Rooke and Kiss victorious as World RX prepares for season opener

by Hal Ridge |

Supercar graduate Dan Rooke (Citroen DS3) won the second round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill on Easter weekend, driving for the LD Motorsports team. The 2015 Supernational rallycross champion had finished second at the opening round of the series and won round two to move into the lead of the championship. In a final of attrition, Rooke won ahead of Mark Flaherty (Ford Focus) and James Grint (Peugeot 208). Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Focus) had led from the first corner, but was slowed on lap four by turbo charger problems, while pole sitter Kevin Procter (Ford Fiesta) suffered from a holed intercooler, caused by first corner contact. The pair finished fifth and sixth respectively, behind Johnny Verkuringen (Subaru Impreza) who finished fourth as top runner in the Belgian Rallycross Championship, for which the event was also part. Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) was classified seventh following a damaged engine, while Andy Grant (Ford Focus) was also forced to retire.

Liam Doran set fastest times at Lydden Hill but was forced out with broken drive shafts. © Ridge

Stuart Emery (Peugeot 206) won the Supernational final at his home circuit on his return to the category, having missed the opening round at Croft, while Tony Lynch (Ford KA) finished second and Paige Bellerby (Lotus Exige) finished third. The event was a double-header for the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship and it was Sam Jones (Suzuki Swift) who twice took victory to take the championship lead. Nathan Heathcote (Suzuki Swift) won the Swift Sport final, Kasparas Navickas (Skoda Fabia) won in Super1600, Chrissy Palmer beat World RX racer Janis Baumanis in the RX150 final, Ray Morgan (Ford Escort) was victorious in the Retro Rallycross final, Keifer Hudson claimed the BMW Mini division and Tomasz Weilgosz (Peugeot 106) continued his form from 2015 and won in Hot Hatch. In the Belgian-only finals, Dave Van Beers (Renault Clio) won the Supernational -2000 final while Steve Volders (Ford Escort) won the Supernational +2000 final.

James Harrold returned to Retro Rallycross. © Ridge

The second round of the FIA Central European Zone Rallycross Championship and Hungarian Rallycross Championship took place at Mariapocs in Hungary, where Tamas Pal Kiss (Peugeot 208) took his second win of the season in his ex-Team Peugeot-Hansen car. Compatriot Tamas Karai (Audi A1) finished second in the Supercar final, with Austrian Alois Holler (Ford Focus) completing the podium. World RX Team Austria owner and driver Max Pucher (Ford Fiesta) finished fourth ahead of Janko Wieszt (Skoda Fabia) and Zoltan Vass (Mitsubishi Colt). European Championship contender Krisztian Szabo (Skoda Fabia) won the Super1600 final ahead of Josef Susta (Skoda Fabia) and Gergely Marton, who completed an all Skoda podium. Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) won the SuperTouringCar – 2000 and Attila Toth (BMW E36) won the SuperTouringCar + 2000 final.

Kiss won for second time in 2016. © Elias

The organisers of the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Hockenheim ran a test session at the famous German venue on Wednesday to evaluate developments to the dual-surface circuit. A number of World RX teams attended in preparation for the season ahead, including OlsbergsMSE which ran Ford Fiestas for Kevin Eriksson and Niclas Gronholm, Munnich Motorsport which ran an Audi S3 for Rene Munnich and EKS, for which Toomas Heikkinen undertook his first mileage in the team’s Audi S1 Supercar and Mattias Ekstrom gave German television media passenger rides. OMSE also ran RX Lites for Cyril Raymond and Tejas Hirani, while fellow Swedish team JC Race Teknik ran a pair of Lites machines for Sondre Evjen and Joachim Hvaal. Turkish team Toksport were also present with new driver Ayhancan Guven and Set Promotion ran a car for 2015 racer Simon Syversen,

Rene Munnich drove 2015 specification Audi A3. © Ridge

The entry list for the opening round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Montalegre in Portugal was announced on Friday, which includes an impressive 33 entrants in the FIA European Rallycross Championship Super1600 category – a record for the event. In the main World RX Supercar category, the permanent competitors will be joined by Davy Jeanney (Peugeot 208) and Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208) in the Peugeot Hansen Academy team, Andros Trophy champion Jean-Baptiste Duborug in a new DA Racing built Citroen DS3 and Max Pucher (Ford Fiesta) will race a third car for the World RX Team Austria outfit. Joaquim Santos and Bohdan Ludwiczak and both also set to take part.



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