After an unsuccessful round three of the MSA British Rallycross Championship last Sunday (25 June) at Pembrey, London-based Irish driver, Ollie O’Donovan, is now looking forward to this weekend’s round three of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars at Höljes in Sweden, where his own outfit Team RX Racing will be fielding a Ford Fiesta Supercar.
Ahead of the Welsh BRX round, O’Donovan was leading the national championship’s standings thanks to his overall win in round two at Lydden Hill. At Pembrey, the Irishman’s Ford Focus Supercar was struck by mechanical problems in both free practice and Q3, while a wheel bearing failure prevented him from racing in Q1; O’Donovan, then, only took part in Q2, where he set the third-fastest time, although it wasn’t enough for him to start in the final. Despite the various troubles, he only dropped from first to second overall in the Championship, just five points behind rallycross newcomer Oliver Bennett.
The next challenge for O’Donovan comes as soon as this weekend (1-2 July), at Höljes in Sweden, and his hopes are to repeat his career-best result he scored at the season opener in Barcelona, where he closed third in the final. Last time out in Norway, though, the former rally driver and British Rallycross Champion had to face both lousy weather and technical inconveniences that prevented him from contesting the semi-finals, and he now hopes the experience he gained last year at Höljes will help him in achieving his goal to compete in the semi-finals.
“We had a really tough event at Pembrey, but sometimes you have those in motorsport, O’Donovan says.
“Tony (Bardy) and the boys did a brilliant job to repair the wheel bearing problems so we could get back out when it looked like we wouldn’t, and we were fast in Q2 on the new layout at Pembey, which in my opinion was very good. But, problems caused by a broken driveshaft in Q3 put us,
“Despite the disappointment, it’s positive that we’re just five points away in the standings and we will for sure fight back at the next rounds at Mondello Park.”
A crowd of up to 50,000 people is expected this weekend in Sweden. “We’re now fully focused on Holjes. It’s an amazing event and we were fast there last year but got pushed off in a qualifying race, which really harmed our chances.
The developments we have made to the Fiesta over the winter, especially with the new engine, have made the car much more drivable and for sure we want to try and get into the semi-finals.”
EuroRX qualifying starts tomorrow, 1 July, with Q1 and Q2. On Sunday, 2 July, the remainder of the qualifying will take place, followed by the semi-finals and the televised final in the afternoon.