An end and a beginning in Britain

by Tim Whittington |

Two days of rallycross at Croft brought the curtain down on the 2014 British Rallycross Championship and included the MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix. The eve of the event had been selected to reveal that the British championship would, from 2015, be run by a new partnership between LHMC and the BARC, the latter the biggest racing club in the UK. Greeted with optimism, the new BritishRX plan should bring needed structure to the series. Further details and the 2015 race schedule are to follow.

The British championship was already the property of Julian Godfrey, for the fourth year in succession, before the final round. Ollie O’Donovan had little bother in winning Saturday’s event on a crisp and clear autumnal day but, along with others, was out of luck in Sunday’s blustery Grand Prix event. Head gasket failure in the second heat put O’Donovan out of the event. A first corner off left Godfrey with steering damage and on the back foot as he sought to recover. Steve Harris’ Focus succumbed to gearbox failure, joining the similar car of Steve Mundy in retirement; engine failure on Saturday ending Mundy’s weekend. Andy Grant’s Focus broke the rear diff, so the event became something of an endurance test. Surviving well, Mark Flaherty rose through the order while Kevin Procter’s new Fiesta, hobbled by a faulty throttle sensor in the first day, finally showed some form late in the second day, but eventually exited the GP final backwards.

After a difficult second day, British champ Godfrey came through to win the GP with two-wheel drive hero Dave Bellerby charging through to fifth place. Between the pair, Steve Hill, who had been fast but typically short of luck all weekend, hauled his broken Mitsubishi home second with Flaherty surviving the ups and downs of the weekend and getting back into the groove to place third. Simon Horton also got the rewards for working hard to keep his Subaru in the event. New British Super1600 champion Jack Thorne was sixth on his 19th birthday.

The weekend itself was well attended, respectable crowds present on both days, although many had drifted away before the end of the GP as a series of incidents and race stoppages delayed the final stages of the event. With the exception of the confusing series of finals, the format of Sunday’s GP, in which all the main British championship categories were mixed together, delivered some good racing; better on the whole than the plethora of classes, some poorly supported, that made up the championship event.





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