As national championships across europe get ready for the new season, the Irish Rallycross Championship has completed its run of winter events and now takes a break until October. The winter season closed with a new winner as Thomas O’Rafferty kept his Fiesta going well throughout the event and, as rivals hit problems, was able to move ahead and collect his first outright victory. O’Rafferty was second in the Supercar final which was won by Derrick Jobb, but when Jobb’s Escort suffered electrical problems at the start of the Superfinal, O’Rafferty seized his chance and went ahead. the Supernational final was won by Keiran Curran (Opel Corsa) but in the Superfinal it was runner-up Pearse Browne (BMW Compact) who came through to lead the chase of O’Rafferty and take second place. Declan Kelly (Fiesta) was third in the Supercar final and the Superfinal, Curran fourth in the Superfinal ahead of Lloyd Spendlove (Lotus Exige) and Declan Nolan (Peugeot 106) who progressed to the last race of the day having won the Stock Hatch 16v A final. Gordon Lynch (BMW 328) had a good run in the event, winning the Supernational B final and placing fifth in the A final. Keith Kerrshaawe (Peugeot 205) won the Stock Hatch A final, Paul Doyle was best of the Honda Civic pack and Jake Dooley (Toyota Starlet) was the Junior winner while patrick Donoghue (Peugeot 205) led the rally car class. the championship recommences on October 19.
While Irish drivers got to race, political squabbling over who should organise, prevented the first round of the Belgian championship from taking place at Maasmechelen in Belgium where rival factions made claim and counter claim as to who should have control over the BRCV, the club that runs events at the Duivelsbergcircuit.
In Sweden, Helmia Motorsport confirmed that Lukas Walfridson will take over its Renault Clio Supercar this year. Multiple Crosskart champion, Walfridson tested the Clio successfully prior to the car being stripped for its winter rebuild. He will tackle a programme of six events, the five-round FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars and his home round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Holjes in Sweden. He will also continue with selected Crosskart events. “Our goal is to be a top three contender in the FIA European Rallycross Championship this season. That is my only ambition and together with my team, I will take on that challenge with great effort and dedication, ” said Walfridson.
At the very beginning of his career, Frenchman Florian Zavattin is to drive in a full season of French championship rallycross in his Division Four Renault Clio. A former rallycross spectator, Zavattin was tempted to try his hand at driving last year. Despite one or two incidents, the bodyshop proprietor is now ready for a full season. “The new regulations will require us to be more reliable and consistent because we drive more during the weekend. It is good for discipline and could allow pilots who have small cars to achieve better performance. The public will also be delighted with this change because there will be more racing and more spectacle,” said Zavattin.
The resurrection of the Circuit de Faleyras continues with plans progressing for its return to the French championship in mid-June. Circuit boss Stephane Zittoun recently told AFOR; “We benefited from the need to renovate the track and have the chance to make an exciting Joker Lap, we recognise the compromise to make a good jump that will be spectacular but not damaging to the cars. We also paid attention to the FIA regulations for the track because we hopes to welcome the European and World championships in the coming years.”
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