BRITISH RALLYCROSS ROOKE IS KING OF THE HILL – AGAIN HAL RIDGE
Lydden Hill MN’S RALLYCROSS REPORTER “Loeb has the power to draw a audience”
Organiser: BARC/ LHRC When: Starters: 84 August 29
Championship leader Dan Rooke produced yet another exemplary performance to win the sixth round of the British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill and further extend his lead in the points race with two rounds remaining.
Rooke, who suffered a puncture in the opening qualifying race, qualified second at the Intermediate Classification to title-rival Julian Godfrey.
While Godfrey won semi-final one, Rooke stormed to victory in semi-final two to claim pole position for the final with Godfrey alongside and Irishman Ollie O’donovan starting on the outside of the front row.
As the lights went out, Rooke made a good launch but was matched by Godfrey, who tried a move around the outside at turn one.
It didn’t work and the fivetime champion was forced onto the outside of the corner. That allowed Dave Bellerby and Steve Hill up the inside into second and third.
Behind, O’donovan broke a driveshaft in the opening corners after taking the joker lap and dropped to the back.
While Albatec Racing driver James Grint ran fourth on the opening tour, Andy Grant and Pat Doran took their joker lap at the first opportunity and squabbled amongst themselves for the opening laps.
Bellerby was next to take his joker on lap two, returning to the main circuit behind Grint with Hill taking the compulsory extra route on lap three, dropping to fourth in the process.
Leader Rooke had extended his lead to such an advantage by lap four that he was able to take his joker and maintain the advantage at the front.
Grint ran second to Rooke before being passed by Bellerby and then taking his joker lap. With Godfrey up to third, Bellerby’s Ford Fiesta slowed at the Devil’s Elbow on the final tour, the Yorkshireman using all of his experience to hold off Godfrey for the final half-lap and score his best result.
Five seconds up the road, Rooke scored his third victory of the season. “I guess I’ll have to start thinking about the championship now,” said the 19-year-old.
Pat Doran finished fourth with Hill fifth and Grint sixth.
In Supernational, points leader Tony Lynch led Allan Tapscott to score his second victory in a row and extend his lead. Peugeot 206 driver Stuart Emery returned from a cycling related injury to score a home podium. Tom Llewellin claimed his third victory from three starts in the Junior Rallycross Championship with Tom Constantine and Sam Jones third and fourth. Local ace Nathan Heathcote won the Swift Sport category final.