THORNE LANDS OLS­BERGS FORD Up-and-com­ing racer gets top Fi­esta for UK at­tack

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Hal Ridge Pho­tos: fi­a­worl­dral­ly­

Devon driver Jack Thorne will com­pete in the Bri­tish Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship this sea­son in an Ols­bergsmse-built Ford Fi­esta Supercar.

The 20-year-old for­mer Bri­tish Su­per1600 cham­pion made his Supercar de­but at the fi­nal round of the BTRDA Club­mans cham­pi­onship at Croft last Novem­ber in a Ford Fo­cus. He fin­ished se­cond.

The Ford Fi­esta he will drive this year was used by Max Pucher in 2014 and run by Pucher’s World RX Team Aus­tria squad for Aus­trian rally driver Chris Brug­ger at the Cana­dian and Nor­we­gian rounds of the World Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship last sea­son.

“The Ford Fo­cus I used at the end of last year was al­ways go­ing to be a step­ping stone to see if I liked Su­per­cars,” said Thorne. “I loved it, so we’ve bought some­thing a lot more mod­ern. We’re go­ing to do the full Bri­tish cham­pi­onship and hope­fully a one-off round of the world cham­pi­onship if we can, but our fo­cus is on the UK cham­pi­onship this sea­son.”

Thorne had hoped to test the Ford Fi­esta prior to the open­ing round of Bri­tish RX at Croft on March 6, but de­lays in re­ceiv­ing the car mean that he will first drive it prop­erly at the open­ing round of the se­ries.

“There were some de­lays get­ting the car over here be­cause of all the snow in Aus­tria, so now we’re just go­ing to fo­cus on get­ting it ready for Croft,” he ex­plained.

De­spite the upgrade in ma­chin­ery and his pace shown in the Su­per1600 cat­e­gory, Thorne says that 2016 will be a learn­ing year for him and his team.

“This year will be a steep learn­ing curve for me, my dad and the me­chan­ics that come with us,” said Thorne. “I’m not go­ing to go and pot­ter around at the back, that’s not me. I’ll be hop­ing to win, but we’ll just do the best we can all the time and see how things go. We have a lot to learn, I know that. The whole point in up­grad­ing to this car is to be com­pet­i­tive and hope­fully in the com­ing years I will do some Euro­pean and world cham­pi­onship rounds. That’s the plan.”

Thorne will han­dle this Ford Fi­esta Supercar Thorne: UK ti­tle aim

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