DO­RAN LANDS MINI DRIVE FOR WRX Euro­pean round win­ner set for full world cam­paign in 2016 HAL RIDGE

“Elec­tric dream should be ad­dressed” ”

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Hal Ridge Pho­tos: Hal Ridge and Jack Flash Pho­tog­ra­phy

Lead­ing Bri­tish ral­ly­cross driver Liam Do­ran will con­test the FIA World Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship this sea­son in a JRM Rac­ing Mini RX Supercar.

Do­ran has raced a Citroen DS 3 in re­cent sea­sons, run by his own LD Mo­tor­sports team, but told MN at Christ­mas that he was seek­ing to drive for a dif­fer­ent team in the 2016 sea­son.

JRM Rac­ing em­barked on run­ning the Mini RX Supercar last year, and made a num­ber of ap­pear­ances through the cam­paign with var­i­ous driv­ers. Dou­ble Bri­tish Rally cham­pion Guy Wilks scored the squad’s best re­sult by fin­ish­ing sixth at Ly­d­den Hill. The team will en­ter Do­ran as a sin­gle en­trant in World RX.

“This is some­thing I’ve been work­ing to­wards for the last cou­ple of years – be­ing able to go at the cham­pi­onship pro­fes­sion­ally as a driver with a ca­pa­ble and suc­cess­ful team,” said Do­ran. “It’s ex­cit­ing for me to have the chance to do that. I know I can just do the driv­ing in 2016. That’s the most im­por­tant part for me.”

Do­ran won a num­ber of Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship events be­fore the sport grew to a World Cham­pi­onship, but has strug­gled in the last two sea­sons, of­ten due to poor re­li­a­bil­ity. He does have pre­vi­ous form with a Mini ral­ly­cross car, and won his se­cond X Games gold medal in Mu­nich, Ger­many in 2013 driv­ing a sim­i­lar car.

“One of the main rea­sons for this whole deal hap­pen­ing is be­cause the car is what it is

Fol­low­ing the Schu­macher-mur­phy show­stop­per in 1973, Funny Cars re­ally did be­come all the rage at Santa Pod. The man­age­ment’s pol­icy of im­port­ing the pre­vi­ous sea­son’s top Amer­i­can Fun­nies and book­ing their driv­ers to pi­lot them ini­tially, be­fore pass­ing them on to home-based teams, brought both star names from the States and a grow­ing num­ber of Euro­pean en­tries to the track.

The high point oc­curred at Septem­ber 1980’s in­ter­na­tional meet­ing when a 16-car ni­tro field was as­sem­bled for the first and only time in Europe’s drag rac­ing his­tory. Rac­ers from Bri­tain and Scan­di­navia faced top Amer­i­cans Gene Snow, Tom Hoover, Har­lan Thomp­son and – the real coup – the four-time NHRA cham­pion Don Prudhomme. Thomp­son, who would be­come a Santa Pod reg­u­lar, was the event win­ner.

Do­ran strug­gled through­out 2015

Prudhomme was one of the top US driv­ers to visit the UK

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