After a disastrous first round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill earlier this month, a terrible end result at X-Games Brazil last week weekend and problems galore on the first day in Portugal, Liam Doran turned it all around to finish second in his semi-final and win the event.
Clutch problems caused Doran to miss heat one altogether yesterday, issues that arose again in practice on Sunday morning, almost causing Doran to miss another heat. A series of consistent times over heats two, three and four ensured Doran was well in the semi-finals. Two brilliant starts in both his semi-final and final meant he was right at the sharp end when it counted.
“I drove my heart out today.” Said Doran. “The car didn’t want to go as fast as I made it go, so I think it’s pretty upset with me now. It’s a brilliant result for my new team and after a terrible start to the year we are really showing what we can do!”
Mats Lysen didn’t have a bad weekend at Lydden, he wasn’t even able to race. With his new car still unfinished, Lysen brought his old Clio to Portugal and was consistently fast though the heats to be right up there in the semi-final and final. Not only was it an impressive result for Lysen, more so since he hasn’t properly driven a car in anger since last September.
“I’m really pleased with the weekend. Petter was really fast and I tried hard to catch Liam but he was a bit too quick. I think we will use the old car in Hungary, the car was quick there last year so it can be again I’m sure.” Said Lysen.
Like Doran, Petter Solberg had a pretty awful event at Lydden Hill. He started Portugal running, fastest in practice and the first two heats it looked like Solbergs weekend. Heat three was less successful setting seventh fastest time, and failure to start heat four with an electrical problem was a real low. Back on form in the semi-final, Solberg won at a canter. The final didn’t quite go the same way for the WRC star though.
“It’s been an up and down weekend.” Said Solberg. “I jumped the start in the final, I made a mistake with the button on the dash so I had to do the joker twice. Believe me I was trying. With another couple of laps I think I could have come out in the lead twice after taking the joker. This podium is really good and we will be much faster again in Hungary.”
The official event report can be found here, and an in-depth review of the event to follow on rallycrossworld.com.
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