BRITISH RX CHAMPION ROOKE FACING SEASON ON SIDELINES
Financial troubles prohibit title defence following stellar 2016 season
Reigning British Rallycross champion Dan Rooke won’t race a Supercar in the series this season after failing to secure the required budget.
Rooke became the youngest ever British Rallycross champion last season in his first Supercar term. He scored three wins on his way to the title in an LD Motorsports Citroen DS 3.
The 19-year-old had raised about half of the budget needed to defend his crown this season and will instead focus on trying to secure a drive for the future.
“I had an amazing year last year and in a way it’s still unbelievable what we achieved,” said Rooke. “But the reality is that we’ve been struggling to raise the budget for another full season. Because we won the championship in such a strong way last year, we don’t feel that it would be beneficial to my career to enter into the defence of the title and not be in a position to fight for wins and the championship.”
Rooke will remain involved in the sport this year. “I’m in talks about working with a team in World RX and I’m also having discussions about some potential one-off races in rallycross,” he said. “I’m not leaving the sport at all, just trying to make best use of what we have. We’re going to do some karting and autocross to keep me sharp too.”
Rooke won’t return to defend crown