Rooke gives a mas­ter­class

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

Or­gan­iser: BARC/ LHMC When: July 16/17 Starters: 128

Dan Rooke asked his fa­ther Terry the mo­ment he climbed out of his Citroen DS3 Su­per­car in Bel­gium last week­end: “Did we make it into the 37s?”.

The ris­ing star had just gone un­beaten at the fifth round of the MSA Bri­tish Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship through the whole event; the three qual­i­fy­ing ses­sions, semi­fi­nal and fi­nal, and was feel­ing so com­fort­able on a cir­cuit that he had never seen be­fore that rather than con­sol­i­date his lead in the six-lap fi­nale, Rooke was try­ing to bet­ter his fastest lap of the week­end.

In­ci­den­tally, the sub-38s mark hadn’t been beaten but it mat­tered lit­tle, Rooke headed home five-time Bri­tish cham­pion Ju­lian God­frey and Ol­lie O’dono­van, the Ir­ish driver re­vert­ing to his Ford Fo­cus over the Ford Fi­esta he has been cam­paign­ing re­cently in the Euro­pean Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship.

O’dono­van had fin­ished sec­ond to Rooke at the In­ter­me­di­ate Clas­si­fi­ca­tion but it was God­frey who took the up­per hand over O’dono­van in the first semi-fi­nal to join Rooke on the front row for the fi­nal. As the lights went green, Rooke made the best start with God­frey tuck­ing into sec­ond and O’dono­van slot­ting into third place.

As the lead­ing pair pulled a mar­gin at the head of the field, O’dono­van took his joker lap on the fourth tour and dropped be­hind Pat Do­ran. Rooke, God­frey and Do­ran all saved their com­pul­sory joker un­til the fi­nal lap, Do­ran drop­ping back be­hind O’dono­van to fin­ish fourth while Rooke won his sec­ond round of the year.

“The tight twisty na­ture of this track suited me, it’s very tech­ni­cal,” said Rooke. “I didn’t know what to ex­pect com­ing here at all. I just kept my head down and pushed hard all week­end.”

Bel­gian driv­ers Jos Jansen and Johnny Verkuri­gen rounded out the list of fi­nal fin­ish­ers. The re­sult ex­tends Rooke’s lead over God­frey in the ti­tle race to 21 points.

Tony Lynch won the Su­per­na­tional fi­nal ahead of Guy Cor­ner and Paige Bellerby.

Kris Hud­son won the BMW Mini fi­nal, Gra­ham Rum­sey won in Hot Hatch and Ai­den Hills headed the Swift Sport fi­nal. Paul Coney was top

1 Dan Rooke (Citroen DS3) 3m55.864s; 2 Ju­lian God­frey (Ford Fi­esta) +0.701s; 3 Ol­lie O’dono­van (Ford Fo­cus) +6.402s; 4 Pat Do­ran (Citroen C4) +7.400s; 5 Jos Jansen (Ford Fi­esta) +8.189s; 6 Johnny Verkurin­gen (Subaru Im­preza) +14.090s.

1 Tony Lynch (Ford Ka) 4m16.145s; 2 Guy Cor­ner (Peu­geot 206) +8.805s; 3 Paige Bellerby (Lo­tus Ex­ige); 4 Mike Howlin (Ford Fi­esta); 5 Brian Jukes (Audi TT); 6 Vin­cent Bris­tow (BMW E36). BMW Mini (6 laps) 1 Kris Hud­son 4m27.073s; 2 Keifer Hud­son +6.957s; 3 David Bell; 4 An­drew Hawkes; 5 Martin Hawkes; 6 Frankie Hel­li­well.

1 Gra­ham Rum­sey (Citroen Saxo) 4m43.432s; 2 To­masz Wiel­gosz (Peu­geot 106) +6.679s; 3 Mark Hen­rey (Alfa Romeo 147); 4 Michael Labedz (Citroen Saxo).

1 Peter Vinger­hoets (Peu­geot 206) 4m13.952s; 2 Davy Van Den Bran­den (Citroen DS3) +3.732s; 3 Gerji de Brouwer (Suzuki Swift); 4 Paul Coney (Vaux­hall Corsa); 5 Dennis Re­mans (Ford Fi­esta); 6 Tris­tan Oven­den (Suzuki Swift). Suzuki Swift (6 laps)

Win­ner Dan Rooke ex­tended points ad­van­tage

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