BRITISH RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP O’DONOVAN OVERCOMES BROKEN POWER STEERING
Organiser: BARC/ LHRC Starters: 70 When: October 22
With the title already sewn up by Dan Rooke a round early, the main focus at Croft last Saturday was on the fight for second in the championship table between rivals Julian Godfrey, Dave Bellerby and Ollie O’donovan.
Using the Ford Fiesta he has raced in the European Championship this season, 2007 title-holder O’donovan took the lead of the final on lap one with a committed move around the outside of the pack at the first corner.
Outgoing champion Godfrey pushed O’donovan hard in the opening laps, the Irish driver slowed by broken power steering and being forced to change the car’s direction using the throttle in long corners and the handbrake in the tighter turns. The final took three attempts to get underway, and having survived all three attempts at the first corner, Steve Harris was third on lap one, before dropping down the order as his LD Motorsports team-mate Pat Doran climbed into the last podium position.
O’donovan held on to claim victory, elevating him to second in the final standings, with third best going to Godfrey, the first season in his Supercar career that the engineer hasn’t won the title.
“The final was hard work,” said O’donovan. “I could hardly steer the car. The chicane onto the loose was the worst because I knew if I got too sideways I wouldn’t be able to get her back, but I’m really happy to have won the last round.”
Tony Lynch won the Supernational final ahead of title-rival Guy Corner to secure the championship at his second attempt. Devon racer Allan Tapscott completed the podium. Tom Llewellin, son of double British Rally champion Dai Llewellin, scored his fourth win from four starts in Junior Rallycross, finishing ahead of Tom Constantine. Constantine did all he could to take the title away from points-leader Sam Jones at the last round, but fourth in the final was enough for Jones to earn the crown.
Nathan Heathcote claimed the Swift Sport category crown with victory at Croft and Michael Boak scored his first Super1600 victory in the category for European Championship-eligible frontwheel-drive cars. Second was enough for Paul Coney to beat Tristan Ovenden to the Super1600 championship. British F4 racer Jamie Caroline made his rallycross debut in the RX150 buggy division and led the final into the first corner but dropped to third by the finish as champion Chrissy Palmer completed his clean sweep of victories for the season. Martin Hawkes claimed a maiden win in the BMW Mini final.
1 Ollie O’donovan (Ford Fiesta) 4m27.320; 2 Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) +0.838s; 3 Pat Doran (Citroen C4); 4 Dave Bellerby (Ford Fiesta); 5 Kevin Procter (Ford Fiesta); 6 Tony Bardy (Ford Focus).
1 Tony Lynch (Ford Ka) 4m59.305s; 2 Guy Corner (Peugeot 206) +0.699s; 3 Allan Tapscott (Vauxhall Corsa); 4 David Ewin (Ford Fiesta); 5 Vince Bristow (BMW 318); 6 Joe Cunningham (Vauxhall VX220). BMW Mini (6 laps) RX150 (6 laps) Super1600 (6 laps)