PREVIEW: 2017 British Rallycross Championship – Lydden Hill


Photo Credit: @Rallycrossbrx.com

The 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship heads to Lydden Hill for round two of the championship and the circuit is hosting its first event since the 50th anniversary of the sport back in February.

Despite being new to the Supercar class this season, Nathan Heathcote will be hoping to continue where he left off at Croft and earn himself another victory in the LD Motorsports Citroen C4 where he stunned the field and took the opening victory of the year.

Heathcote won’t have it all his own way this weekend however, with the nine entrants from Croft this weekend being joined by the returning James Grint in a brand-new Spencer Sport ran Mitsubishi Mirage Supercar.

Second placed in the championship Kevin Proctor will be one driver aiming to take top honours this weekend and take the victory in his Ford Fiesta, but drivers such as Ollie O’Donovan; fresh from taking a podium in the European Rallycross Championship at Barcelona and former BTCC racer Warren Scott have both already shown strong pace in the class and will be aiming to take the win this weekend.

Photo Credit: @Rallycrossbrx.com

Scott’s driving was one of the stand out performances from round one in the LD Motorsports Citroen DS3 and looked set to finish strongly in the final had he not unfortunately retired from the race.

Oliver Bennett, another driver to make his Supercar debut last time out, will be aiming to build on a strong fourth place finish at Croft this weekend in the ex-OslbergsMSE Fiesta, while five-time BRX champion Julian Godfrey will be hoping to improve on his fifth place finish a month ago at his local track.

The Supercar category is rounded out by Steve Hill in his unique Mitsubishi Evo 10, Jake Harris in another DS3 who will be hoping to put gearbox issues behind him this weekend and ‘Mad’ Mark Watson in his Citroen Xsara T16.

In the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship, Croft winner Paige Bellerby in her Lotus Exige is set again to battle again with Ash Simpson and Allan Tapscott for top honours in the class this weekend.

Photo Credit: @Rallycrossbrx.com

However drivers such as local to Lydden Hill Tristan Ovenden in his Renault Clio V6 and defending champion Tony Lynch, who is facing a race against time for his Ford Ka to be ready after an engine failure at Croft, are drivers both capable of challenging at the front of the class.

Also taking part this weekend are Steve Cozens in the Citroen AX that took Dan Rooke to his 2015 championship win, Michael Howlin and David Ewin both in Ford Fiesta’s, Todd Crooks in his BMW Mini, Gary Simpson in a BMW E30, Kirk Twyman in another Clio and Malcolm Boyd in his BMW 118.

The Supernational category is completed by Michael Labedz in the third Fiesta in the class and Vincent Bristow in a BMW E36 328.

Tom Llewelin continued his unbeaten run in the sport at the opening round of the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship four weeks ago and will be hoping to keep the record intact this weekend but with drivers such as Tom Constantine and Ole Henry Steinsholt waiting in the wings to take the victory, Llewelin knows he has a fight on his hands.

Former race winner Tom Middleton is another driver who could challenge Llewlin at the front, while the class also sees James Constantine (cousin of Tom), Morgan Wroot and Ethan Rees also compete this weekend.

In the one-make Swift Sport Rallycross Championship, Chris Woollett takes his Croft victory to Lydden this weekend in the hope of making it two wins from two. The 10-car field sees another extremely competitive class, with drivers such as Rob Shield, who enters this weekend after securing the needed budget to compete RX150and Simon Ovenden all capable of beating Woollett to the checkered flag on Bank Holiday Monday.

Also racing this weekend are Don Macleod, Morgan Bailey, Lewis James, Christian Hainsworth, Dominic Flitney and Christoffer Lia and will be aiming to finish strongly in the championship featuring 1600cc spec Suzuki Swift’s.

Defending RX150 champion Chrissy Palmer showed why he is the man to beat and took the victory last time out and returns for round two this weekend and will again battle with drivers including John Ward and Kirk Langley for overall honours. Stephen Jones, who was vice-champion last season makes his first appearance this weekend and will challenge Palmer at the front if his 2016 pace is anything to go by.

The class featuring the fan favourite off road buggies also features Richard Moore, Georgia Shiels, Larry and Adam Sargent and Brett Harris competing at Lydden Hill this weekend.

Photo Credit: @Rallycrossbrx.com

Croft saw the first round of the combined Super1600 Rallycross Championship, BMW Mini Rallycross Championship and Hot Hatch Rallycross Championship and proved to be a great way of boosting grid numbers. Eventual winner Paul Coney returns this weekend in his Vauxhall Corsa, with Craig Lomax and Phil Chicken again both in Citroen C2’s, following closely behind in the standings. Darren Scott is the fourth entry in the Super1600 class.

Quickest Mini driver from Croft, Martin Hawkes, will again have competition from an array of opposition in the form of Drew Bellerby, Rob Methold, David Bell, Bradley Durdin, Terry Durdin and Andrew Hawkes. The Hot Hatch championship sees three entries this weekend, with Mark Henry in an Alfa Romeo 147 being joined by newcomers Lee Keeler and Leigh-Anne Sedwick in Citroen Saxo’s.

Photo Credit: @Rallycrossbrx.com

Finally in the Retro Rallycross Championship¸ defending champion Ray Morgan in his Ford Escort BDA will go up against Paul Easterbrook in a Toyota MR2 MK1, former RX150 competitor Kevin Feeney in a Ford Escort MK2, Mark Richardson who make his debut in the series in a Ford Sierra and Barry Stewart in a Porsche 911 who also make his first appearance of the season this weekend.

The Retro Rallycross under 1600cc series meanwhile features two entries, with Stewart Bowes in an Austin Mini and Paul Smith in a Volkswagen Polo.

The second round of the 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship takes place at Lydden Hill this weekend with race action taking place on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, May 17.