who won both events at Mon­dello. “I was gut­ted af­ter the semi-fi­nal on Satur­day,” Heath­cote added.

“The car felt great and we were set­ting the pace un­til a small leak from the en­gine caused a fire and ended it. I didn’t re­alise it was on fire un­til the team came on the ra­dio and, be­cause there was too much dam­age, they de­cided not to use the car on Sun­day.”

Heath­cote was set for a podium fin­ish on Sun­day be­fore a small mis­take on the joker lap exit al­lowed Ir­ish­man Derek To­hill through.

Heath­cote said: “The mis­take cost me a podium fin­ish which was an­noy­ing but I have still come away with some de­cent points.

“I would like to get a podium at the next round at Ly­d­den but I haven’t driven the DS3 there be­fore.

“There are still four rounds left and I am still fight­ing for the cham­pi­onship.”

Round six of the Bri­tish Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship will be held at Ly­d­den Hill on Au­gust 28, Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day.

Pic­ture: Matt Bris­tow

Nathan Heath­cote in ac­tion at Mon­dello Park in Ire­land

Pic­ture: Si­mon Hil­drew FM4862192

Bradley Ray (No. 28) fin­ished eighth and 10th in the BSB races

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