BRI­TISH RX CHAM­PION ROOKE FAC­ING SEASON ON SIDE­LINES

Fi­nan­cial trou­bles pro­hibit ti­tle de­fence fol­low­ing stel­lar 2016 season

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Hal Ridge Photos: Tom Banks, Ken Reay

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

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