HOPE-DAVIES OVERTURNS THE DEFICIT FOR TITLE
Organiser: DDMC/ BTRDA When: November 5 Where: Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire Starters: 79.
Welshman Jeff Hope-davies overhauled title rival Brian Hardman to secure the overall BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship crown in the season finale at Croft.
Hardman entered the final round at the head of the overall points, as he had been for much of the season.
But, as Hope-davies qualified on pole position for the Production A final in his Citroen Saxo and finished the race second, a Q3 crash in the Historic class resulted in damage to the front of Hardman’s Ford Escort and he could only finish the final in eighth place.
Supermodified victory in the last domestic rallycross event of the season went the way of Croft local Guy Corner. He passed Belgian veteran Jos Sterkens on the second lap for second, and then passed fast-starter Allan Tapscott for the lead. Vauxhall Corsa driver Tapscott then spun out of contention as a result.
Super1600 racer Michael Boak qualified his Citroen C2 on pole position but dropped to fifth on the opening lap. The Geordie driver passed B final winner Slawomir Woloch on lap two, before gaining another position when Tapscott spun.
As Sterkens hit a course marker right at the finish line, Boak climbed to second and Sterkens finished the race backwards with broken suspension, with the rest of the field forced to take avoiding action. Boak’s team-mate Phil Chicken finished eighth and claimed the Supermodified crown.
Renault Clio racer Eddie Gibbs took the lead of the Production final at the start and headed champion-elect HopeDavies throughout. John Gaskin started on the outside of the front row and challenged for the lead at turn one but spun. He climbed back up the order but removed both himself and Juozas Meskauskas from contention with an exuberant first-corner move on the penultimate tour. Driving a borrowed Citroen Saxo, Dave Martin completed the podium. With Hope-davies taking overall BTRDA honours, sixth for Graham Rumsey was enough for the Saxo racer to take the class title.
British Championship Supercar racer Andy Grant won the Clubman 4x4 (Supercar) final ahead of Roger Thomas, the second-place man making his first appearance in a Ford Focus Supercar and he secured the class title. Mike Manning dived down the inside at turn one to climb to third, but retired with technical problems after being passed by Mad Mark Watson.
Dan Beattie took top Production 4x4 honours in the same race after a frantic battle, as Paul Davis took the title.
As his father had in Clubman 4x4, Michael Grant dominated the Historic final, leading from lights-to-flag with his Ford Fiesta. David Ewin finished second in a rear-wheel-drive version of Ford’s hatchback and celebrated with a spin over the finish line, while 205 campaigner Ryan Stutchbury moved to third when Darren Grimston retired on the loose section with a lap to run. While he missed out on the overall Clubmans title, eighth in the finale was enough for Hardman to take the class crown.
Jaidon Bennett led the Junior final on the opening lap, fending off pressure from James Constantine, but Tom Constantine overhauled the pair to claim victory and the title as Morgan Wroot finished second and James Constantine completed the podium. Steven Bell won the Autocross final.
Hope-davies claimed the BTRDA crown