LY­D­DEN MEM­O­RIES Wait­ing for a home suc­cess

Ek­strom the form man for 2016

Motor Sport News - - World Rallycross Preview -

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.

Schanche rates Ly­d­den Hill as one of his favourites Ek­strom has taken two wins Jones was the last Bri­tish win­ner, in a Gp N car, back in 1994

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