LYDDEN MEMORIES Waiting for a home success
Ekstrom the form man for 2016
No British driver has won the UK round of the World Rallycross Championship.
You need to go all the way back to 1994 to find the last Brit to win at home in the European Rallycross Championship. On June 19, 1994, Nick Jones won the Division 1 (Group N) final driving a Ford Escort, while Northern Irishman John Haffey also claimed the 1400 Cup victory at the event at Croft in a Suzuki Swift.
Today, Jones works for the JRM Racing team, the British squad for which Liam Doran drives. Doran, son of multiple British Rallycross champion Pat, is one of those home drivers with aspirations of a strong result this weekend. Doran has teamed up with JRM for 2016 and has already qualified for only his second ever World RX final at Hockenheim earlier this month. The semi-final win that took him there was the first recorded by a Brit.
To date, the JRM machine has been fitted with a 1600cc Wrc-derived engine, but plans are afoot to fit a brand new two-litre unit in time for round four at Lydden, a track that Doran knows better than any of the other permanent drivers in World RX.
A year ago, it was Guy Wilks driving a JRM Mini at his home event; the double British Rally champion made his rallycross debut and got to the final. Wilks will compete in an Olsbergsmse-run Ford Fiesta, the same car that carried fellow Francois Duval to fifth place in the Belgian round of the series recently.
The only British driver to take a World RX podium so far is Andrew Jordan, also driving an OMSE Fiesta at Lydden in 2014. The former British Touring Car champion is also the only Brit to set a fastest qualifying time in the series (at Lydden last year in a Peugeot 208), but will miss his home event this season.
Record-breaking five-time British Rallycross champion Julian Godfrey will race his Mk6 version of the Ford Fiesta at the event, while Irishman Derek Tohill will compete in an EX-OMSE Fiesta, now run by his own team.
Tohill acquired the car at the end of last year and raced it at the first round of the European Championship in Belgium. The former Touringcar champion has won at Lydden before, in the rear-drive category in 2010 and 2013, but is treating the British round of World RX as an experiencebuilding exercise to better his chances in Euro RX this season. In the RX Lites category, current British Rallycross Championship leader Dan Rooke will make his international debut, swapping his usual LD Motorsports-run Citroen DS 3 Supercar for a single-make RX Lites machine run by OMSE at the event.