O’Donovan & Kiss win, World RX remains at Montalegre

Fourteen days in rallycross, April 21

by Hal Ridge |

Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Focus) won the second round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill on Easter Monday. O’Donovan started from the back row of the grid in the final but took the lead on the last lap while race leader Warren Scott (Citroen DS3) was in the joker lap section and slowed by a puncture. Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) crashed out of third on the final lap of the race, meaning Oliver Bennett (Ford Fiesta) finished on the podium in his second ever rallycross start. Jake Harris (Citroen DS3) was fourth with Kevin Procter (Ford Fiesta), who had started on pole in fifth, and Godfrey classified sixth. Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) and Mad Mark (Citroen Xsara) were both towed off the grid following problems after an aborted start. Nathan Heathcote (Citroen C4) had a day plagued by mechanical troubles and didn’t qualify for the final.

Paige Bellerby (Lotus Exige) won the Supernational final after leader Tristan Ovenden (Renault Clio) crashed out. Guy Corner (Peugeot 206) was second having repaired his car from a Q3 crash, with Todd Crooks (BMW Mini) third. Tom Llewellin (Suzuki Swift) won his sixth event in a row in the Junior Rallycross Championship final, ahead of Morgan Wroot (Suzuki Swift) and Tom Constantine (Suzuki Swift), while Simon Ovenden won the Swift Sport Championship final. Paul Coney (Vauxhall Corsa) won the amalgamated category for 1600cc front-wheel drive cars. John Ward claimed his first victory in the RX150 final and Barry Stewart (Porsche 911) won the Retro Rallycross Championship final.

The Spencer Sport team had intended to debut its new Mitsubishi Mirage Supercar for James Grint at the Lydden Hill event, but head gasket problems in testing at the circuit on Friday forced the squad to withdraw. “After all the hard work that’s been put in to get to this point, it is of course disappointing to have to take the decision to withdraw from Monday’s event,” said team manager, Charlie Jukes. “However, this is a brand new car with a brand new engine and issues are bound to come to light so early in the development process. But from what we’ve seen so far in testing, we know that the Mirage is going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

Tamas Pal Kiss (Peugeot 208) won the second joint round of the FIA Central European Zone Rallycross Championship and Hungarian Rallycross Championship at Mariapocs. Second to Tamas Karai (Audi A1) at the Intermediate Classification, both drivers won their semi-finals to start from the front row of the final. Kiss passed Karai to claim the lead and ultimately victory, while Max Pucher (Ford Fiesta) was second and Zoltan Vass (Mitsubishi Colt) third. Alois Holler (Ford Focus) was the last of the finishers in fourth, as Attila Mozer (Skoda Fabia) and Karai retired. Janko Wieszt (Renault Twingo) won the Super1600 final in his ex-Set Promotion run car, with Andras Ferjancz (Citroen Saxo) second and Jozsef Moricz (Skoda Fabia) third. Zoltan Koncseg (BMW E46) won the SuperTouringCars +2000 final, Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) yet again won the SuperTouringCars -2000 final and Patrik Kadar (Honda Civic) won the SuperTouringCars -1600 final.

A week earlier, the first round of the Dutch Rallycross Championship took place at the Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard, where without any Supercar competitors it was Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) in the SuperTouringCars + category that claimed top honours. Bert Bosmans (Volvo 242) was second and Stefan Vaesen (BMW E46) completed the podium. Steve Volders (Ford Fiesta) won the SuperTouringCar – final from Glenn Cools (Opel Kadett) and former European Champion Ron Snoeck (Volvo C30). Peter Vingerhoets (Peugeot 206) won the Super1600 final ahead of Pascal Roumans (Ford Fiesta) and Marcel Snoeijers (Renault Megane)

The Montalegre Circuit in Portugal will host a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship until 2022, having signed a new five-year deal with Championship promotors IMG. Montalegre first hosted a round of the European Championship in 2007, and the first ever FIA World RX event was held at the venue in 2014, won by Petter Solberg. “Each year, you can see that we make huge investment with the track and the facilities.  The fantastic environment and setting helps make Montalegre one of the best circuits on the rallycross calendar,” said Mayor of Montalegre, Orlando Alves.

Norwegian drivers Glenn Haug and Thomas Holmen, and Swede Anders Michalak will compete compete in the RX2 International Series in 2017. The re-branded RX Lites Cup will support World RX this season at seven events, beginning at Mettet in Belgium next month. Haug has previously competed in the Super1600 Euro RX championship in a Citroen C2, while Holmen competed raced a Lites car last year. Michalak is a former Swedish hillclimb champion on two wheels and has competed in crosskart for the last three years.

The race format in the Global Rallycross Championship will change for 2017, moving to a more traditional format, with three heats, semi-finals and final. The top four finishers in each semi-final will progress to the final, with remaining competitors taking part in a four-lap last chance qualifier (LCQ), the top two competing the final grid.

« »